Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Funny what happens when you just let go...

Last night at band practice, the funniest thing happened:  we created something beautiful.  It didn't start out that way.  After finishing Sunday's message - and reviewing the I John reading - I was struck by how much it sounded like the Beatles' song "All You Need Is Love." To be sure, Sts. John and Paul had a slightly different groove going than St. John of the NT, but there are some sweet similarities:

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can't know him if you don't love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God. My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!

So, while getting ready for band practice, I thought maybe the Beatles' chorus - love, love, love - might be changed from 3/4 time to 5/4 time - then add a little "Take 5" groove underneath it all and accentuate the love theme of the text with some sung interludes of "love, love, love."  It was an idea worth trying... but when we tried it it was very clear that I hadn't worked out all the changes.  So, it kept sounding more and more ragged and forced.

I left the practice for a few minutes to help out some folks and when I returned the musicians were playing a sultry bluesy jazz thing in Dm.  And before you knew it, the women vocalists were singing the love, love, love chorus in a deep and beautiful way.  Put the biblical text over it all and damn... it was smokin!  Much better than my original idea and more organic, too. (I hope to get a clip this weekend...)

Funny what happens sometimes when you just let go... 

(Maybe we'll get a chance to play with it tomorrow night, too when we have our monthly gig at Patrick's Pub:  even without the scripture it is a great set up for an extended improvisation.)

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advent two in Pittsfield: music, family, feasting and love

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