i have no idea why, but my worship year is focused on holy week, the pre-Easter stuff. every year I want to run our holy week chapel service, and whenever i hear music that might 'fit', a part of me files it away. i'm sure that it is because i am always deeply bothered by easter. i've spoken at a few easter camps (not a lot, actually), and easter saturday has always been a big hole in the weekend. i pretty much crawl away and hide. i could say a lot more about easters. maybe i will.
anyway, i'm blogging to say that I just bought "white lunar", a double album by nick cave and warren ellis, containing music from films etc. some is from the brilliant soundtrack to "the assassination of jesses james by the coward robert ford", which i blogged about here re our 2008 holy week chapel.
i already feel that we should black out the chapel next year, and thankfully mark pierson told me a better way, and steve will be around to help!
the complexity of the gospel narratives around easter draw me in. there's a cinematic tightening of the focus on the main characters. nothing is ever quite as it seems, in the text or our readings of it. but on top of that, you have a week in which to invite people to live into promises and betrayals, hope and despair, intimacy and deep isolation.
i've been a bit irritable lately about people expecting great art from artists in a week or two. it devalues both the artist and the audience - the main reason why church worship is often so artistically bland. I hope and pray that ministers and leaders might commission good art months or years ahead.
I have a sense of mission here - to keep encouraging adelaide churches to connect with artists in the public arena.
wed 31 march...
some of my other recent music might be easterish too...
"sanctus" by anuna (not the anuna I thought it was...) - choral, not very ambient
"the empty northern hemisphere" by gregory alan isakov. damn this is good. acoustic, brilliant
"the bqe" by sufjan stevens - its a CD soundtrack with a DVD of the acoompanying film made by sufjan about the brooklyn - queens expressway... yes, a road. the film has lots of road and buildings, and three hula hoop women.... currently listening the postlude "critical mass"
"magnificent city instrumentals" by RJD2. one of these tracks is the theme for "mad men". not sure which one, although I loved the bits of the show that I saw, gratuitous though it was.
susannah and the magical orchestra - finally got some of their songs. thinking I'll use "hallelujah" despite the overplaying of cohen's classic, susannah's slowing down of classics is remarkable. thinking of cutting people's hair in chapel. not sure I'm game to tie them to chairs...
so one of my suggestions to worship leaders is to give a team of people a service to work on a year ahead. give artists time to write songs and paint and sculpt. worship is most often underwhelming when too little time is given to craft something of disturbing beauty, of holy brokenness.