Wednesday December 10, 2014
Grammy Award-nominated and globally revered a cappella ensemble, SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK have released an inspired version of the classic Christmas carol, “SILENT NIGHT,” their first commercial holiday single ever on CDBaby.com. Sweet Honey will be debuting the song live on their current run of seasonal performances this month entitled, SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK: CELEBRATING THE HOLYDAYS. Their holiday run will also cap the year-long celebration of their 40th Anniversary which finishes at the end of this year.
The group rushed in to the studio to record last week after hearing a new arrangement of the popular Christmas carol that was written by Carol Maillard, one of its founding members. “It’s a favorite of our Holydays program,” explained Maillard, “We feel it evokes a lush and peaceful sentiment, encouraging us all to remember the reason for the season. During these trying times, when we are challenged on every front, we hope this song will bring a sense of calm and hope to all who listen,” she added.
“Silent Night” is performed by the ensemble’s core members, Louise Robinson, Carol Maillard, Nitanju Bolade Casel and Aisha Kahlil. Nitanju Bolade Casel produced the song, which was recorded, mixed and mastered at Airshow Studios, Takoma Park, MD by Chief Engineer Charlie Pilzer. The single was released by Sweet Honey’s independently owned record label, SHE-ROCKS 5, Inc. It is currently only available digitally on CDBaby.com, but can be purchased on most other digital online music stores starting December 15th.
The lyrics for original version of “Silent Night” (“Stille Nacht”) were written by a young Austrian priest, Father Joseph Mohr in 1816. The melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber, and it was first performed on Christmas Eve 1818 at St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, a village on the Salzachriver in Austria. In 1859, the Episcopal priest John Freeman Young, then serving at Trinity Church in New York city , published the English translation that is most frequently sung today. The carol has been translated into about 140 languages.