Back ~ Home ~ Music & Lyrics ~ Prices ~ Ordering ~ Contact

Previous ~ Next

Mass of St. Thérèse

Making the Music and the Website

The Motivation to Write Music

In June 1988 a scuba incident left me with a crushed fingertip and a reminder of the how fragile we are. It became important to do something of a more lasting nature. The following month, on returning from a Bahamas dive trip, and a side trip to Nashville, I had the idea to write some music. A half dozen songs were soon written. Around the same time, Marianne took up watercolor painting.

St. Thérèse

In October 1998, our good friend Father Maurice Charbonneau talked about St. Thérèse. As Father spoke, we noticed that he happened to be sitting beside the water color that Marianne had just completed. It is the same rose featured on the cover of the CD and book.

By November I had decided to compose a song about the Little Flower. Her song, 'Prayer to St. Thérèse', went through several iterations until January 1998 and then stayed unchanged until the current version was finalized in March 2000. The remainder of the mass was composed between these two dates. It started as a few songs, then grew to become a penitential rite. Then on the suggestions and encouragement from friends it became a full Mass.

At first, words and melodies often came to me while going for a run, usually by the river. Now they arrive at random. During this time, Father Maurice continued to provide encouragement, books, medals and conversation about St. Thérèse.

Recording and Producing

We began recording April 2000 and finished later in June at Adam Plante's digital home-studio in London. Adam was a recording wizard and had a microphone for every purpose. He also added a truly masterful touch with his keyboard. Marianne contributed with flute and harmony. My brother John created the beta version that allowed us to get feedback before committing to the master. Production took from June to September.

Chris and Jane Stokes-Rees at On-Line Audio Duplication in London created the graphics and text and did their digital wizardry to create the master CD.

Our daughter Sandy took the cover picture in Clearwater Beach Florida on a family vacation on March break 1999. We decided it would be on the cover when we noticed the letter 'T' formed in the sunlight and clouds.

Marianne's original watercolour of the rose was then scanned and placed on the cover. She also suggested placing the textured rose on the disk. While I did the original layouts, Chris put it all together, enhanced it, and made it into the beautiful package that became available just in time for the October 1st feast of St. Therese -- 2 years after it started.

In preparing the book, Mary Worrall, my sister in Calgary and Marion, my mom, provided wonderful editorial feedback. Mary Worrall, my sister in Calgary and Marion, my mom, and Maria Vogel in Dublin have provided wonderful editorial feedback on both the book and the web material.

The Website

Jeff Cameron of Advanced Technology and my brother John have been instrumental in providing the training and technical support to allow it to happen here on the web! Again, Mom, Mary and Maria have provided invaluable assistance with their editorial feedback!

Maria and Paul Buis also provided pictures from the October 18th mass!

Many thanks for everyones contribution!

Getting involved in liturgical music

Several of my guitar students, Sharon and Paul in particular, introduced me to liturgical music in 1968 when they asked for help with their music. They were members of Pat's People (St. Patrick's, London) and St. Andrew's folk choirs. Later, I was asked to assist with a recording with Pat's People. Marianne and I have been actively involved in folk choirs since joining Mary Immaculate in 1974 and then St. Justin's in 1979. We've also been privileged to assist as leaders on several diocesan workshops and contribute to several liturgical recordings. Our daughters, Sandra and Jacqui have occasionally joined us on piano. Our son Rob has also been very supportive.

While normally using guitar, we use other instruments when it will enhance the liturgy including mandolin, flute, string bass, autoharp and even banjo for a youth mass.

We enjoy the friendship of many musicians: especially Karen who joins us early on Sunday mornings, Steve and Susan and their gifted children with whom we often join for special celebrations, the choirs of St. Justin's including Caroline, Audrey, Fran, Pauline and Mike and the other choirs throughout London.

And so...

Thanks again to everyone who contributed. I hope everyone who listens will cherish the serenity in the music as I do and pray that it is a fitting tribute to a great saint, our dear St. Thérèse!

Peace, love and harmony!

Dan Rutledge
London Canada

Top ~ Home