music-albany The Shaker recordings in the historic 1848 Meeting House

In the late summer of 2011, at the invitation of the Shaker Heritage Society, Albany Pro Musica had the unique opportunity to record several songs that were transcribed from the original Shaker manuscripts found in the archives at Hamilton College.


A Welcome Hymn for Holy Mother Wisdom

Holy Mother Wisdom is the female aspect of the Shaker Godhead. The Shakers believe in a biune God (God the Father and Holy Mother Wisdom) rather than the trinity. Holy Mother Wisdom was one of the key spirits who manifested themselves to the Shakers in the early 1840s. This is the welcome song to her spirit at Watervliet.


Praise to the Foundation Builder's, Mother's First Born

A song dedicated to the earliest Shaker converts at Watervliet. The explanation given with the song contains the instructions from angels as to how it should be performed.


A Sacred Roll

This is one of the spiritually inspired songs of the early 1840s. It is addressed to the people of the Iberian Peninsula. It contains some angelic language and is thematically linked to the publication of the Shaker's A Holy, Sacred and Divine Roll and Book, which was printed in 1843 and sent all over the world as a final testament of God. (You can find the text of it on Google books, the author is Philemon Stewart).


The Good Believer's Prayer

A concise expression of Shaker simplicity and humility from Watervliet.


Mother Ann's Funeral Song

A rare song dating from the period of the earliest Shakers, sung at Mother Ann's funeral, which was attended to at Watervliet in September of 1784. No words are used.


The Precious Way of God

An early Watervliet hymn attributed to Seth Youngs Wells, ca. 1810.


Father Joseph's Experience

Father Joseph Meachem was the first American leader of the Shakers. He died in 1796 at New Lebanon, New York. This song was given by his spirit to Watervliet musician David Austin Buckingham in 1851. It is a wonderful, simple piece.


Mother Ann's Welcome in Wisdom's Valley

This song was written to welcome Mother Ann's spirit back to Watervliet during the Era of Manifestations.


Happy Anticipation

A very rare harmonized song, written at the Canterbury, New Hampshire, community, but evidently sung at Watervliet. Harmony was not introduced among the Shakers until around 1870. However, a few early harmonized songs survive, these are mostly gifts form the spirits during the Era of manifestations, which started at Watervliet in 1837.

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