Andy Crouch, in his book Culture Making, argues that cultural artifacts don’t actually change culture unless they’re made public. As long as they’re in a vacuum it is impossible for them to change the horizons of possibility.
For as long as I’ve followed Jesus one of the main questions I’ve wrestled with is what to do with my music. Since the age of seven, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do with my life and when I found Jesus and discovered my calling lied elsewhere, I was perfectly content pursuing that. For the most part. In the back of my mind the question still lingered: Not everyone can play guitar. Not everyone can sing. Not everyone can do it simultaneously. Not everyone can write a song. Granted, I don’t do any of those amazingly, I still do them nonetheless. What does that mean?
A while back I announced that I wrote an EP and was hoping to record/release it in the near future. When I looked into studios to record the project it seemed like one obstacle after another came up, whether it was time or finances. To be honest, I struggle with the idea of spending thousands of dollars on something that’s only a hobby and not a calling. Heck, I struggle with the idea of spending thousands of dollars period. However, I believe the parable of talents, while very much referring to money, can be taken literally. God has given us talents. How are we going to use them? I want to use my talents for the building of His kingdom. Even if it’s not a calling or even a vocation (even if it’s just a hobby) I want to glorify him some way with it. This is my best attempt at a happy medium.
It is imperfect by every stretch of the imagination. None of these songs were recorded with a metronome. My voice isn’t always on key, my guitar playing not always locked in. Every single one of these songs was recorded on unimpressive equipment in the guest room of my apartment during random hours of the day I knew my neighbors weren’t around. I know for a fact the files aren’t loud enough and I know for a fact the levels aren’t perfect. I know very little, if anything, about home recording. There wasn’t any intention of letting a single soul hear this with the exception of my wife and those who assisting with the project.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get into a studio to really record these but as I was listening to the EP again last night, I realized I wanted to share it with those who interested in listening and have been wondering where I’ve been musically. I very well may regret this tomorrow. I very well may regret this the second anyone (if anyone) listens to this. This could be extremely impulsive and not entirely aligned with God’s will. But for right now I’m proud of these demos, for what they stand for and what they mean to me and I want to capitalize the little bit of confidence I’m feeling right now.
Special thanks to: Adam Randall for encouraging me musically years ago and letting me know it’s okay to write about sadness. Sarah Alicia for releasing an amazing EP that literally reawakened the dream (buy Ocean on iTunes). Pastor Alson Ebanks of Church of God Chapel, George Town for glorifying God with music though it may not be your vocation (It Ain’t Over Till Your Over can also be found on iTunes). Shout out to Brett Mobley for letting me borrow his Stratocaster. N.T. Wright for saying the art we create in this life will be even more beautiful when God makes all things new. Of course, my wife, for being supportive regardless of whether the EP got recorded or not. Last, but certainly not least, God, for allowing me to experience the joy of creating and writing music again.
- 7th & Shattuck
- Even My Subconscious Calls You Home
- Queen of These Suburban Streets
- Can You Hear Me?
- Will We Remember Our Regrets in Heaven?
If you like it, let me know. If you hate it, please don’t let me know you heard it.