“My gift, if I have one, is to take what’s in the air and use it.”

John Rutter, English, composer, most known for scores of globally loved Christmas songs


“I am married to a composer who daily encounters the disdain of melody by a considerable contingent of classical and pop music composers.

I sit. I listen. I try to be open-minded, being an artist and all. Yet my soul doesn’t seem to move to melody-less drones or hyper per-cussed, compressed sound technology. There’s no entry point for me to participate in the composer’s efforts. Instead I’m offered a spectacle to shortly forget and certainly never be able to hum to myself.

But a gifted melodist, well, they move me, transform me, transport me. So I remain, not for a lack of trying, unresponsive to the censorial movement against melody. In my hopelessly ‘out of sync’ sensibilities I find myself at Christmas thinking of Mr. John Rutter and his “gift” for melody.  Melodies that, I’m going to wager, will be sung long after we are no longer here.”

— Douglas