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  1. Gospelism Sound quality is really only the first step in the total gospel matrix. The most respected artists in the field not only possess a good voice but also the ability to combine with that voice … with a physical mode of delivery, total immersion of mind and body. The performer is expected to use every means available hands feet, face- to convey the all-consuming, compelling force of gospel music. Gospel Performance is a highly unique form of singing I’ve been fascinated with for many years. My first gospel CD was an accapella concert of Sweet Honey and the Rock Performing Live at the Kennedy Center. I loved the songs, and the voices of the women who were singing in the group were full and deep and rocking….

  2. Practice, Form -ism: suff. An action, process or practice A state, condition, or quality Gospel music is both of these things. For the people involved in singing gospel music, it it both practice, meditation, and a lifestyle. It is also has specific characteristics and form which are historic in context and unique in expression. But what is it about Gospel music that makes it unique? It is centered around a particular message. It is similar to jazz in that improvisation in general is a large part of performance style. But what else? What is it about it’s form of delivery that makes a gospel event so energized and open for both individual and communal expressions? How do gospel singers, musicians, directors, and ministers of music think about their practice? What types of interaction, memories do they have about this practice?

  3. An Online Experimental Documentary “How can you sing amazing grace? How can you sing prayerfully of heaven and earth and all god’s wonders without using your hands? I want my hands… my feet… my whole body to say all that is in me.” Mahalia Jackson, Gospel Singer I love the web. I spend most of my time there. I thought this would be a perfect venue to build my project in because the internet is an efficient means of distribution of content for artistic and educational purposes, and with higher bandwidth rates increasingly prevalent it makes an exciting place for video. Additionally, the practice of gospel performance lends itself well to experimental forms of documentary because it is a practice primarily about spirit and individual subjectivities. Because most scholarly works on gospel music trace the rich history and cultural contexts of the form, I felt this project on the web could be freed from a linear, authoritative tone. I was curious to know what kinds of abstractions could come from the combination of images and sounds I would collect...

  4. “You cannot find a music that is more personal than this because I take a note in this kind of singing, and I hold it a long time, I cut it short, I change all the different colors in it, I make it loud, I make it soft… in other words I express myself” Horace Boyer, Music Historian How does gospel music simultaneously allow for individual and communal creativity and expression? And how does that expression make a song, or performance specifically gospel? Through what other lenses at can we look at gospel performance that might depart from the historical context in which it’s usually told? Can we isolate a gesture, a stance, an image, or object , motion that tells the story of the nature of this form of practice? What story might these movements along with individual narratives tell us?

  5. Prototyping

  6. Narratives And what about this question identity? Gospel music grew out of the historic tradition of Black sacred musics and the Black Church. Not all those who sing are black, and not all those that sing, do so in church. What unites these subjects? What engenders difference and individuality between them? What multiplicities within and beyond the notion of group, cultural or racial identities reside within these subjectivities? A collage of memories, opinions, thoughts, explored the voices of individuals who are singing, playing, directing gospel music: how these subjects feel about their craft, why they choose this form of music over another, how this might play into their identity or sense of a musical self…

  7. www.alexsherman.org/documentary/gospelism