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4.2 Disruptive Technology

With the advent of the personal computer and more recently of tablets and other e-readers, the door is wide open for digital solutions and answers to the challenges described above. The advantages of digital solutions include consistency, efficiency, flexibility, and low cost of maintenance.

As early as 2002, at St. Gregory Palamas Monastery, Fr. Seraphim was faced with the challenge of managing liturgical texts from several sources for its full monastic church services. He experimentally implemented a kind of digital chanters stand in the monastery chapel. It consisted of a touch screen connected to a small PC, running a homemade application he called AGES (Auto-Generated Ecclesiastical Services), and now referred to as proto-AGES. Proto-AGES was a database of liturgical texts in Greek and English, a rubrics engine capable of producing prepared, complete services on demand, and a viewer for use in church. While the experiment was short-lived and the proto-AGES code is obsolete, it serves as the prototype for the platform that AGES Initiatives is currently developing.

In 2009, the St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, NC installed and implemented digital chanters stands on the solea of its sanctuary, at the recommendation of Fr. Seraphim Dedes, its Music Director since 2007. The ill-adapted analogion (lectern) was removed, and in its place are three A/V carts (draped in black velvet), on which are three 19” flat screen monitors connected to one PC. Using mouse and keyboard, the choir director navigates through the pages of text and music and leads the 10-15 singers who cluster around the monitors. The same setup is replicated on the left side of the solea for the women’s choir.

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