Bobby and Karissa Chastain
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Bobby ChastainWell, being a composer I had to seize the opportunity to put my signature on the ceremony. Karissa is waiting for my to write music that is inspired by her, and this will be my ultimate chance. It also makes a great wedding gift to her. I didn't want to use the traditional wedding music that seems almost trite now, plus a few Catholic diocese still don't allow some of the standard music anyways. So, instead of picking other appropriate literature, the right decisian was obvious: I would have to write it myself. As of right now, I don't want to say too much about what I'm going to do, so check back periodically for any updates!

You can view my composition website here
and my MySpace page here.

Ceremony Music Samples

These mp3 files are small samples of otherwise larger works. I didn't want to give it all away yet, so I'm only providing small samples for download as of yet!


So what's the deal with traditional wedding music?

It's actually only two selections from the repertoire: The bridal chorus that we've come to know as "Here Comes the Bride" from Richard Wagner's Lohengrin, and the wedding march from Felix Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." When you understand the story behind the music (Not the VH1 version) you might ask yourself, "Is this the message I want to start my marriage with?" So what "message" is this? No, this isn't a church youth group session about not listening to rock music. And of course, no, you will not here satanic incantations if you play a Wagner album backwards. However, here is the real story behind the music.

In Richard Wagner's Lohengrin we hear the story of Elsa who needs a knight to defend her innocence regarding the dissapearance of her brother, the heir to the throne. The court calls for volunteers in vain as nobody shows up, followed by Elsa going into a trance state describing her "knight in armor." As everybody mutters of her insanity a swan-drawn boat pulls in carrying Elsa's knight. Elsa's mystery knight agrees to rid her of her accuser and marry her as long as she will agree to the prenup of never asking his name.
The Mystery knight then banishes Elsa's accuser who leaves with his nasty witch wife. Being a witch of course, Elsa's accuser's wife had to put doubt into Elsa's mind about her mystery knight. Now we hear "Here, Comes the Bride" in its original orchestration by the composer. Elsa and her mystery knight are married, but Elsa is burning with curiosity. Before they could consumate the marriage she asks the forbidden question. Halt
Instantly we return to the court where Elsa's knight reveals himself as Lohengrin, son of the Holy Grail knight Parsifal.
Shortly after Lohengrin leaves, Elsa's brother returns and she dies in his arms.

Hmmmmm, so here we have a marriage that begins with a couple that don't even know eachother on a first name basis. They never consummate the marriage legally annulling their union. After her "husband" abandons her for some accursed reason, Elsa dies a tragic and ironic death. I think I'll write something instead of this processional tune.

In Felix Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream at least two marriages actually do legitamately take place, but not before a series of farse events. The warrior Theseus has to capture Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, and take her as his wife. He will carry her into his palace caged like an animal, not the ideal wedding proposal. Still before the wedding can take place,Titania, Queen of the Fairies, must be drugged and profess her love to the half-man, half-ass, named Bottom (yet another word for ass).

Of course A Midsummer Night's Dream isn't nearly as bad as Lohengren, but I still find a cause to write my own recessional

By the way, does Here Comes the Bride remind anybody else of a drinking song?