Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter celebration

I hadn't really known where my Lenten music discipline would lead me. I was thinking about it in terms of making it through the 40 days, not necessarily how it related to Easter itself.

But in reading a snippet from N.T. Wright's "Surprised by Hope" the other day, in which he called for our Easter celebrations to be not merely a high holy day but a "hats in the air" day, with "champagne for breakfast" and exuberant festivities — and that our joyousness at life be reflected not in just one day a year but that we live as Easter people — it became clear that Easter would be a celebration of music.

All the music which I had culled through — some joyous, some tired, some dissonant, some incisive (it actually turned out to be more of a chore at times than I was expecting) — felt a lot like tilling the earth. It was seeking and sorting, clawing and straining for glimpses of silver beauty. At the end of it, it became clear that I wanted to celebrate Easter with a rememberance playlist and hold forth the best of what I'd found in a shout of alleluia.

The two albums I kept returning to were Keith & Kristyn Getty's "Awaken the Dawn," which I'd purchased for Christmas but hadn't yet acquainted myself with, and the Newsboys' "Adoration" album. Those two more than others were the soundtrack of the last few weeks, as I'd usually turn to one of them after listening to an album that didn't really strike me. Rich Mullins was another prominent feature of the season (in part because his "Songs" album is the only tape I have in the car, and I still have a tape player) but also because his "Jesus Record" is amazing.

A few new surprises were: Late Tuesday, in particular their song "Drowning Out Love," finding myself more drawn in by Jake Armerding ("Adonai," "Rome"), and finally being intrigued enough by an unnamed song that had been hanging around in my iTunes for four years to look it up and get introduced to Barlowgirl (and snagged a free new song of theirs from Amazon).

Most fun was receiving new music, and music recommendations, from friends, as well as revisiting the last four years' worth of community-group music-sharing nights. I tend to spin my wheels in a music rut when left to my own devices (and I revisited a lot of older favorites of mine that no longer struck a chord with me), so thank you to everyone who helped me shake free.


  1. Well I'm glad to have recruited another fan for Late Tuesday :o). And I'm sorry if anything I loaned you was unpleasant to listen to! I've forgotten what all I loaned you, so you'll have to give me your honest takes on them for future reference. Have you heard Newsboys' "Devotion" album? It is in a similar vein as "Adoration," but for some reason I like it even more.

  2. Ha! No, nothing you loaned me was unpleasant. Mostly it was old stuff I hadn't listened to in years but used to like, and instead of being good nostalgia it was just kinda tired, which was somewhat of sad. I haven't heard "Devotion" yet but I just put it on hold at the library!