Well, my summer of music has well and truly kicked off. Some of it explicity Christian, some of it just a message from God to my heart, and some of it not Christian just an expression of the joy and alive-ness that music creates.
1. Pet Shop Boys concert
One of the songs that speaks most to my heart is Se A Vida E by the Pet Shop Boys. They are one of those bands that I enjoyed as a teenager and then left behind. I listened to other people’s albums but never had one of my own and they dropped off my radar.
After a particularly bad time in my life I finally left Oxford, a job that was wrong for me and moved to London. This coincided with the release of that song by the Pet Shop Boys and the moment I heard it I felt God talking straight to my heart about the joy of being alive and of his leading me into a new, better phase of my life. Every time I hear it I am moved and reminded of his love for me.
I don’t know what they would think about it, I don’t much care. I do know what many Christians would think about it and again, I don’t much care. I’m just thankful that they wrote it and it was a highlight for me of their recent amazing concert at the O2 in London. My feelings about them are a lot like my feelings about the music of Foo Fighters which I have written about in other posts – God can use any means at his disposal to speak to us, if we are ready to listen and he gives the gifts of his talents where he chooses not where we think he should so non-Christians can deliver the most important Christian messages and Christians can drive people away from God not towards him.
2. Chandos Chamber Choir concert
I sing in this choir, the Chandos Chamber Choir , and last Saturday night we performed our summer concert. The concert was all sacred music – Faure’s Requiem and Vierne’s Messe Sollenelle. Completely contrasting and both pieces are powerful and beautiful.
It was one of the best concerts we have ever given – and one of the most poorly attended. But that didn’t matter. It reminded me how much I love singing. Yes, there is a buzz associated with a large audience, but that’s not why I do it. Singing, like writing, creates “flow” in my life. It is an expression of the most fundamental parts of me (exhibitionist and musician) and as such very much part of my faith. When I sing or make music I am being my most fundamental self and that is what God creates us to be. It’s irrelevant whether someone can hear you or see you (or read you!) what matters is the eternal connection that comes from being fully yourself and fully alive.
That’s what music does for me. It brings me closer to God and there will be more this summer!