Thursday, October 23, 2008

songwriting as worship

Thoughts from Convergence collaborator Dick Rose, who led us through a group songwriting exercise from the Sermon on the Mount:

I write narrative music. Maybe because it’s what we’re suited to do, some of us use this form to interpret and express our convictions about the divine life. The church community may not approve or understand what we are doing, but historically, the community has been changed by its heretics and artists, who often provide the kinds of reinterpretations and expressions that the community requires to grow and flourish. It seems to me that this is what Convergence is about, by the way.

My own work has always been less about entertainment than meditation, or sustained attention and creative engagement with certain religious themes. Such work can be valuable, even if it goes no further than rehearsals—like the kind of worship, or rehearsal, that we will do tonight.

As a matter of fact, I believe that rehearsals are valuable in their own right. A rehearsal is a collaborative act of sustained attention, like worship itself. I am currently planning come recording sessions to take place here, with the intention that the rehearsals should be open to audiences so that they can appreciate this. 

Audiences to rehearsals become collaborators with the performers. As in worship, they are moved to respond in some way, to give help, to make something on their own, to give back in some way. . .

You can learn more about Dick at his website.

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