Weaving spiritual experience with a Golden Thread
unSUNg was born out of a shared desire to create concerts that are unique and meaningful, and it’s not surprising that so many of the artists who have worked with us at one time or another have their own projects with similar goals.
One such presenter is Fahad Siadat, who has launched a concert series with an unusual goal that is front-and-center: to transform the concert series into a spiritual service of its own — not unlike religious liturgy, but not entirely following that tradition, either.
The Golden Thread Concert Series is the latest endeavor from The Resonance Collective, and is currently calling First Congregational Church of Los Angeles its home, with the next event this Saturday, March 19 at 7:30pm. With a relatively short-form approach that wraps music, silence, communal singing and other elements of shared worship into a monthly concert of about an hour and a half, Siadat and his team aim not just to disrupt traditional presentation, but to reconnect it to the very parts of our souls that respond to music so powerfully, as if by instinct. This will seem completely natural, even organic to some listeners, and may be very new for others. But for musicians, who often spend a good chunk of their careers in faith-based communities, there is plenty that will seem familiar, regardless of personal religious background.
Each concert is quite different, but some program elements will likely “stick” over time. This month’s event centers around the premiere of Irish composer Patrick Cassidy’s new setting of The Mass for choir and organ. Led and narrated by celebrated actor Martin Sheen, the music will be performed by FCCLA’s excellent house musicians, with music director David Harris conducting, organist-in-residence Christoph Bull at the keyboard, the Cathedral Choir singing their hearts out, and the in-house professional ensemble, Laude, serving as soloists. Here’s the trailer:
One of the unusual things about this performance is that The Mass was recorded and performed in virtual choir format, as shown above, and was released as an album by Laude about six months ago, reaching the top spot on Apple Music’s sacred music chart. But this is the very first live performance of the work, making it special and new all over again.
Because innovation and exploration can both be helped by filling in the gaps for those who share the experience, the series includes notes, details, and a sort of contextual guide called “The Frame” for each concert. Whether you’re new to this type of spiritual experience or just not sure what to think, a little prep may leave you even more excited about the event. Read details on the collective’s website
Tickets run $10-55 (including fees), including a virtual option. Vaccines and masks are required by the venue.