Theme and Variations

Not long ago (though it seems a lifetime), I wrote about modulations. The idea that the dissonance of post-college life would eventually resolve into normalcy was comforting; considering the modulations in music were consoling to me as I felt keenly the sudden transitions I experienced after four years of relatively little change.  Several months later,…

Consumption

I fear we are dying of consumption... It's 2019 and it seems that everyone seems has some sort of food sensitivity. (Someone recently suggested that I cut gluten, which nearly made me cry as I reached for another slice of bread.) Our nutritional awareness is becoming more and more acute and, on the whole, I'd…

Modulations

A modulation is a "change from one key to another in a piece of music." Seems simple enough. Often they are, and, being a rather lazy songwriter, I'm a huge fan of a common-tone modulation, where a single note is sufficient to transpose one key into another, often in a single beat. Right now, though,…

Radical: A Reflection on 1 Corinthians 10-11

"Radical" is a risky word to apply to scripture; it often signals controversy, anticipates antagonism, and puts hearers on edge as they consider the violence associated with many forms of radicalism. But to be radical is not necessarily to be selfish, violent, and angry. In fact, in this turbulent age, it might just be to…

On Prayer: 1 Peter 5:5-7

This is probably the first year since I could hold a pen that I didn't make New Year's Resolutions. After recently taking the enneagram and discovering myself to be the "Reformer" (wing "Achiever") this is rather surprising. I love goals and lists and plans and I work, practice, study, and exercise consistently. However, while I…

Preeminent Performance

In my "Redeeming Culture through Music" class, we were asked the following question: "Which is most important in music: the composer, the performer, or the listener?" The class more or less unanimously expressed that the three persons are equally important. After all, if there is no composer, there is nothing to perform and if there…

Three Principles

As I was practicing piano the other day, I wrote a series of three questions to ask myself as I worked on each detail: Is it clean? Is it beautiful? Does it mean something? First, I work technically, listening even to exercises to discern if they are played with clarity and precision. Are they clean?…

The Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding was beautiful: the flowers, the music, the gown, and- of course- the fabulous array of hats. But this event was not just a stunning example of a wedding ceremony, but of a liturgy. It was set in a gorgeous chapel, featured traditional English hymns, and presented a rich theology in both the message…

Mariners

We are mariners, mariners we, made for the land, parted from sea from that second day and still - striving as on the earth to fill- drawn by its alluring, billowy waves- we drink down the depths to find watery graves. . We hear the call, that age-old call, a whisper first, a breeze enthralls,…