Oregon Catholic Press recently announced the release of the Gentle Night 40th Anniversary Edition. This marks the 40th anniversary of one of the most beloved albums from the St. Louis Jesuits, and possibly the first contemporary liturgical collection to focus entirely on Advent and Christmas. First released in 1977, Gentle Night was the fourth collection from Bob Dufford, S.J.; John Foley, S.J.; Tim Manion; Roc O’Connor, S.J.; and Dan Schutte, considered by many to be the fathers of contemporary American liturgical music in the post-Vatican II era.
This anniversary edition is completely remixed and remastered, giving it a fresh, clean, almost-new sound. There are even a number of surprises that were discovered, thanks to modern technology, like the presence of a verse with SATB choir in “The Beautiful Mother” that didn’t make it on the original, and oboe and lead guitar parts for a few songs that were virtually inaudible on the old recording. With the support of the St. Louis Jesuits, OCP Executive Producer Kevin Walsh and Engineer Mike Moore worked closely with Dan Schutte to remix the fifteen tracks, bringing them up to the audio standards of twenty-first century recording technology.
“It was like peeling away the layers of years and hearing again the heart of the songs,” says Dan Schutte. “After transferring the audio from the original tapes to the current digital format, we heard the songs in a new way. I had to smile at our voices. We were so young! There was a moment when we happened to notice the date written on the boxes holding those original 2” tapes and were stunned to see that it was exactly forty years ago to the day that we had recorded those songs in the sweltering July heat of Phoenix in 1977. Now they will be heard with a new-found beauty.”
“We are so excited to be releasing this special edition of Gentle Night,” says OCP Publisher, Wade Wisler. “We hope that you enjoy it during this Advent and Christmas season. Thank you, Bob, Dan, John, Tim and Roc!” For more information on the Gentle Night 40th Anniversary Edition, visit www.ocp.org/en-us/collections.