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Texas Early Music Project
13915 Burnet Road, Suite 402 
Austin, TX 78728
(512) 377-6961

For ticket and concert venue inquiries, email the Box Office

TEMP is a performing ensemble and not a presenting organization or an agency. Please do not contact TEMP about hosting other early music groups.
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13915 Burnet Road, Suite 402
Austin, TX 78728
United States

(512) 377-6961

Founded in 1987 by Daniel Johnson, the Texas Early Music Project is dedicated to preserving and advancing the art of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical music through performance, recordings, and educational outreach. 

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Explore more than 700 years of musical transformation

Filtering by Tag: Noël: An Early Christmas

The post-Thanksgiving, post-Blagh Fridaegh blog

Danny Johnson

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Yes, I indeed missed my opportunity to write a blog last Friday and call it Blog Friday, but it just couldn't be helped. Here we go, though: The Early Christmas concert is just less than two weeks away. Say that slooooowly and try to avoid hyperventilating. It hasn't worked for me; maybe it will for you. 

Our Christmas concerts offer a multiplicity of delicious music from diverse styles from diverse traditions and diverse musical eras. The upcoming one (in just less than two weeks away—did I mention that?) stays in that mold with some new elements and some that we haven't performed in so long, they seem like they're new! In honor of all this diversity of style, etc., we're using a new word to describe the concert: Multilicious! Feel free to use it. Give us credit.

Read the full program description and listen to audio teasers below. 

We hope to see you at one of our multilicious Early Christmas concerts! Buy tickets now because they often sell out! 



An Early Christmas

7:00 pm, Friday, December 8, 2017
First English Lutheran Church, 3001 Whitis Ave., Austin, TX

 7:00 pm, Saturday, December 9, 2017
First English Lutheran Church, 3001 Whitis Ave., Austin, TX

3:00 pm, Sunday, December 10, 2017
First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX

Admission $30 general; $25 seniors (60+); $5 students (at the door only)
Tickets available in advance online or by cash, check, or credit card at the door.

For more information, call 512-377-6961 and leave a message,
or email

Join Texas Early Music Project for a multilicious feast of Christmas music through the ages. People in different cultures across the centuries have celebrated this season of expectation and rebirth with sweet Dutch lullabies and joyous English carols, rousing Spanish villancicos and dulcet French noëls, Celtic cradle-songs and exuberant folk-tunes.

We’ve chosen pieces ranging from Medieval Spain and England to Baroque France and Germany and beyond, encompassing more than 500 years of humanity’s hope, love, and joy. TEMP puts its distinctive stamp on the intangible essence and passion of Christmas, with arrangements for solo voices, small chorus, harp, violin, flute, mandolin, viols, and lute.

Enjoy these audio teasers from our CDs Gaudete: An Early Christmas and Swete was the Songe:

Enjoy more selections from Noël: An Early Christmas and Stella splendens: An Early Music Christmas.

Brett Barnes, Cayla Cardiff, Jeffrey Jones-Ragona, Stephanie Prewitt, Meredith Ruduski, and Jenifer Thyssen are featured soloists, and nationally acclaimed historical harpist Therese Honey joins TEMP's troupe of solo voices, small chorus, violin, flute, mandolin, viols, and lute.

Join Texas Early Music Project for a splendid and enriching evening of music. Encompassing 500 years of festive creativity and beauty, this music is sure to delight your ears and warm your heart. And you can use our new word, multilicious!

Click on the image above to      buy tickets now     !

Click on the image above to buy tickets now!

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On the Fifth Day of Early Christmas My Direc ... Wait! What is that Odor?

Danny Johnson


Do you remember in “Independence Day” when Will Smith’s character was dragging an alien invader through the desert complaining about how the attack was ruining his July 4th holiday, oh, “AND WHAT IS THAT SMELL???” A little pummeling followed.

Well, don’t worry, the odor that the French noël Quelle est cette odeur agréable refers to is nothing like that. The text is a variant of the annunciation to the shepherds in Luke, focusing on the surprisingly pleasing scents coming from the manger after the birth of the baby Jesus: “Whence is that goodly fragrance flowing, Shepherds, to steal the senses all away?” The tune appears in English sources as early as 1710 so it was probably popular in France for at least a decade before that, probably coming from the late 16th century. It was used (as a drinking song) in John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera in 1728, as were a number of melodies that we’ve come to love—more about that later. The song would probably be more well known in the West than it is, but since the title has been translated as Whence is that goodly fragrance, What is this perfume so appealing, What Perfume This? O Shepherds Say!, and a few other hard-to-negotiate-with-a-straight-face lines, it's probably going to remain an uphill battle...

Our arrangement of the tune is in the style of a gentle 17th-century, French Baroque chamber work, with two viols, violin, harp, lute, and flute in support of the tenor soloist, Jeffrey Jones-Ragona. It is really lovely. You should have no problem avoiding mental images of icky smells, alien or otherwise. Here is a teaser from our CD Noël: An Early Christmas, sung by the birthday girl, Stephanie Prewitt (see the Day 1 post):

More tomorrow about how to remove
unpleasant household smells.
Eight days to go.

Click to buy tickets for our Christmas concerts on Dec. 11, 12, and 13!

Click to buy tickets for our Christmas concerts on Dec. 11, 12, and 13!

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