Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Early Demo

In 2002 we recorded a demo cd as a five piece band. This recording features Tim Gassaway on Bass, John Grassadonia on keyboards, Oscar Loya on lead guitar, Dave Velasco on drums and myself on guitar and vocals.Click on the play button to listen or on the download button to have a download link emailed to you.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Live at The Threshing Floor

This one is mostly for those who were there.
This was recorded live at an event called The Threshing Floor, a gathering of passionate worship and Eucharistic adoration that we played at once a month for several years. This particular evening was during the stations of the cross that we did each Lent.
It's the power trio of Tim, Rufino and I playing. One thing I love is that this is when my wife Diane was singing with us.
It's over a half an hour long and I left in the responses and the scripture readings.
The sound is from a VHS camcorder set up in the choir loft and the production value is what you would expect.
The band gets sloppy in places.
You can here the microphone being turned on and off.
Definitely a rough recording all around...

But I still love it. When I listen, I'm there again.
The beauty, the power, the grace that flowed during our many evenings together.
I miss those evenings...

Jesus You're Everything
God Of Mercy
Clothe Me In White
(c) 2005  Michael Bokulich

Holy Is The Lord
Kelly Green
(c) 1982 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing

Christ Child's Lullabye

In You O Lord, Psalm 131

In You O Lord
Psalm 131
(c) 2000 Michael Bokulich

When I started playing for our parish's Life Teen Mass 19 years ago (!!) it was common practice for the psalm of the day to be replaced by a song. That didn't sit well with me. I really didn't like simply replacing one of the day's readings from scripture. At the same time I wasn't about to use the other option of the time, the psalm setting in our missalette. Not my style. So I started to arrange psalm settings. Over the  years leading music at this Mass and others I composed a psalm setting for most Sundays. I'm guessing that I composed about 150 different Psalm settings.  I'm always coming across things like this in old piles of music. Hmmm, I wonder what this sounded like...

Of course some were much better than others. I would usually have the psalm written for our weekly rehearsal, but not always. It was not unheard of for me and the band to be in the church a couple of hours before Mass cranking something out. I remember one particular Sunday getting up to lead the psalm and drawing a total blank. I turned to whoever was singing with me at the time (probably Nina) and asked, "How does this go?" We then proceeded to stand there going back and forth until we managed to work it out while the congregation and dear patient Fr. Patrick looked on with amusement.
Then there was the psalm with the rap verses. Believe it or not it was actually pretty good. Fr. Patrick was there for that one as well and complimented me on it afterward, saying that he couldn't usually stand rap but enjoyed the psalm. High praise indeed!
Out of all of these psalm settings I've kept only a few. I always felt that there was something beautiful about "living music", music that was composed, used in worship and then surrendered to God and forgotten. (I also wasn't really that organized...) But a few have stuck around. This is one.
I've sung this psalm hundreds of times. I've used it during times of worship at large conferences and in various living rooms. I've sang it at our parish with our choir singing four part harmony (thanks Dan). I sang it at my wife's grandfather's funeral and, at my Mom's request, I sang it at her's. Truly bittersweet moments.
I love this psalm. It's the shortest of the psalms. So sweet, so simple.
When I lead worship I often have my eyes closed. But when I get to the last verse of this psalm I force myself to look out to the congregation. I see their eyes, I see God's people, I feel His love for them, and I feel so vulnerable as I sing to them,
O Israel...
O Israel hope in the Lord
O my people let us hope in the Lord, forever

Click here to download a PDF.