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A haunting arrangement of “Were You There”

J-P Mauro - published on 08/04/17

Spirit Juice studios made a beautiful music video.

Spirit Juice Studios is a Chicago-based production company that produces videos that merge “the transformative power of high-quality visual media and the ever ancient, ever new beauty of Catholicism.”

Spirit Juice studios has created videos for many Catholic organizations, including the Archdioceses of Atlanta, Chicago, and New York, the Knights of Columbus, March for Life, and Word on Fire. They won an Emmy award this year for “Janessa’s Story,” a joint project with Aid For Women, which follows the story of a young woman who unexpectedly found herself pregnant.

Spirit Juice Studios released this unique version of “Were You There” a few weeks before Good Friday, this year. The music was composed by Sean Beeson, a composer who writes sacred music, as well as scores for video games. Beeson used a change in the tonal mode to create an eerie, suspenseful sound.

“Were You There” was written in the 19th century by African-American slaves. In 1940, it was included in the Episcopal Church’s hymnal and became the first spiritual to be included in any major American hymnal. It is reported that this was one of Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite tunes.

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CeciliaChristian Music
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