Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

13 March 2015

Pictures and music

I was delighted to discover some really great cards by Hannah Dunnett. I bought several of them for friends and soon found the Dunnett's website where Ben and Hannah provide more information and sell their material online. Hannah is an artist, Ben is a musician.

One of Hannah Dunnett's cards
Some time ago Donna and I visited the lovely old city of Bath, and we decided to have a coffee at St Michael's Without in Broad Street. And there we found a selection of Hannah's cards again.

I want to make you aware of Ben and Hannah's beautiful work because it deserves to be much more widely seen and heard. Not only is it all available to order and in a growing number of retail outlets, but Ben and Hannah have made everything available online, pictures and music too.

You will need to buy their products for the full quality, but you can also enjoy it for free. I predict that having tasted it, most people will end up buying prints or CDs.

Hannah's cards - Hannah paints stylised designs with words from the Bible in sweeping curves. She makes these available as greetings cards, high quality art prints, and posters. The picture above is a design called 'God of all Comfort'.

Because of the carefully chosen words these cards are not just beautiful in their own right, they also bear the stamp of a loving Creator. From the picture above we read, 'I will sustain you, I will give you rest, I will carry you, [I] will be with you, I call to you'. And there is much, much more. Words of great comfort from the One who is quick and ready to bring great comfort.

Ben's music - Ben is a music teacher and examiner. He writes some delightful melodies and is clearly a gifted pianist. If the worship albums and the children's album are anything to go by he's also very talented in laying down individual tracks to build up a full backing for songs.

You will find everything here from reflective, gentle melody to robust rhythms good for dancing, and great lyrics provided by Hannah.

St Michael's Without - I simply can't close this post without saying more about this lovely Anglican church in Bath. Everything about the place is delightful. The interior has been modified to make a quiet space for coffee, cakes, books and a comfortable place to sit. The website soon makes it clear that the people are delightful too.

They are evidently active in the local community in many ways. They seem to be conscious of the need for gentleness and peacefulness in everything. They are careful and deliberately slow in making changes trying to 'avoid the rush which undermines friendship'. They pray about everything in love.

If you are visiting Bath, try to make the time to drop in to spend a little while experiencing the peace and the fragrance of this lovely place and the people who make it what it is - a little piece of heaven right here on earth. Just like Hannah's pictures and Ben's music.

Questions: 
  • Are there ways you can be a little piece of heaven for those you meet today?
  • Might there be 'difficult' people in your life you could make an extra effort to bless?
  • How does Hannah's artwork and Ben's music make you feel?
  • Does it help you find the peace you need to become a blessing to others?

See also: 

17 November 2013

Sinéad O'Connor's Theology

Sinéad O'Connor's album, 'Theology', is challenging if you listen to the words carefully. It's easy to overlook the lyrics, but they are the whole point of the album. Sometimes the words are straight from Isaiah or Jeremiah, sometimes they are her own, but always they hit home without compromise.

Theology
Theology
I wonder how many of you have listened to Sinéad O'Connor's album 'Theology'?

Like all of her music it's a little edgy. It needs to be listened to carefully and understood. Sinéad's life, her music, and her faith are all a little unconventional, but that's what makes her and her music so interesting.

It's relatively easy to be bland, perform bland music, and blandly follow where others have gone before. But to succeed in charting a new course, that's a little harder.

Above all, I'd say Sinéad O'Connor does things her own way without trying to please other people [Tweet it!]. And I admire that in anyone. Much of the music and words are her own (some with Tomlinson), but she also sings pieces by Mayfield, Dowe/McNaughton, Lloyd-Webber/Rice, and a traditional piece too.

Uncompromising words - If you want to hear the music you'll need to buy the album or use Spotify or similar; but here are some of the words (partly biblical) from the track 'Something beautiful'.

I couldn't thank you in ten thousand years
If I cried ten thousand rivers of tears
Ah but - you know the soul and you know what makes it gold
You who give life through blood. Blood, blood, blood...

Oh I wanna make something so lovely for you
'Cos I promised that's what I'd do for you
With the Bible I stole, I know you forgave my soul
Because such was my need on a chronic Christmas eve
And I think we're agreed that it should have been free

And you sang to me

They dresssed the wounds of my poor people as though they're nothing
Saying peace, peace when there's no peace.
They dresssed the wounds of my poor people as though they're nothing
Saying peace when there's no peace.
Days without number, days without number
Now can a bride forget her jewels
Or a maid her ornaments?
Yet my people have forgotten me days without number...

Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch mention Sinéad's album in their book 'ReJesus', and that's what got me listening. They point out that although it was part of a protest about Catholicism, there's a powerful message here for all who claim to follow Christ. They are right.

Questions:

  • Read Jeremiah 6:13-15 and Jeremiah 2:31-33. How does Yahweh feel about injustice and neglect?
  • Why is Sinéad quoting these verses in her song?
  • Now read Isaiah 61:1-3 and Isaiah 61:10-11. How often do we live up to these expectations?

See also:

30 March 2013

Artist and musician

Ben and Hannah Dunnett create delightful greetings cards, art prints, posters and music CDs. We rediscovered all of these during and after a visit to St Michael's Without, an Anglican church in Bath. The grace, peace and beauty of the images and the music are also evident in the people at St Michael's.

One of Hannah Dunnett's cardsSome time ago I was delighted to find that Cornerstone Cafe and Books in St Neots was stocking some really great cards by Hannah Dunnett.

I bought several of them for friends and soon found the Dunnett's website where Ben and Hannah provide more information and sell their material online. Hannah is an artist, Ben is a musician. When I wanted to buy one of Hannah's cards again more recently I was sorry to see they were no longer available at Cornerstone.

But just last week when we were visiting Bath, Donna and I decided to have a coffee at St Michael's Without in Broad Street. And there we found a selection of Hannah's cards again!

I'd like to make you aware of Ben and Hannah's beautiful work because it deserves to be much more widely seen and heard. Not only is it all available to order and in a growing number of retail outlets. But Ben and Hannah have made everything available online, pictures and music too. You will need to buy their products for the full quality, but you can also enjoy it for free.

I predict that having tasted it, most people will end up buying prints or CDs.

Hannah's cards - Hannah paints stylised designs with words from the Bible in sweeping curves. She makes these available as greetings cards, high quality art prints, and posters. The picture above is a design called 'God of all Comfort'.

Because of the carefully chosen words these cards are not just beautiful in their own right, they also bear the stamp of a loving Creator. From the picture above we read, 'I will sustain you, I will give you rest, I will carry you, [I] will be with you, I call to you'. And there is much, much more. Words of great comfort from the One who is quick and ready to bring great comfort.

Ben's music - Ben is a music teacher and examiner. He writes some delightful melodies and is clearly a gifted pianist. If the two worship albums and the children's album are anything to go by he's also very talented in laying down individual tracks to build up a full backing for songs.

You will find everything here from reflective, gentle melody to robust rhythms good for dancing, and great lyrics provided by Hannah.

St Michael's Without - I simply can't close this post without saying more about this lovely Anglican church in Bath. Everything about the place is delightful. The interior has been modified to make a quiet space for coffee, cakes, books and a comfortable place to sit. The website soon makes it clear that the people are delightful too.

They are evidently active in the local community in many ways. They seem to be conscious of the need for gentleness and peacefulness in everything. They are careful and deliberately slow in making changes trying to 'avoid the rush which undermines friendship'. They pray about everything in love.

If you are visiting Bath, try to make the time to drop in to spend a little while experiencing the peace and the fragrance of this lovely place and the people who make it what it is - a little piece of heaven right here on earth. Just like Hannah's pictures and Ben's music.

Questions:

  • Are there ways you can be a little piece of heaven for those you meet today?
  • Might there be 'difficult' people in your life you could make an extra effort to bless?
  • How does Hannah's artwork and Ben's music make you feel?
  • Does it help you find the peace you need to become a blessing to others?

See also:

05 January 2013

The Shakers

The Shakers were an offshoot from the Quakers in the UK. They settled in New England and built villages in various parts of the USA. Their extraordinary  lifestyle and beliefs contain both lessons and warnings for the church today.

Shaker cowbarn at the Hancock Village
In September 2009, Donna and I visited the Hancock Shaker Village near Pittsfield, Massachusetts. This post is based on some notes I made at the time.

We enjoyed a wonderful holiday travelling from Boston up the coast as far as Kennebunkport, then south through the Appalachians, back up to Cape Cod, and flew home again from Boston.

Origins - The Shakers had their origin in England where they were founded in 1747 by Mother Ann Lee in the rapidly growing industrial city of Manchester. They originated as an offshoot of the Quakers, both groups being named by the public because of their sometimes ecstatic movements during worship. The early Shakers moved to the New England colonies, initially New Lebanon and Watervliet (the 'Niskayuna Shakers'). By the final years of the 18th century the Shakers were living in village communities.

Their rules included celibacy, equality of men and women, community living (men and women separately but often in the same building), and joint ownership of all property and possessions.

In 1790 the Hancock community was established and this is the village we visited. We'd recommend this open-air, living museum to anyone finding themselves near Pittsfield with a day to spare. It was a fascinating experience. The land and buildings are owned and managed by a preservation trust as a working farm and museum managed as it would have been 100 years ago. It's a beautiful museum and all the buildings and equipment are maintained to a high standard.

Shaker beliefs - The Shakers had diverged considerably from the Quakers and other followers of Jesus. For one thing, they held Ann Lee to be the female Christ, a view that is easily dismissed by studying the Bible. They also had some strange views about spiritual guidance, did a lot of shaking, and were very fond of music and dance.

One of their melodies remains well known today - 'Lord of the Dance'. You can listen to one of their other songs, 'The River of Love', on YouTube along with more photos of the Hancock Village.

Some commendable points - Despite some oddities they held to much that was good. To accept women as equal to men was extraordinary in their day. They also believed in the equality of all races, on one occasion they bought a slave simply in order to rescue him. They took him in and treated him as any other brother.

The Shakers understood that everything should be done as well as humanly possible, so as to recreate Heaven on Earth in some sense. As a result they were careful and thorough workers and their furniture, boxes, seeds, and many other products were much valued and sought after.

Unlike the Amish, they had no qualms about using modern methods. They used water power in their workshops, adopted electricity, photography, motor vehicles, and other technologies.

A warning - The Shakers are a challenge and a warning to us. They were commendably serious about their lifestyle, their morality, and their thoroughness. We might learn a lot from them in that regard. But they came off-track in terms of their theology and seeking after spiritual experiences. We need to be careful to seek only Jesus, not experiences of Jesus; we should look for spiritual fruit more than for spiritual gifts.

There's nothing wrong with spiritual experiences or spiritual gifts. But if they become the thing we put first we are in a very dangerous place indeed. The lesson is clear. Seek first his kingdom and righteousness and all the other things you need will be given to you (Matthew 6:33).

So the question then becomes, what are the things in our spiritual lives that we accept as normal, even essential, that get in the way of kingdom living? Some of them are being discussed quite widely these days. A major problem may be that we are very busy with meetings and writing blogs and reading our Bibles and living good lives so that we forget our prime directive which is, perhaps, 'Go and make disciples'. That is, after all, one part of 'seeking his kingdom'.

Note: There's a good book on Mother Ann and the Shakers by Richard Francis. It's called 'Ann the Word' gives a lot of background and history, and is very readable.

Questions:

  • Are you doing everything to the highest possible standard, like the Shakers did?
  • Are you seeking the kingdom and righteousness ahead of everything else?
  • How do you see the connection between what we believe and how we live?

See also:

04 November 2011

THOUGHT - A pottery lesson

< No earlier items | Be like your Father >

Sometimes a piece of writing can be reworded in a way that makes it fresh and new. And setting the words to music may give them an ability to soak deeply into the heart where they can have real impact. 

A potter's wheelThe words - Here are some words that have been treated in this way. 'The Potter's Song' by Jonathan Asprey.
The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying...

Go down to the house of the potter
Watch him work the clay
Listen to what I say as you watch him
Go down to the house of the potter
Watch him turn the wheel
Know that's how I feel as I'm working.

That is how I need to mould you
Form a vessel in my hand
Just to let me have and hold you
Break you, make you to my plan

Go down to the house of the potter
Watch him work the clay
Listen to what I say as you watch him
Go down to the house of the potter
Watch him turn the wheel
Know that's how I feel as I'm working.

For I need these earthen vessels
Filled with life that overflows
Put my treasure in earthen vessels
Then the skill of the potter shows.

...so I went down to the house of the potter. And there he was, working at his wheel. Sometimes the vessel would spoil in his hands and he would rework it, as it was fitting for him to do.
Thanks go to the Community of Celebration for permission to use the lyrics.

The Song - And here is a YouTube video with the Fisherfolk singing the song, perhaps even with Jonathan Asprey on guitar. Much of their music is still available from the Community of Celebration's online store. (The Potter's Song is on the album Celebrate the Whole of it.)




What do these words, written 2600 years ago, speak into your heart today? Having read them and heard them, what will you be doing differently as a result?

We are clay in his hands, being reformed by him. We could not be in safer, more caring hands!

If I am willing, he will take me as I am, soften me, and mould me, and form me into what he wants me to be.

The history - Written in Hebrew more than 2600 years ago, the words were first translated direct from Hebrew into English as part of King James I's Authorized Version of the Bible (AV) and have since been translated many more times in a variety of English versions. (Versions prior to the AV were translated from Greek or Latin, not direct from Hebrew.)

Here they are in the New International Version (Jeremiah 18:1-6).
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 'Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message'. So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

Then the word of the LORD came to me: 'O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does? declares the LORD. Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel'.
The song uses these thoughts rewritten as poetry. The application is an interpretation in which Yahweh's people in those days (Israel) are understood to represent his people today. The words apply to all his followers down the years. He will shape us as he sees fit.

See also:



< No earlier items | Be like your Father >

14 August 2011

FAMILY - At the beach

< Schubert's 10th | Index | Thorpeness walk >

Donna and I headed for Snape Maltings again to visit the shops while the rest of the family headed to Framlingham Castle. After lunch we met up in Southwold for an afternoon at the beach.

Part of Snape MaltingsSnape Maltings, where we went for last night's concert, is also home to some very nice shops selling food, books, antiques, toys, garden plants, gifts and more. We drove over mid-morning and explored, then visited the cafe and sat outside until driven back indoors by wasps!

After lunch we continued to Southwold and met up on the beach beside the pier. The afternoon weather was warm and sunny and we had a lot of fun digging a pond in the sand, splashing in the water, and generally doing seaside things.
Steve, Meredith, Sara, Verity and Beth on the beach
It was lovely to watch the four grandchildren enjoying themselves. For Sara and little Verity it was an opportunity to explore an unusual environment. Isn't it astonishing how children take non-routine experiences and circumstances in their stride? They quickly work out how to make the most of what's on offer - in this case sand, pebbles, surging waves, and running in and out of the shallow water.

After that it was back to 'Curlew House' where we're staying, Paz and Donna cooked up pasta and salad for tea and Paz produced two magnificent plum crumbles made with 'Victoria' plums from the tree in their garden at home.

Beth and Donna had tickets for another performance at Snape, 'Jazz Jamaica'. They headed off for the music after the meal and the rest of us chatted, read or watched TV after the children were all tucked up in bed.

< Schubert's 10th | Index | Thorpeness walk >

13 August 2011

ARTS - Schubert's 10th Symphony

< Aldeburgh | Index | The beach >

This evening, Paz, Donna and I visited Snape Maltings for an evening of classical music. Schubert's unfinished 10th Symphony gave me unexpected food for thought.

The programme at Snape included pieces by Rachmaninoff and Lutoslawski as well, however Schubert's 10th Symphony was never completed and what we heard tonight was a reworking by Berio from the existing manuscript fragments.

Rather than fill the gaps in the style of Schubert, Berio chose instead to link the fragments using a very different and much more modern style. He incorporated the celeste in the additions, which lends an airy, ethereal quality and makes it very clear to the listener that these sections are not by Schubert.

Restored Roman potteryThis reminded me of the way ancient Greek or Roman pottery is restored for display in a museum. Usually, instead of trying to reconstruct the original in every detail, the restoration uses a slightly different colour and reduces or eliminates any attempt to recreate the details of texture, pattern and finish. In this way the overall shape and size of the article is clear, but the original sections and the restored parts are easily distinguished. Exactly the same approach is used for tessellated pavements and painted wall plaster.

Another example is the presentation of images from the Hubble Space Telescope where gaps are filled in using lower resolution sections from other telescopes.

So why did this give me food for thought?

We find much the same principle at work when we try to understand the nature of the Almighty and of the things he is doing in our universe. We have clear fragments - for example we know that his nature is to love - but we also have to fill some gaps.

Why is this? It has nothing to do with him withholding information. It has everything to do with our inability to grasp the fullness of the truth. His nature is beyond our capabilities to fathom. We have the overall 'shape' of his nature, a flavour if you will. And we have some of the detail, aspects that we can understand despite our limitations. So our picture is partly the full truth and partly an approximation.

The danger we face is often in thinking our filled-in approximations are the real thing. They are not! Always, always it's necessary to remind ourselves that we don't know as we are known. And the assumptions we make are frequently the causes of our disagreements.

< Aldeburgh | Index | The beach >

01 August 2011

THOUGHT: Bullets and nails

Yesterday I posted a link to Bullets and Nails, a track by Glass Artery, an upcoming British heavy metal rock band. The music is technically good although it's not my cup of tea. But is it spiritually good? What do you think?

(Here's my bookmark in full, sadly the text didn't come through to Facebook.)

Glass Artery's Bullets and NailsPaul's advice is, 'Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.' (Philippians 4:8) And if you read this in context you'll see that he was writing about agreement, rejoicing, gentleness, prayer, peace, and especially peace with the Highest One.

Those who trust and follow Yahshua are priests (we are a royal priesthood, no less) and Leviticus 27:12 tells us that we are the judges of quality and things have whatever value we set on them. This passage is about offering things to Yahweh, setting them apart for his use. This applies to anything we bring to him and it would not be too much of a stretch to say it applies to the music we listen to.

The friend who pointed me to this particular band and music track is following The Way, she is making an effort to go where Jesus goes, forgiving, loving, encouraging, helping, nurturing, believing. She is therefore a priest and has the authority to set a value on whatever she brings as an offering.

But what do you think? Can music of all genres honour the King of Kings? Is Bach better than Glass Artery? Is 'Jesu joy of man's desiring' holier than 'Bullets and Nails'? Does it depend on the words? Is the gentleness or harshness of the sound significant? Or is it all in the heart and mind of the listener? What does it really mean for a believer to be the judge and value-setter of things set apart for the use and glory of the King of Kings?

'Bullets and Nails' is technically good, even excellent. It's an outstanding performance for an up and coming band. Would Paul include it in his list of noble, pure, lovely and admirable things? Are these choices absolute or personal? 'Bullets and Nails' is just an example, what about the underlying principles?

Leave a comment giving your view on this, where do you stand? Can you add other examples and your own experiences? If there are enough good comments I might be persuaded to add my opinion, meanwhile I'm leaving it as an open question.

Over to you...

25 February 2011

ARTS - Musical chess!

I thought this was rather neat. Jonathan W Stokes has been experimenting with ways of turning famous chess games into music. It's amusing to see how he does it and the results provide surprisingly good listening.

'The Immortal Game' part way throughSo how did he do it?

The process he chose is quite straightforward. He noticed that there are eight columns of squares on a chess board and also eight notes in a musical octave.

With some rather clever adjustments and using the values of the chess pieces to determine how long each note should be, he transcribed the chess notation into musical scores and then played them on a piano.

Here's my favourite - 'The Immortal Game' played in June 1851, and this is how it sounds on the piano.

Rather delightful!

The full details and a further two examples of the music are available on Jonathan's blog. And if you enjoyed Chess Music you might also like Jonathan's Fibonacci Music!

28 November 2009

Awesome video, great music, astonishing machine

Here's a fine video beautifully put together with excellent music and sound effects. Mike Interbartalo edited imagery of the Space Shuttle launch process from beginning to end. It really is an experience to watch and listen, even if you're not much interested in space or rockets.

It's strange to think that next year the Space Shuttle will fly for the very last time and there is nothing in place to take over. The USA will no longer be able to launch crewed vehicles into orbit.


STS-129 Ascent Video Highlights from mike interbartolo on Vimeo.

For anyone wanting a bit more detail, you will see the Shuttle stack on the giant tracked platform arriving at the launch pad. There are some details of the engine ignition sequence, the three main engines first, then the solid rocket boosters. You will see the solid boosters fall away and splash down under their parachutes ready to be collected by boat and returned for re-use. You will see the giant external tank released to return to a fiery destruction in the atmosphere. And then finally the shuttle itself heads on into Earth orbit.

There are shots from many angles here. Some from the ground or from the air, some from cameras mounted on the solid boosters, the external tank, and the shuttle itself.

17 October 2009

We don't need no more trouble

I'm reposting this You Tube video which I first saw on Kent Burgess's Faithfully Dangerous blog.Bougainvillea in Jerusalem

It's a lovely, laid-back piece of music from 'Playing for Change' with artists from all over the globe. It has a gentle but insistent theme. Everywhere is war. Some dying, some crying. We don't need no more trouble. What we need is love. Beautiful!

While we're on the subject of peace, for some extraordinary stories of reconciliation at work, read Julia Fisher's book 'Israel: the Mystery of Peace'.

And finally, back to the music. If you haven't already heard it, here it is...

06 August 2009

Something silly

OK, it's time for something incredibly silly. Wendy Francisco wrote a new song a couple of months ago, now she's produced a video to go with it.

For best results, watch this in high definition and full screen if possible.



Despite (or perhaps because of) it's utter silliness, this song has a disarming way of getting its message across clearly and deeply.

Here's a link to Wendy's website for anyone serious enough to want to know more.

08 August 2008

Frank Viola on Don Francisco

In a recent blog post Frank Viola recommends one of Don Francisco's songs, 'He's Alive'. And indeed this is a wonderful song.

Don Francisco's websiteAnother of Don's great songs is 'And the Spirit Sings', it's one of my all-time favourites and it carries a gentle but strong message that meeting in freedom can be a very special experience because it causes the Holy Spirit to sing. That has been true in my experience, and in Frank's, and in Don's, and in the lives of so many of the people I know and love.

To be in a meeting at home, where Yahshua is welcomed along with everyone else, that is a supreme privilege.

Meetings like this have been the absolute pinnacle of my life - and that's no exaggeration! What can equal his palpable presence amongst his people? He is enthroned in the splendour of holiness yet he is intimately one of us - and the Spirit does indeed sing! Wonderful, wonderful times together over and over again. (Of course it's not being at home that makes this possible, but our freedom in one another's presence and the Lord's freedom amongst us.)

'And the Spirit Sings' can be found on Don's album 'Come Away'. If you like Don's style and you've never heard this particular track I strongly recommend you buy 'Come Away', the other songs are great too. The CD's available on Don's website. As I write, the homepage provides 'He's Alive' as a free listen. Go and hear it! Maybe Don will consider putting 'And the Spirit Sings' up there too - how about it, Don?

If you want to catch the aroma of meetings of this kind (just a hint of what they're like) read the notes on some of our past meetings. But like a great dish, a meeting in which he's powerfully yet gently present is something that can't be fully appreciated without tasting it.

21 July 2008

Love song of the Welsh Revival

I've just read a post on the Koinonia Life Discussion Forum (KLDF). Someone has recently heard this wonderful Welsh hymn for the first time and was deeply moved by the words and music. A hundred years ago it was popular in the Welsh Valleys during and following the great revival of 1904.

Here it is, explained and sung by Huw Priday, first in Welsh and then in English. The words are very, very moving. They capture so eloquently the purpose in Yahshua's heart, his love towards us.



Here is Love, vast as the ocean,
Loving-kindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His Love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout Heaven's eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God's mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and Love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heaven's peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in Love.


There are four verses, you can read all of them on Steph's Blog along with some further thoughts.

The Welsh Language
Welsh is a lyrical language, a beautiful language. It's said to express emotion and poetry more richly and naturally than English. The Welsh are great singers too, wonderful male voice choirs are traditional in the villages of the south, and at the Eisteddfodau (music and poetry festivals) there are competitions for choirs, harpists, and male and female solo singers.

Here are are the first two lines of the Welsh version of the hymn.

Dyma gariad fel y moroedd,
Tosturiaethau fel y lli.


The Welsh Revival
Perhaps this has been forgotten in recent years, but in its time it was a great move of the Spirit just like Lakeland or Toronto. There is plenty about the revival on the web, the Welsh Revival website covers it well.

What does it take to bring about revival? The first requirement is to recognise that there is nothing we can do to cause revival. We could exhaust ourselves with the effort of trying, yet still get nowhere. A revival is a work of the Almighty, not the work of men and women striving. Prayer is surely a good preparation, but quite simply when people put Yahshua in his rightful place at the centre of everything, and when hearts are overflowing with love for him and for one another, then we may see revival. Love must always be at the heart of it because the Father and the Son are Love and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Love. There can be no hint of revival unless Love himself is personally present amongst his people. He is the cause!

It's amazing how many of the old hymns were written during times of personal revival or widespread public revival. We should sing them more often! There are many wonderful songs being written today too, but why throw away yesterday's treasures just because we have found further treasures in our own day?

Thanks for raising this topic. You know who you are.

There are several more versions of 'Here is Love' on You Tube. All worth hearing. There's a delighful recording by the famous singer, Katherine Jenkins, one by Matt Redman, and another by a Welsh male voice choir. (Note: the images in this last video may distress some people.)

15 July 2008

Things you can do with cornflour

Some You Tube videos of cornflour have been doing the rounds and they're quite fascinating to watch.

You might think cornflour is only good for thickening sauces or making cornbread (yumm). Well you'd be wrong.

You can try running on it...



Or you can pop it on an upturned bass speaker and play it some music!...



So what's going on? Why is cornstarch so goofy and weird?

It's something called non-newtonian behaviour. Slow, gentle movements meet little resistance to flow; but sudden, forceful motion causes the matrix to lock up and resistance becomes much, much stronger. If you want to know more, read the Wikipedia articles on cornstarch and non-newtonian fluid.

Oh, and don't forget to enjoy the videos :-)

07 June 2008

Musical advert - amazing!

This advert by the Zurich Chamber Orchestra is amazing. The musical staves become a... No! I'm not telling you what they become, you'll have to view the video for yourself. I emailed the link to a bunch of friends and some of the comments so far are, 'Raise a pint of beer to creativity! Incredible!', 'I felt quite sick by the end but agree it is fun.', and 'Thanks, Chris - made me quite giddy!'

Copyright

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© 2002-2014, Chris J Jefferies

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