Philadelphia Orchestra      Music of the Baroque, Chicago      Bach Society of St. Louis      Carmel Bach Festival
Los Angeles Master Chorale      The Florida Orchestra      Cape Cod Symphony      Alabama Symphony
Masterworks Chorale, NJ      Huntington Choral Society, NY      Music in the Somerset Hill, NJ      Monterey Opera
Univ. Music Society, Ann Arbor MI      Long Beach Camerata Singers, CA      Cuesta Chorale, San Juis Obispo, CA
Canada: Victoria Symphony      Calgary Philharmonic      Eaton Singers, Alberta      Pro Coro Canada, Edmonton

David Gordon Supertitles
elegant words for heart and mind...

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Lighting Booth

View from the lighting booth, Sunset Center, Carmel CA

Good supertitles are not literal or word-for-word translations. They invite the audience into the experience of listening, allowing them to quiet their minds and open their hearts, making them more susceptible to the power of the music. The text is not simply translated, it is condensed, carefully pruned, without eliminating the essential meaning and message. Supertitles should present an accurate sense of the words within the context of the musical composition and the intention of the composer. Nothing should jar the senses or distract the listener from engaging with the music.

Although my catalogue includes the music of many composers, I especially enjoy creating supertitles for the music of Bach. Drawing on decades of experience as a Bach performer, lecturer, and translator, I create supertitles that are lovingly and carefully distilled to the musical, linguistic, and theological essence of the original text. Please read my mission statement here.

My supertitles are standard PowerPoint presentations, compatible with Macs or PCs. Each rental includes a clearly labeled cueing score. Here is a series of photos of supertitles in action.

Excerpt of Monterey Herald review of Bach's St. Matthew Passion at the Carmel Bach Festival.

"This performance of the great Bach masterpiece is further served by new supertitles created by David Gordon, who has spent the last 37 years performing and studying the Passion. What [conductor Bruno] Weil has achieved with the musical elements, Gordon accomplishes with the text, reducing the supertitles to their purest form in clear, elegant language.

"So often with this work, we must fight with archaic phrasing from the original German and clunky translations that distance us from the full Passion experience.

"For example, a recent recording of the Matthew Passion gives the English translation of one line as: 'Who has treated Thine eyes' light that no light else can equal, so shamefully amiss.'

"In Gordon's lucid translation this becomes,
'And those eyes ... eyes once bright beyond compare, why have they grown so dim?' "

Barbara Rose Shuler
Monterey Herald, July 20, 2007