Paul Winter's Missa Gaia - Earth Mass
Live Recording, with Jim Scott, soloist & guitar

Paul Winter - Missa Gaia with Jim Scott


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Missa Gaia - A Celebration of Mother Earth

Glacial Melt - teardrops of Mother Earth as heard in "Prayer for Gaia" premiere movement

Songs of the Humpback Whale, digitally re mastered in Missa Gaia 2007

"When we try to pick out something by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
-John Muir (1911)

Featuring Co-composer: Jim Scott - guitarist, vocalist
Will Sherwood - director

English Nightingale Jacob van Eyck 2:01
Prayer for Gaia Gregorian Chant /Sherwood 5:26
When in Our Music Engelberg 2:40
Mystery Geffen, arr. Scott 5:25
Canticle of Brother Sun Scott / Winter 4:16
Kyrie Halley / Winter 5:49
The Beatitudes Jim Scott 6:15
Adoro Te/For the Beauty Gregorian Chant   arr. Halley / Scott 4:35
Sanctus and Benedictus Winter / Halley / Castro-Neves 4:42
Agnus Dei Scott / Winter 7:14
Blue Green Hills of Earth Oler / Halley 3:21
Let Us Depart in Peace Scott / Winter 4:21


Mystery (from live performance)

Canticle of Brother Sun (excerpt from live performance)
(Note: YouTube audio is mono and is compressed, thus actual CD audio quality is not depicted)


Recorded Live:  May, 2007
Recording/Mix Engineer - Bob Gordon
Producer & Graphic Designer - Will Sherwood
Cover Art: Kathleen Cammarata, “Conjectures Concerning Planetary Worlds,” 2002, 34” x 38” , Oil on canvas

First Unitarian Church, 90 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608 USA

Jim Scott, vocal and guitar
Noel Cary, clarinet
Marty Gilman, soprano saxophone
Mary Rocheleau, recorder
Jerry Bellows, recorder
Madeline Browning, flute
Jessica Billings-White, cello
Reed Butler, bass
Pieter Struyk, percussion
Bob Gordon, drums & timpani

Will Sherwood, AAGO, ChM, Director of Music & Organist, producer, audio editing, piano, organ, graphic design
Bob Gordon, audio editing, recording/mix engineer
Stefan Cepko, audio engineer
Jesse Anderson, audio engineer
Charles Paquette, video engineer
David Nase, photographer
J. Ellen Thompson, house manager
Marie T. Shamgochian, librarian

Christine Astley
Jean Mancini Gough*
Monica Hatch
XueMei Jiang
Jean A. Jewell
Kristine Johnson
Maria Mavromatis
Marie Teresa Shamgochian
Nancy Smith
Alesia Tringale*
Ellen O’Neall Waite
Linda Chatalian Wyatt

Priscilla Arbuckle
Jane Beckwith
Helen Campbell
Christy Clark
Betsy Lane
Marcia Leonard
Kathleen Rooney
Marjorie Ropp
Susan Stafford
J. Ellen Thompson
Katharine Tower-Ludwig
Katharine Vriesema-Magnuson

Rosamond Bennett
Brad Benschneider*
Dick Kruse
Paul Ropp
Susan Schade
Jim Scott*
Chris Tower

Jerry Bellows
Jim Demetry
Gordon Gurney
Glen Hersey
Steve Knox
David Spanagel
Scott Taylor

Alaskan Tundra Wolf (Kyrie)*
Humpback Whale (Sanctus)*
Harp Seal Pups (Agnus Dei)*

* Soloist


Missa Gaia- A Mass for the Earth


            The Earth, taken as a whole, affects all life and matter around, within and upon our planet with a unique power. This is the basis of the Gaia Hypothesis, a book by James Havelock and Lynn Margulis, who believe that the Earth has a life of its own which is greater than the sum of its parts, that there is an intense synergy between the smallest bacteria and the largest animal and vegetative life. Thus the inspiration for Missa Gaia (Gaia is Greek for Earth).

         Addressed to Mother Earth, Earth Mass was first performed at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City on Mother's Day, almost thirty years ago. Under the guidance of Paul Winter, each of the members of the Consort composed parts of the Mass. Like the synergy of the natural elements of The Earth, The Paul Winter Consort presents a musical whole—greater than the sum of its parts.

         Jim Scott, who performs with us today, describes how he and the Consort created this work:
         "We decided that we would be somewhat improvisational, integrating many religious traditions, mixing music of many cultures and even including the voices of other species. The recorded melody from a humpback whale provides the opening motif for the Sanctus. The Kyrie starts with a descending call first stated by the wolf and answered by the sax and choir voices. Paul Halley then developed these two themes into majestic choral works.”

         Jim continues, "One of my assignments was the opening Canticle, with the much loved "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" prayer of St. Francis. I wished to unite three widely separated historical periods through music. I opened with a Gregorian chant melody which evolves into the classic American hymn For the Beauty of the Earth and then to contemporary jazz/popular harmonies and an African 12/8 rhythm. Paul Winter suggested setting St. Francis' prayer to a chord progression of mine - two sequences, one rising one falling - that we'd improvised with in previously unused pieces. I assembled the choral piece and we brought back the For the Beauty theme in an elusive harmonization for the finale.

“I particularly wanted to do a setting of The Beatitudes. I particularly like that they are positive. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, was saying you will be blessed for this behavior, and this behavior will bring about a blessed state. Musical settings of the Beatitudes are rare, probably because the text does not support music well. I started with the end and took the Beatitudes a little out of order
to provide musical continuity.”

            “The Agnus Dei / Dona Nobis Pacem is probably my favorite, and what Paul Winter called "the sleeper" of the whole work. It begins unassumingly enough and then rises to a couple of lush climactic moments before the final section. It was a bit of a challenge to build the choral piece over an instrumental collaboration from a previous album, Callings. This album took the calls of sea mammals as thematic material. Using that piece, with the calls of baby seals, was Paul's idea. He had heard the story of a missionary in the arctic who had discovered that Agnus Dei, or Lamb of God, was not understandable to the Eskimo people, who had never seen lambs. Accordingly, he used the phrase ‘Seal of God.’”

            “Two wonderful songs by friends of the Consort round out the whole work. Mystery, by Jeremy Geffen is a deceptively simple and simply beautiful song that touches on the indescribable. The Blue Green Hills of Earth was Paul Winter's adaptation of words from a poem in a Ray Bradbury story and set to music by Kim Olen. This setting made it, in a somewhat altered arrangement, into the new UU Hymnbook as "For the Earth Forever Turning." We hear today the original setting, with the words as they are in Singing the Living Tradition.”

            We welcome back Jim Scott and especially this sacred celebration of Spring—after a very long Winter.                                                                                                                          ─Glen Hersey

Improvisation for organ, cello, flute, clarinet, recorder, and
sounds of our planet: glacial melt, thunder, ocean waves, and birds.

A small permanent glacier high in the central Colorado Rockies provides the opening backdrop for this premiere performance. Its ice forms shelves that drip into tiny rivulets, eventually joining larger similar rivulets that find themselves swallowed by streams, then rivers, and, ultimately the Pacific Ocean. The Gregorian Chant Picardy, is presented by the cello soon joined by the Recorder flute. Accompanying the Chant is a lone Tinamou bird Crypturellus soui, one of the most ancient birds on earth, archaeologically found in Central and South America, where they still live. They are secretive and shy, and live a quiet, peaceful life. But soon the organ crescendo brings on a passing thunderstorm, and settling back to the Pacific’s waves and birds at La Jolla.

Words adapted from “Canticle of Brother Sun” by St. Francis of Assisi and the Book of Job
Text Box: All praise be yours through Brother Sun.  All praise be your through Sister Moon.  By Mother Earth my Lord be praised  By Brother Mountain, Sister Sea.  Through Brother Wind and Brother air.  Through Sister Water, Brother fire  The Stars above give thanks to thee  All praise to those who live in peace.
Text Box: All praise be yours through Brother Wolf,  All praise be yours through Sister Whale,  By Nature’s Song my Lord be praised  By Brother Eagle, Sister Loon.  Through brother Tiger and Brother Seal.  through Sister Flower, Brother Tree  Let creatures all give thanks to thee  All praise to those who live in peace.
Ask of the Beasts/Trees/Flowers and they shall each you the beauty of the Earth.

The Kyrie, prayer for mercy, contains the only Greek words left in the western form of the Church Mass. The Alaskan tundra wolf whose voice this Kyrie was based on, sings the same four-note howl seven times in an interval known as the tritone—the sax, tenor, solo voices and chorus answering. The double-bell rhythm comes from Ghana.


Traditional Gregorian chant, words by St. Thomas Aquinas c. 1260

Adoro te devote, latens Deitas
Quae sub his figuris verelatitas
Tibi sicor meum totum subjicit
Quia te contemplans totum deficit…

For the beauty of the earth, sing, oh sing today
Of the skies and of our birth, sing, oh sing, always.
Nature human and divine, all around us lies.
Lord of all to Thee we raise grateful hymns of praise.


(Traditional Latin words)
In Paul Winter’s words, “If any animal on Earth symbolizes the Great Mother, it is the whale…I was told the Sanctus should be jubilant and that’s how I hear the whale’s song…Any species that has flourished for 50 million years ought to be jubilant.” (Humpback whale recorded at Big Sur.)

“The inspiration for this Agnus Dei came from a missionary to Labrador in 1909. In trying to find a symbol for “Lamb of God” that the Eskimos would understand, the translation of “kotik,” or young seal, was used. With its perfect whiteness, its gentle, helpless nature, and especially its innocent eyes, the image of a seal pup as the Lamb of God was apt.” The voices in the background are harp seals, recorded on the ice near the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis, dona nobis pacem.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Grant us thy peace.


For our lives for all creation, sing we our joyful praise to Thee.
For the mountains, hills and pastures, in the silent majesty,
For the earth forever turning, for the skies for ev’ry sea.
For all life, for all of Nature, sing we our joyful praise to Thee.
For the sun, for rain and thunder; for the land that makes us free;
For the stars, for all the heavens, sing we our joyful praise to Thee.
For the earth forever turning, for the skies of ev’ry sea.
To our Lord we sing returning to our blue-green hills of earth.


(Reprise of Canticle)



O our Mother the Earth, blessed is your name.

Blessed are your fields and forests,
your rocks and mountains,
your grasses and trees and flowers,
and every green and growing thing.

Blessed are your streams and lakes and rivers,
the oceans where our life began,
and all your waters that sustain our bodies
and refresh our souls.

Blessed is the air we breathe, your atmosphere,
that surrounds us and binds us to every living thing.

Blessed are all creatures who walk along your surface
or swim in your waters or fly through your air,
for they are all our relatives.

Blessed are all people who share this planet,
for we are all one family,
and the same spirit moves through us all.

Blessed is the sun, our day star,
bringer of morning and the heat of summer,
giver of light and life.

Blessed is the moon, our night lamp,
ruler of the tides,
and guardian of our dreams.

Blessed are the stars and planets, the time-keepers,
who fill our nights with beauty
and our hearts with awe.

O Great Spirit whose voice we hear in the wind
and whose face we see in the morning sun,
blessed is your name.

Help us to remember that you are everywhere,
and teach us the way of peace.


                                                                       – Helen Weaver



Copyright, Licensing Credits, and acknowledgements

The Wolf recording is courtesy Dr. Michael Fox, and the musical wren (Amazon Forest) courtesy of Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
The earth sounds in Prayer for Gaia were meticulously recorded by Doug Von Gausig, provided and copyrighted by, 2007.

Prayer for Gaia was inspired by the original Missa Gaia's Return to Gaia, an improvisation by Paul Halley and Paul Winter.

License Royalties have been paid to Paul Winter (Living Music), Jim Scott, Paul Halley, Oscar Castro-Neves, Jim Oler, and Jim Geffen.

When In Our Music: Words by Fred Pratt Green ©1972 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188 (ASCAP)


This CD is dedicated in loving memory of Rosamond R. and Robert E. Bennett.