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Album Spotlight: Garritan Community Christmas Album Volume 5

Last year, on Christmas Eve, I made my final Christmas music post of the year about the first four volumes of the Garritan Community Christmas Album. A few weeks ago, in the comments of that post, Tommy from Secular Xmas pointed out that Volume 5 is now available, which brings the total number of free Christmas songs available from the Garitan site to 98.

Each song on a Garritan Community Christmas Album is created by a single person working on a computer using Garritan libraries, which contain samples of real musical instruments. Like the first four volumes, the songs on Volume 5 are mostly orchestral in nature and are all very, very well done. Jim Hammer's "Christmas at Home" adds vocals to the mix with a nice sentimental tale about spending Christmas at home with your loved ones. Jerry Wickham's "O du Fröliche, O du Selig" features some beautiful bell sounds. Pat Azzarello's "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is a cool jazzy version with more vocals. And my personal favourite on the album, Toby Bresnahan's "Silent Night", has a guitar sound that is so good I have difficulty envisioning how it could have been synthesized.

If you enjoyed the first 4 volumes, Garritan Community Christmas Album Volume 5 should be a must-download for you. And if you've never heard a Garritan Community Christmas Album, now is as great a time as ever to start. In addition to complete MP3 downloads of every CD, the Garritan website features cover and disc art for the last 4 volumes (I can't seem to find any for the 2004 CD), a Flash-based music player that allows all of the tracks on Volume 5 to be streamed directly from the site, and a host of other information. There is even a limited offer for a free (minus shipping costs) CD of volume 5, so if you like to have physical copies of your music, this could be right up your alley.

Happy listening!


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