Check out the new song,”Drifting”

I was talking recently about how I had a few new songs in the works.  Last night I finally got the first one ironed out and ready to upload!

So check out the new song, Drifting.  You can check it out on the Music page, or listen to it right here:

My wife came up with the concept of the song, and the majority of the lyrics, then I wrote the music and put it all together. It’s about the heartbreaking issue of homelessness, and it poses some difficult questions about whether or not our efforts are actually helping…

This one really hits home for us, and I’m guessing we’re not alone.

Same “tension”, new direction

Since I’m still getting some regular traffic on this blog, I thought I’d highlight something new that I’m up to: music

Here’s a little blurb from my new site:

Some days, I’d be perfectly content to just enjoy all the amazing music that’s already out there.  There’s so much of it, what else could I possibly have to add, right?

But other days, it seems like if I don’t create my art, if I don’t make my music and get it out there, I’d be missing the boat on something really important.

So, here I am.  Making my music and sharing it with the world.  I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t care whether you like it or not…  I really do hope you like it, and that it strikes a chord, or a nerve, or something.

A little detail on the name, the Tension.

I’ve always been kind of an idealist.  Which you might think would mean that I am a pretty optimistic guy, but I’m actually not at all.  I’m pretty critical and pessimistic, actually.  That’s what seems to happen when the realities of life come crashing down into the hopes and dreams of an idealist.

I find myself constantly torn between the amazing things that we could do in this life, and the reality that the day to day can be a struggle for many of us.  The heights of human achievement, and the depths of our dysfunction.  Our unfathomable capacity for healing and love, coupled with our seemingly inescapable tendency to destroy and hate.

This is the tension we find ourselves in.  This is where our dreams and reality meet.

This is the Tension…  welcome.

So, thanks for stopping by my blog.  But I’d love it if you’d join me over at my new site as I continue to wade through the tension…

Working on a new song

One of my favorite music-related blogs is Aaron Niequist‘s.  When I read it, I am often inspired to create, or am exposed to something new and interesting.

Case in point: a recent post titled “a farm without fences” has got my creative juices flowing:

(Africans) think of Christianity as a farm with no fence.  Our question is, ‘Are you heading towards the farm, or away from it?’”

I love the imagery of that… I started writing some lyrics just now, and hopefully it will materialize into a song.

Stay tuned!

This is the kind of stuff that gets me going…

Seth Godin has so much good stuff to say.  Honestly, it’s amazing.  Here’s something he said recently that really resonates with me and this musical endeavor that I’m setting out on:

“There are six billion people in the world. Even if your market is hand-made spoke shaves for left-handed woodworkers, there are more people in your market than you can ever hope to track down.”

I’ve said before that I struggle sometimes with thinking that there’s so much good music out there already, should I really bother adding my own into the mix?

Posts like this remind me that, yes, I should.  There are so many different people out there, so many different audiences, that there may just be people out there that are waiting to listen to what I might create…

So, here I am.  Making my music, and (somewhat reluctantly) sharing it with the world.  Or at least, with the Internet and Google’s search bots…

Don’t shy away from making your art as well, whatever it may be.  There’s plenty of room for all of us to be creative, and share our art with the world.  We need you.  Don’t let us down.

New songs on the way

I realize that the songs I have now in the Music section are pretty… sparse.  I just really wanted to  get the site up and running, and I was procrastinating too much.

So, I launched the site with a few small songs that I’ve had “out there” already (honestly, mostly because they’re instrumental).

But, I have a few new songs in the works, some that are pretty close to being done, so stay tuned for updates.  I should be uploading them soon.

Bright Eyes – Four Winds

A little while back, my super-hip-sister Nicole sent me a track by Bright Eyes, called “Four Winds”, from the new-ish album called Cassadaga.

Aside from this being a musically fantastic song (a little folk, a little rock, a little bluegrass/country fiddle), the lyrics are continually bowling me over with layers and layers of interesting themes. Here’s the part that hit me the most:

The Bible’s blind, the Torah’s deaf, the Qur’an is mute
If you burned them all together you’d be close to the truth still
They’re poring over Sanskrit under Ivy League moons
While shadows lengthen in the sun
Cast on a school of meditation built to soften the times
And hold us at the center while the spiral unwinds
It’s knocking over fences, crossing property lines
Four winds cry until it come

Setting aside Conor Oberst’s (the singer/songwriter) obvious disdain for religions and their texts… I think he makes some really profound points, if I’m understanding him correctly.

He’s pointing out that all our studying and searching of ancient texts is causing us to ignore the increasing problems that are all around us (the shadows lengthening).

While I would disagree with him a bit, and say that I personally believe that the Bible is life-changing and life-giving (when read properly, as a narrative of the history of God’s involvement with man and not a science textbook), I absolutely agree with him on this point. We’re stuck in our religions while everything is unwinding around us (“And hold us at the center while the spiral unwinds”).

God wants to bring his Kingdom/Heaven to Earth, here-and-now, and start making the world more like it was intended to be. We can’t do that if we’ve got our heads stuck in the sand.

Here’s another quote with a similar theme, it’s the opening of the song:

Your class, your caste, your country, sect, your name or your tribe
There’s people always dying trying to keep them alive
There are bodies decomposing in containers tonight
In an abandoned building where
A squatter’s made a mural of a Mexican girl

This seems to be an indictment on the fact that we’re fighting/killing over stuff that doesn’t matter (class, caste, country, etc.) while there are people dying simply because they’re trying to get to America to start a better life (people from Asia dying inside shipping containers as they’ve traveled on a boat across the Pacific, Central/South Americans coming up to America and squatting in abandoned buildings, etc.). Regardless of what you think about illegal immigration, I think (hope?) that we can all agree that people dying for any reason is a problem…

You can check out the rest of the lyrics here, along with a lot of people’s thoughts and ideas about what else the song might mean. Also, you can watch the music video for the song below, if you’d like to hear the whole thing. Really cool idea for the video, by the way. Since he’s (obviously) saying some fairly inflammatory things in this song, the video is staged as a live performance somewhere, and people gradually get more and more mad at him as he’s singing, and they start booing and throwing stuff at the band while they’re playing. It’s pretty cool.

create the future

“We have an improper perspective of our role in the creative process. We are called by God and placed here by God to create the future. We’re trying so hard not to infringe into God’s sovereign space that we sit passively by until the future happens to us and we must respond to it.”

Erwin McManus, pastor from Mosaic Church. I’m pretty sure it’s not a word-for-word quote, but you get the idea…

I think it’s a much needed reminder that while God is capable of doing anything He wants to and is indeed ultimately in control, He continually chooses to use people as His hands and feet in the world; to “be Jesus” to a world in need of love, healing and rescue…

The unfortunate flip side of this is that He has allowed, and will continue to allow, bad things to happen to people… even good, innocent people. And it seems to me that rather than asking God where He was in the midst of a tragedy, maybe we should be asking ourselves: where were we?

Reminds me of a song I heard recently, called “Help Me Out Here” by The Cobalt Season. (I just saw them live, by the way, and if they are ever coming through your area, I HIGHLY recommend checking them out).

“Where do we go from here? God only knows
Or perhaps that’s just a bunch bullshit spiritual prose
Perhaps we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for
Perhaps God has been just waiting at our door
He’s waiting at the door”

(HT: CatalystSpace Blog)