Sunday’s Song: Seeking a new perspective

When I think about Sundays, what I value is communion, reflection, music, words and community. These values have developed over a lifetime of Sundays. But in reality, those are my values everyday.  Sunday is just the day I have set aside to celebrate those values. The day we choose is not important.  What matters is that we take the time.

Taking time to commune and reflect, alone and within a community, is how new perspectives can be born.  We all need those moments that form the genesis of creating a new lens – a new portal for seeing ourselves, our loved ones, our work, our lives, our world.  Today’s music video selection focuses on the idea of perspective and how things shift depending on what we allow ourselves to see, or even not to see.  It’s an incredible work and worthy of sharing.

The video (Doug Urquhart) itself is stunning.  When coupled with the music of Michael Wynne and the words of Meghan J. Ward it goes beyond the visual to the compelling . Expand your screen and let the images and words soak in. Borrowing from the title, make this a moment for beholding the world anew.

What a wonderful moment to take us into the week. For this week, let Sunday’s song also be Monday’s message so that when we return to our routines, we can once again see that world of our childhood and as Meghan exhorts us: be captivated, enthralled, awed.

Sunday’s Song: A Vision and Mission for Music

At times, for the Sunday’s Song series on the blog I re-visit performers that continue to astonish and impress me with their mastery and message. Today is one of those times. The Piano Guys are in fact perhaps at or certainly near the top of that list.  Their music is a blend of original works and covers. Their collaborations are as eclectic as their song choices. And yet, they all serve the same purpose: to create a pause for us in life that refreshes and inspires us with beauty and reminds us just what is possible.

The Piano Guys are currently on a quest to bring us something more.  They are bringing to life their own dream of filming their videos and playing their music at each of the Seven Wonders of the World. It began with The Great Wall of China and continues here with the statue Christ the Redeemer built in the 1920’s on the peak of a cliff overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The statue soars as high as a ten story building, stretches 100 feet wide and weighs over 1.4 million pounds.  This man-made wonder is paired in the video with a nearby natural wonder, Iguazu Falls, 275 waterfalls that stretch across 1.7 miles. God’s wonder and man’s wonder brought together with their original arrangement pairing the hymn “How Great Thou Art” with “Gabriel’s Oboe” (theme for the movie “The Mission”).

Throughout this piece there are reminders that while incredible beauty and sounds abound all around us, as creative beings we still have an innate need to not only create, but to continuously hone those skills. And now and then, miracle moments happen.

Enjoy.

 

Sunday’s Song: Every awesome woman was once a little girl

This is an encore “share” for Sunday’s Song. My daughter and grand-girls are on my mind today. When I look at them, I am reminded that our truest beauty lies in our spirit and in the uniqueness that is God’s special gift to all of us. Sometimes in the chaos of life it is easy to forget how incredibly blessed we are to witness the growing of that beauty.

The artist is one of my favorites (Jana Stanfield).  May we all be inspired to give the girls in our lives hope and opportunity.  The possibilities for them are beyond what we can fathom.

oak tree in acornLike a tiny speck of sand can grow into a pearl, every awesome woman was once a little girl.

A miracle of nature, brilliant by design, like the summer sun she was born to shine.

The heart of every girl is like a tiny seed, with a little help she can be a mighty tree.

With roots so deep she can reach for the sky, she can build a better world, she’s not afraid to try.

Give a girl hope and opportunity, you will be amazed at all that she can be.

Every awesome woman was once a little girl with the power to change her world.

Sunday’s Song: A lesson on waiting

Don't Wait Green Road Sign with Dramatic Clouds, Sun Rays and Sky.From time to time in social media someone will post a question for their group to answer that can be thought provoking for your own answer and inspirational when reading how others respond.  One of those came through at the beginning of 2014 and it was this:  Using only two words, what advice would you like to give to your younger self based on what you know now and your life experience?

The challenge is first choosing one thing.  And then the next challenge is how to express is in only two words.  Normally this would take quite a bit of introspection on my part and perhaps even some free writing but not this time.  I read the question and an immediate answer was there: Don’t wait.  If I were to meet my younger self today, that would be my message to her.  Don’t wait.

So many of us have or are “waiting” for something that we believe will complete us and give us that ultimate satisfaction in life. Perhaps money, time, an idea, a friend, a child – the list goes on because for each of us what the wait is about is whatever we believe we “need” but cannot have now.  I spent a lot of my life waiting.  Thinking that what was next would be “it” but in truth, what is now is where our joy is found. And all of those things we are waiting for are with us right now – just waiting on us.

If you’ve been with me awhile here on the blog, you know that Carrie Newcomer is one of my favorite artists.  For her upcoming album scheduled to release in April of this year she took a different approach.  She embraced her community and they embraced her back. She opened up the opportunity to be a part of the launch.  The goal of 500 participants was exceeded and over 750 people were able to be a part of this new album.  That means 750 people are part of bringing these wonderful life expressions and celebrations to the world.  She could have waited. But she didn’t.  She shared the opportunity and as a result, it was given life.  And so on this first Sunday of the second month of 2014, let’s follow her lead.  Don’t wait.  Embrace it. Share it. Every little bit of it.

 

Every little bit of it

(Lyrics & Music Carrie Newcomer)

Just beyond my sight something that I cannot see

I’ve been circling around a thought that’s been circling around me

Like the vapor of a song that is just out of ear shot

I thought I knew the question but I guess not

I swam against the tide I tripped on my own pride

So I’ll try again today to get out of my own way

The face was always in the stone said Michelangelo

You just have to chip and clear to see what is already there

There it is in the apple, of every new notion

There it is in the scar healed over what was broken

In the branches, in the whispering, in the silence and the sighs

And the curious promise of limited time

It’s true although it’s hard – a shadow glides over the ridge

And one last beating heart tries with all its might to live

We sense but can’t describe from the corner of our eye

Something nameless and abiding and so we keep transcribing

There it is just below the surface of things

In a flash of blue and the turning of wings

Drain the glass, drink it down

Every moment of this, every little bit of it

Every little bit.

Sunday’s Song: Behind the music

flock of birds against the setting sunThe selections for each Sunday’s Song post are inspired by different things.  Sometimes it is the song, others  it is the artist.  At times it is the lyrics.  It has also been the video and the story attached to the song. But in each case, there is something distinctive that has inspired me to think, to reflect and in many cases to act. Music is a powerful creative force from the making and in the hearing.

For this week, the inspiration came from the artist’s own notes.  Benjamin Everson is a gifted singer.  He is also a talented technician in the recording studio. Others have done what he does. It’s not unique to him but because he uses only his own voice, the result cannot be anything but uniquely his. He sings alone and he sings a cappella. If that’s a new term for you, it simply means that his “voice” is the only instrument.  No keyboards or brass or woodwinds or percussion.  Just his voice.

He takes a song, usually a known hymn but sometimes music of his own creation, and painstakingly records multiple tracks of himself singing different harmonies.  Those tracks are then merged together so that instead of listening to them alone, you hear them together  That’s the technician’s skill at work.  And often he uses technology to enhance the sounds themselves as a baseline. But not in today’s song.  In today’s song, it is just his voice, recorded and then brought together.  This is one of his original works.

Here is his comment that inspired me:  “Since people have been curious, I wanted to mention that I did not use pitch correction software on any of the harmonies you hear.  It is all real, no computer harmonizers, chorusing effects, etc. Just some rich reverb to give it a ‘cathedral effect’. I am not against the use of those things, but I chose not to use any of them on this song.  Sometimes, it’s just nice to let the human voice do its own thing!”

And those words inspired me.  Because as humans, we can often get caught up in today’s technologies and all the many things that are now possible.  And those can all be good and valuable things.  But sometimes, it’s just nice to let the “human” do its own thing.  So today, let’s get back to that.  Let’s let our voices do their own thing.  Let’s speak and sing and share.  In our own voice.