Thursday, January 7, 2010

Afflicted ears?

As musicians, we are afflicted with very critical ears. We know what it should sound like...or at least have convinced ourselves of that. This Saturday is the release of our first worship CD entitled LIVE@FAITH. Throughout the editing & production process I have knit-picked every tiny little thing on this project. Ultimately, I decided to go with a very "live" feel. For better or worse it is pretty much what you would have heard on the night of Oct. 16 2009. If you're a musician, yes you'll hear a wrong note or two...or three. I'm not knocking the intense production aspect of any Hillsong album (half of the songs on this cd are from Integrity), but there's something to be said for it truly being "live". Jesus, please take away our critical ear & just let us worship.

Ultimately, I'm very pleased with this project. God has truly blessed FCC with some amazing musicians who, most importantly, have their hearts firmly focused on the object of our worship & affection.

As I was driving into work this morning, I was listening to track 13..."You Hold Me Now". What an amazing song! The song was progressing towards the bridge, & it hit me what this cd (& all future projects) is really all about. As I sat in my car weeping I listened to this scripture being proclaimed...

"My Name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place, incense & pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,' says the Lord Almighty." -Malachi 1:11

Father in heaven, may YOUR name be glorified through the release of this cd. May YOUR name reign on high FOR ALL TO SEE!!

Be blessed friends.


  1. Our ears may long for perfection but I would hope that our hearts would not move toward judgement. My irritation with imperfection in musicians (myself included) is directly related to the heart and attitude, not the talent. May the words "good enough" never be used by my lips in reference to praise to my Lord. It will never be good enough--but I long to continue striving for the creation of a beautiful pleasing sound for my Saviour.

  2. Really, Mark? I haven't heard any wrong notes, and I've listened to the copy you gave me about a bazillion times. (It's the ONLY thing I listen to in my car and on my iPod, and I never get tired of it.)

    In fact, the CD feels as anointed as the Night of Worship did when I watched it live by Skype from Arkansas. I'll never forget that night, because God healed me and freed me from oppression as I worshiped with FCC. God can do anything in an atmosphere where he is worshiped without reservation!!

  3. Mark is right. Whenever you go with a truly live project you will always here imperfections. You take away the lights, the people (mostly), the room, and everything else visual then you become left with the harsh vacuum that is a live recording. Almost every live CD you have ever listened to has been a fraud. There are almost always rerecorded in someways because the professionals are afraid of the nakedness of a raw 100% live recording where every gesture is made in a moment that cannot be re-created.

    Not only that, but I can tell you - as the guy who mixed the night, people do not hear the small imperfections such as a voice out of tune or a momentary wrong chord. You get a different feel for the music when it's hitting rock concert volumes and the bass is smacking your chest. They hear perfection. That is what I heard the night this CD was recorded. I commend Mark with staying true to the night when God blessed us all with one of the most amazing worship experiences I HAD EVER EXPERIENCED. It really is awesome listening to this CD because it is a time capsule that will always take you back to a night when God was ever so present.

    What we strive to do as humans in the quest of perfection is a goal that can never be achieved, as nothing come close to the perfection that is Christ our Lord! We can only strive to glorify him to the best of our abilities.

  4. This is definitely an interesting post, and I would (mostly) agree with the premise, except that it can be an affliction...or an addition! There are always two sides to every coin.

    Those that are aware of how 'afflicted' my ears are can understand this story. When I was in college, I was in a theory class and a substitute teacher was having us sight-sing a piece of music. Unfortunately (for me), she was having us sing it in a different key than written! This is when my 'gift' truly became a hindrance (especially since I hadn't had my coffee yet).

    As with a lot of things, our musician ears can either be a blessing or a curse; it's all in how we choose to use them. With this CD specifically, it isn't wrong to notice the mistakes, particularly your own (which is easier to do). In fact, the more you notice, the better-trained your ears are! But alas, noticing them can turn your heart against the broader message of the album. That, of course, is the other learned skill; tuning out the details of the physical and tuning in to the experience of the metaphysical, the supernatural occurrence that is the worship of our King. May we continue to grow in both areas, but always with our emphasis on the latter.