June Joplin & Matt Ault
Words, Music, & Piano:
Robert Leonard Reid
In his four decades in music, Bob Reid has performed many roles, from songwriter to choral singer with the Boston Symphony Orchestra to director of the Second Sunday Band at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Carson City to accompanist for songstress June Joplin in the Great American Songbook duo “Me and Bobby McGee” to composer and lyricist of three Nevada-based cabaret musicals–I Say Nevada!, I Say Nevada! (Government Bailout Edition), and None of the Above! Bob is proudest, however, of his role as an all-purpose, journeyman piano player. He’s been a rehearsal pianist, cocktail-hour and dinner pianist at a variety of northern Nevada restaurants, and keyboard player with several bands, including Lost at the Lake and Moonlight Express. In 2006, President Jimmy Carter’s son Jack chose Bob’s song, “There’s a Place in My Heart Called Nevada,” as his theme song in his (ultimately futile) bid for the United States Senate.
THE BRISTLECONE MASS
The Choir Loft Tapes
A 90-minute, 24-song composition for four solo singers, chorus, musicians. mimes, dancers, and street performers. Dedicated to the Glory of God, founded in the beauty and passion of the contemporary Episcopal Eucharist, and inspired by the Sioux prophet Black Elk and his great vision of a Holy Tree that will take root, and flower in our midst, and shelter every living thing in happiness beneath its murmuring leaves.
“ A composition with profound liturgical theology. It went from the words of institution ‘Do this in remembrance of me’ to a song about Jesus being present as a homeless person pushing his shopping cart in the streets, pulling his coat together against the cold. This Mass understood what the incarnation that happens in the Mass means. It concluded with the eschatological welcome song “Come on in.” Along with music by a top jazz [quartet] and excellent solos supported by the Sagebrush Chorale, there were dancers (square, ballet, interpretive), mimes, and a juggler. The only place I have seen anything remotely comparable to the Bristlecone Mass is at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. ”
The Rt. Rev. Dan Thomas Edwards
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada
” The Bristlecone Mass, born of the rich imagination of Robert Leonard Reid, is steeped in the ancient style of liturgy as cosmic drama. Its stage is thus the timeless universe. It portrays nothing less than the unfolding of creation–birth, life, transition, death, transformation. The ancient tongue speaks of resurrection, that fragile human experience of divine love reaching through all chaos, all despair, all death, which life inevitably has to dispense, to create new things out of old, new visions out of dust....
The Bristlecone Mass is laced with subtle and beguiling humor, embedded in tune and text, inviting each of us to laugh at ourselves and our all-too-creaturely absurdities. ‘Are you rich, are you poor? Are you happy, are you sad? Are you a fool, are you a king?’ All are invited to the shelter of the Holy Tree. ”