Recent comments

Author: ronsue
Very beautiful  Music and lyrics!
Another beautiful composition and performance. Your voice has a beautiful timbre and legato in this. Love that violin! I am not bothered by the reverb in this one. It floats through the sanctuary like gossamer threads. As always, thanks for sharing these psalms every week as you approach completion of your 3-year psalter.
Author: ronsue
I would think it an honor to be a guest guitarist on some of your songs. I'm 76 years old and my fingers are not always up to the task of playing like they did when I recorded most of these songs 25 years ago but we will see what the good Lord has in mind. Adios Ron
I really like this one. Have you heard songs by Cindy Kallet and Gordon Bok? They could really put a bead on this song. Neighbors album
I like it! A litany-like refrain with verses interspersed. I really like your guitar playing. I may ask you to be a guest guitarist on some of my songs. Are you up for that?
I can't wait for the new recording. God is good.
Author: ronsue
Yes Sidewalk counseling is very difficult and is a last resort, as well as probably the worst environment do do any sort of counseling. We had a lot of prayer support and that made all the difference. Thanks for the comment. Ron  
Good words expressed artfully. Thank you for sharing this. More songs like this are needed to help turn the tide of the culture of death. A few years ago, I co-wrote a song about abortion with Sharon Shultz and recorded it. Daddy (a song about loss) My wife and I also did some sidewalk counseling. That is a really hard task. So much venom is encountered when witnessing for life and offering an alternative/choice to women and men in distress about...
Author: ronsue
Thank You to all who have helped in any way to respond to our complaints Ron
Author: ronsue
Thanks for the reply.  I am amazed at how well the Google Pixel 5 phone records and uploads to YouTube. I'm 76 years old and thought my writing, playing, and recording songs were over. But a year or so ago a song came into my mind called Maranatha and with the encouragement of my son, I did the pixel 5 recording and it came out fairly well on a simple upload to YouTube. Since then I've written and recorded almost a dozen more songs. Keep on playing the guitar and singing. Adios Ron
Thanks for the invitation to record any of your songs. There are some very good lyrics in many of your creations. My guitar playing is not as good as yours. I do mostly chord strumming and chord arpeggios. I don't do lead runs very well. Your Google Pixel 5 phone recording sounds quite good!
Author: ronsue
Thanks for the suggestion, I've downsized my recording to just the guitar and me recording on a Google 5 pixel phone. If you want to use any of these songs to record a version of your own you a welcome. Adios Ron  
This has a nice ballad quality – almost like a Medieval minstrel performer. I'd like to hear flute and percussion added. It speaks nicely to the rising day. Good job.
Author: ronsue
Thanks for the advice RON
I never had a four-track Tascam. Analog recorders sound very good. They seem to have mastering built into the system. I did a bit of recording on a Sony reel-to-reel (open reel) tape deck with 7-inch reels. Just a single stereo track (each direction). No sound on sound or sound with sound (i.e. over dubbing or multi-tracking). My digital recording journey began in 2004 with GarageBand. Soon after I progressed to Apple Logic. Have you recorded with a software DAW (digital audio workstation)? I...
A song of expectation sung with devotion and tenderness. Many good aspects of Christianity in your lyrics. This has a nice folk music vibe. I like it. Your sincerity shines as a beacon of hope in the Lord.
Well done. Nice guitar underlayment. You sing articulately. The guitar doesn't necessarily need to double your vocal melody throughout. It might give your voice more freedom and flow if you simply sing along with the arpeggiated guitar chords. This song would be great as part of a passion play.
I like this approach using field recordings. Your videos are quite evocative. I listened to several selections from #7. I like Wind Presence and Votive. I did something similar several years ago. I recorded the lector, choir, bells and other environmental sounds at my church, then layered them into a montage. I am pleased to have my concept validated by you! Your tracks are much more pleasant to listen to – akin to dreamscapes. My track below is more like a nightmare. https://soundcloud...
I love the violin. Guitar and voices are superb, as usual. Very prayerful and soothing. "It's da balm."
Author: Alexander John
Hey guys, I really appreciate you giving these couple of tracks a listen and providing extremely useful feedback. We defiantly went in a new direction as I'm finding myself more and more in experimental creative spaces. Thanks again for your time and words and hope you are both doing well.  All the best, Alex.
I said I thought track 2 was more integrated. That means that I like it better than track 1. The voice does not sit well in the mix in track 1. 
Alex,  You certainly are moving a new direction here. I like it! The risk taking, if you can call it that, is working. I respectfully disagree with Richard and I like the second track better. The vocals at the end kind of shocked me at first but I ended up liking them. Tell your dad the producer I really like that second track. The first track was okay and it did have a certain flow to it. Interesting use of tone correction software too get that "vocoder" effect on that first track as...
Interesting new approach. Part 2 feels more integrated than part 1. Raw Faith is certainly an appropriate title for these two pieces. You lay it all on the line – the good, the bad, the ugly, the sublime. Keep on rockin' in the cradle of God's creation.


Author: stevdrak
We will leave GarageBand for our Shure SM58's and home studio mixes ... And for their vast library of loops :)
Ah, thanks for that clarification. Indeed, I thought you might be using $3500 Neumann U87 mics with free GarageBand. LOL. 
Author: stevdrak
Yes, we feel blessed that we have the range of voices in such a small group, bass, tenor, altos and sopranos. Just to clarify, we didn't record the vocals in Garage band.  Only the backing track was created in GarageBand using the free loops and percussion instruments.  It is amazing how vast the library is... The vocals were recorded in a studio and the overall song mix was handled by a professional engineer, and mastered as well.   Only the...
I started out with GarageBand in 2004, then graduated to Apple Logic Pro. It is quite user friendly for me and very powerful. I also use Steinberg Cubase on some collaborative projects. I love your Caribbean styling. You have good singers and have captured their resonance quite well with GB.
Author: stevdrak
This is one reflecting our Caribbean roots Richard ????, thanks for the feedback.  Yes, GarageBand is indeed alive and well, even the version on the iPad, very simple to use . interesting looking at that video from Guy which shows the additional capabilities.  And as he said, it's free!  
Indeed, this is quite a departure from your usual acoustic guitar folk arrangements. The voices are compelling and coherent. As you aptly describe it, a conversation about belief in God the Father. The cartoon illustrations are very supportive of the text. Nicely done.  GarageBand is not dead! Coincidentally, Guy Michelmore posted this video 4 days ago: Film Scoring in GARAGEBAND?!
Author: Alexander John
So nice of you to take the time to give it a listen. I'm really glad that you enjoyed the EP from my two biggest inspirations in my life. All the best, Alex.
Alex,  I always enjoy your art and especially like your new ep. Imo your best yet!
Author: Alexander John
Hi Richard, thanks for taking the time to give it a listen. I have made sure to thank them and shared your comment with them both as I knew it would make them happy. I'm glad to be recording again and hope you and your family are well. All the best to you. Alex.
"Nurse by day and angel forever." What a beautiful tribute to your wife. Tell her and your dad hello. And thank them both for encouraging your creativity. May you flourish as you continue on your path to God and goodness. Thanks for sharing this latest album.
A gentle song that rolls along like a wave, reaching to heaven. Very nicely done.
Tony Moran and I did a 3-year psalter of Spanish Salmos Responsoriales, but we had never recorded the psalm for the solemnity of the Saints Peter and Paul. So I recorded it yesterday! Thanks for the fine arrangement and the inspiration.   
Absolutely beautiful. Descending chords. Resonant harmonies. Your singing is thrice praying!
Your vocal harmonies are sublime. Praise the Lord!
Nice balance of women's and men's voices in this. Has your ensemble grown? Guitar as usual is superb. Keep the Liturgical Folk revolution alive!
Can you send me the chords for this psalm? I have an opportunity to sing and play guitar to whatever psalm I want at two masses this coming Sunday. I'd like to do this setting. Edit: I figured out the chords. I am practicing the psalm now!
Hi. Welcome to Top Catholic Songs. I have a Resources page here with links to many hymnals and liturgy planning guides: Can you tell me what kind of sheet music you need? Are you looking for SATB arrangements? Sheet music with piano and voice? What hymnal do you use at your church? If your church does not allow you to take home a choir edition of the hymnal, I would urge them to buy extra choir hymnals for home use. My church allows that. A choir...
Author: dstlouis
how to download/upload sheet music to practice
Author: Andrzej
Thank you, Richard - I really appreciate you taking the time to listen and I am grateful your kind comments. Thank you also for providing a forum to share and for your help with the code. As for the visuals, I have a fellow that does them for me. Those sort of effects could be well approximated by using a visualizer app - there are probably a bunch of good free or very affordable ones out there. He also sorts out the editing of the visuals. Thank you again for your support and for the...
Thanks for sharing your new set of songs. Mellow, meditative and organic. I like "The New Jerusalem" and "We are like those who dream." Your singers are excellent. Great instrumentation set into an immersive, ambient soundspace. How did you create the colored lights effects? I'm glad you figured out how to insert the YouTube iFrame code.
Thank you, Cora, for providing more information about this version of the Magnificat. Blessings.
This is very evocative in its sparseness and ambience. An a cappella approach is an appropriate way to convey the passion and death of Jesus. Well done.
Thank you, Richard! Be well.  
Nice to see the liturgical version of your electro-pop version. Happy Easter!
Beautiful song. Full, rich choral sound. Bravo. It's cool to see everyone singing from their mobile devices. Inspiring. A holy moment.
Laisy, I am very sorry that I missed your request for song suggestions for the 22nd Sunday In Ordinary Time Year C. I will try to be more vigilant! I created a resource page here at TCS which can lead you to liturgical planning guides:
I like the soundscape of "With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption". Fit for contemplation. You have a good chord progrssion in the verses that provides a nice lift. Well done. As usual, your voice has clarity and grace.
Author: Andrzej
I know what you mean about the dissonance, Richard. I really like it, however. It reminds me of the sort of happy collision one might hear from time to time in a Tallis motet or something like that. It's a remarkable, pleasant surprise!  That said, the alternative chords you suggest woudl also sound great. Hats off to the composers and performers for sparking our imaginations!  
Very nice composition and recording. As always, beautiful imagery to go along with a beautiful voice and guitar.
Excellent work, Captain. I like your take on the Divine Mercy Chaplet. God is upbeat and upchannel. Win with Jesus! I did a couple Divine Mercy songs with a member of TCS a few years ago, so I am onboard.
Keep rockin' and rollin' out these teaching songs "adapted" from popular nationalistic songs that exclude God from the equation.
Absolutely beautiful!  Love the "turns" - those little triplets - those really add a lot to the song!  Hats off to MacDonald for her composition!
A beautiful proclamation. The guitar and voices are nicely layered. Peaceful yet resounding. Thanks for sharing this. 
I like the rhythm of the words in the refrain. Very cool. Good composition. Your performance is a beautiful declaration of gratitude for God's saving graces.
Thank you for your continued sharing of your arrangements of responsorial psalms. They have a gentle folk rock vibe.
Thank you so much, Richard!!! Wishing you and your whole family Peace and Joy for the Holidays!!! With love and respect, Rene and Clarissa
Clarissa has a voice of an angel which is well supported by a very able guitarist. Bravo, my friends. Merry Christmas to you!
Mellow devotion to God. I always get a feeling of calm when I listen to your recordings. Very nice. I have a question about the chord you play at "for" in "for He has worked wonders". I am hearing some dissonance on that word. Since you are singing the note Ab, it seems that the chord C# would work well for this phrase, i.e. C# - Eb - Bb. What chords do you play in this arrangement? I am hearing Eb - F - Bb. If you are using a capo at fret 1, then C - D - A would work fine...
Like my uncle used to say, "You boys are clever!" Nice conjoining of Catholicity with Korean dancing. Keep up the good work.
Good to know that you know the people behind Great Catholic Music streaming radio. I have asked them for advice on starting my own streaming service for Salmos Responsoriales.
I know these folks! They're from where I'm from - Canton, Ohio (USA) area. Their flagship station took over an old daytimer a couple decades ago called the "Big 1060". Good folks. 
Author: Andrzej
A beautiful message, indeed. Thank you for sharing your music with us - looking forward to hearing more of it in the new liturgical year! 
A very nice message. Well spoken against a beautiful backdrop of music. Thank you so much for enriching Top Catholic Songs listeners with your beautiful psalm settings throughout the past year. Blessings.
Well done, good and faithful musicians of the Lord!
Hi Richard. That's the famous Holy Spirit window in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome  
I appreciate your touring of my songs. André van Haren ( ) and Paul F. Page ( ) will appreciate knowing that you like their arrangement of Psalm 8: O Lord, Our God, How Wonderful Your Name. I wrote the basic melodies for refrain and verses and contributed my voice. But those two gentlemen made the psalm shine with the piano underlayment. The sheet music is available here:
Author: Andrzej
Wow - an amazing richness of music here. Sincere congratulations on these compositions, recordings and performances. As a very quick initial point of appreciation: I really admire the setting of the response on Psalm 8: there is certain unresolved, open quality to it that nourishes the imagination. THe eventual resolution provides a gentle, shimering renewal and lift into the verse. Well done, congratulations on this work!
Author: Andrzej
Beautiful and uplifting arrangement and performance!
Fr. Maximilian: Very nice. As you say, uplifting yet reverent and prayerful. Excellent vocals and instrumentation. Nice variations with those bridges. That Holy Spirit altarpiece! Where is it?
I like this quotation from the Remember When article: A flyer circulated in Woodstock in 1794 argued the importance of regulating “harmony in the religious societies… and to... gain knowledge in the pleasing Art of Psalm singing.” In 1797, it was impressed upon the residents of Dorset that it was their “indispensable duty” to “support the public worship of God” through “singing the praises... with musical harmony and decency,” as “...
A regular thing here in the Twn Cities, too. Performed at the Basilca of St. Mary in downtown Minneapols by SPCO.
Author: Sherri Matthew
Remember When: Hallelujah!: When the Messiah came to Vermont It's popular here! A Vermont Christmas tradition, right up there with the maple syrup and autumn leaf tourists.
Thank you, Sherri. I have never sung in a Handel's Messiah concert. That would be awesome.
Author: Sherri Matthew
Hi Richard, Happy Sunday! Very rich singing voice... we'd love to have you up here in Vermont for one of our Handel's Messiah Sings! :-)
Sadly, the article "Vaughan Williams: Complicated, but Not Quite Conservative" is behind the NY Times paywall. Maybe it will surface as a free read somewhere else. Thanks.
Not sure if you found anything useful in that Steinberg Dorico forum thread I linked above. As you saw, there was mention of Gregorio/LaTeX which you have used in the past. The Dorico team and Dorico users are really working hard to make Dorico the premier engraving program that can handle all sorts of notation challenges. Join the forum and ask questions! As far as export/import, MusicXML format makes it possible to move scores between most music notation programs, including MuseScore. https...
Author: Sherri Matthew
The New York Times has a good read today on Ralph Vaughan Williams: Vaughan Williams: Complicated, but Not Quite Conservative (along with a Spotify playlist) Hope they do one on Fauré sometime...
Author: Sherri Matthew
Hi Richard and Andrzej, Here's a photo of my handwritten arrangement when I recorded Ave Maris Stella: Some years ago there was a nice website that allowed you to design your own pdf staff paper and you could add a Gregorian chant staff above a modern notation system. I made a couple of pdfs, one with three modern staves below and another with two. Now I can't find that site anymore, but I still have the blank pdfs I made and print them out from time to time as I need them. I used to have...
Author: Andrzej
A beautiful piece - congratulations! I will be sure to listen to the rest of the playlist on Youtube. 
OK. Let's talk about music engraving programs. I started out with Finale but never did get the hang of note entry and note repositioning. Simply not intuitive. I then moved over to Avid Sibelius where I gained just enough ability to score simple arrangements: one staff with melody and guitar chords. Then along came Steinberg Dorico. This has proven to be the best music notation program for my simple needs. I collaborate with André van Haren, an orchestral composer and arranger in...
Author: Sherri Matthew
These are nice!  I miss my old Photoshop. I have a sort of Photoshop substitute but the interface is awkward and the layers feature just doesn't cut it. I've developed some work arounds of sorts, but they're time consuming. Thanks for the suggestions! Will definitely wait for a Black Friday sale. At the moment I use two programs together to have some decent typesetting in a final PDF. Music typesetting is a whole 'nother ballgame. I've gone through a slew of software packages trying to...
Have you looked at a FireWire solution for ingesting video into your 2009 iMac? This DAC 200 model currently not available as new but you may be able to get one used on Ebay. I recommend you look at the very affordable trio of apps from – Affinity Photo, Affinity Design and Affinity Publish. Pay once! The three apps are gaining in popularity as suitable replacements for Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and...
Author: Sherri Matthew
Do you have a solution for getting video into an iMac of my vintage? This machine does not appear to have any ports that will allow A/V input. It's a shame, because it's a nice 20" monitor and I've often thought if the hard drive ever fails it would make a great external monitor for another machine. I even experimented with some video adapters for it (tried attaching an external CD/DVD player) and no go.  This was a useful reference page from Apple:
My workhorse is of the same vintage as yours. I have an early 2009 Mac Pro (1 TB SSD boot drive, 48 GB of RAM, 2 x 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon). A few months ago I finally did the dosdude1 upgrade hack to Mojave. I had been camped out at High Sierra for quite a while (also thanks to dosdude1). I also do a lot of work on my 2016 MacBook Pro (internal 500 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM, 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7). As far as perfromance, both machines are about equal! One thing I encountered with my upgrades...
Author: Sherri Matthew
Hi there Richard, Thanks much for digging into this and finding out what was going on. I was inclined to think it was my machine, as it's actually an iMac early 2009 and it has a version of Catalina on it that's a bit non-standard - Catalina Patcher which is designed for machines that can't really support that OS. So I always figure if something weird happens, well it must be a Catalina thing! I didn't install this, the machine came with it when I...
I think I have remedied the issue now (by setting an X-XSS-Protection policy). The iframe preview shows now in Mac Safari when you hit Preview. Sorry about the hassle.
I was just now able to replicate with Safari 14.1.2 the blank iframe preview that you encountered. I was logged in as a regular user. Despite there being a white window where the iframe should be, when one hits Preview or Save the YouTube Music playlist does appear. I next tried the same thing when logged in as admin. The same blank preview appears. I didn't realize that this occurs in Mac Safari. Next, I tested the same iframe preview in Mac Google Chrome (Mojave 10.14.6). The YouTube...
Turning from the technical to the aesthetic, I must comment on the beautiful, lush soundscapes you have created with your harp. Thanks for sharing the details of this instrument.
I am not sure why you are unable to get an iframe to show up. I tested an account that has regular user access (non-admin) and it seems to work fine. I can't imagine that Catalina would be the cause of this. I am at Mojave and Firefox 105.0.3, so I am unable to test your setup.
Drupal is a CMS (content management system) that is totally different than CMS. But both technologies use PHP and a MySQL database. See After updating you to WordPress 6.x, your site admin should install these two WordPress plugins to maintain your "Classic" interface experience: Classic Editor – Classic Widgets – Half of WordPress users...
Author: Sherri Matthew
Awesome, thanks. It didn't want to show in Preview either. I knew if I clicked Save that was the same as hitting Publish in WordPress. (Is this a varient of WordPress btw?) I have a very old version of WordPress for my domain site. I had my site admin let me try out the updated version of it and I hated it. It had a very strange interface. Not intuitive like the old one. So I thanked him and kept the old version. It still gives me dire warnings about needing to upgrade but he sees no security...
"It gave me a square box that said IFRAME in red". Yes, that is what you should see until you actually Preview or Save the post. Then it will show up. I suggest you use the Preview option to check your post when in doubt. The lack of an embed preview while in edit mode is an unfortunate limitation in this old version of Drupal CMS (v6.x) that I have not been able to solve. This website with its dated technology is somewhat analogous to your analog recording studio. "If it ain...
Author: Sherri Matthew
Hi Richard, Thanks for doing this for me. I tried doing just that, like a million times. All I got was the code when I previewed it. It wouldn't show me the actual player. Also it gave me a square box that said IFRAME in red. Also I experimented with the Source tab and Rich text and Plain text, as well as the link button. Also switched browsers and it still happened in FireFox. Didn't try it in Chrome. I'm using Safari 14.0.1 on Mac OS Catalina 10.15.7.  I don't have any browser...
Sherri: Copy and paste this code into the Source tab of your post (upper left button in formatting toolbar). If you like, I can do this for you. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Michelle, this is your most popular psalm at TCS to date, with over 1000 reads. Congrats! It's a beautiful setting of Psalm 92. What is the first name of the soloist in this song?
Author: Guillaume
Hi Andrzej! Thank you for your positive feedback! I am currently working on a third one. Have a great day! Guillaume
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