A World of Speculation

I love Incarnation Broadcast Network, which is why it’s so maddening that it’s so charmingly wonky. (I listen by way of Live 365.)

A Liturgy in fine Byzantine chant is interrupted suddenly by a whiney-voiced woman giving an honestly inspiring reflection about the Fatherhood of God.

When she finishes, a Liturgy begins that has the background noise of a hotel conference room, so badly recorded (on top of being badly sung) that it literally hurts my ears (I’m listening at work with earphones).

I have to tune out, because I can’t stand it, but when I come back a little later, the noted Orthodox musicologist Vladimir Morosan is giving a talk on the late-19th-, early-20th-century Russian liturgical music composer whose name I didn’t quite catch. I had hopes of learning about him in more depth, but it was not to be.

Morosan is interrupted by a minute or so of Russian Church bells, followed by yet another program of liturgical music, interrupted by yet more church bells.

Then we get a 30-second snippet of a talk about the role of the unordained theologian in Eastern and Western theology. I’ve just gotten hooked when it switches to Pascal vespers.

Bewildered, I go away to Pat’s Guitar Jazz, which at least has a program and plays the song all the way through.

Incarnation Broadcast is typically Orthodox–done with love and devotion, but seemingly built like the great churches of Byzantium, without a plan, just a pile of stones formed into arches and domes and overlaid with stunning frescoes that testify to the glory of God.

UPDATE: I suppose it’s only fair to report a few days later a normal morning of Web radio at the Incarnation Broadcast Network. I heard the rest of Vladimir Morosan’s discussion of Chesnikov (that’s who it was), an excellent workshop-type lecture on the measure of one’s closeness to God and good music played from beginning to end.