I Am Filled With Heavenly Treasures

Composer(s): Anonymous, Elder Otis Swayer, Eldress Mary Ann Gillespie, Second Family, Lucy Willard, Thomas Hammond, D. A. Buckingham, Sister Cynthia Annis, Brother Chase Allard, Elder Abraham Perkins
Album Title: I Am Filled With Heavenly Treasures 
Cat. No.: 80617
Genre: Traditional
Description: The Enfield Shaker Singers, Mary Ann Haagen, musical director

Shaker music is a unique body of American sacred folk music, created by eighteen American Shaker communities over a period of one hundred and forty years (1780–1920). This rich tradition of song continues to serve the Shaker community in the twenty-first century because it embodies their history, records the testimony of Shakers "who have gone before," articulates the religious principles on which Shakerism is founded, and reflects the faith of the contemporary community. Shaker music was created and nurtured in communities that prized isolation from worldly ways. Shaker melodies, although related to the larger tradition of Anglo-American folk songs, are not bound by their form, tonality, melodic or rhythmic structure.

The Enfield Shaker singers are a vocal ensemble of adults and children devoted to the study and performance of Shaker music. The group is open to all without audition, and is made up of both trained musicians and amateur singers. We draw heavily on the repertoire received or composed in the two societies that were the New Hampshire Bishopric-Canterbury and Enfield. Since the New Hampshire societies enriched their repertoire with songs from all the other Shaker communities, they also sing songs of the New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio and Kentucky Shakers.

The Enfield Shaker Singers are drawn to Shaker spirituals that illuminate Shaker communal values and broaden our definitions of the sacred. The songs included on this recording illustrate some of the many ways music served Shaker communities. Most Shaker song texts are theologically direct, emotionally honest, and expressive of our shared humanity.

On this recording we offer thirty-nine songs we have come to love. Some have special meaning for individuals. We associate others with a particular singer in the group, or an occasion when it was sung. Each song offers us slightly different insights into Shaker aspiration, and Shaker faith. We hope that, through this recording, others will also come to love and sing them too.  -Mary Ann Haagen, from the liner notes
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