Nº. 1 of  49

Joshua David

A Blog for Thoughts, Inspirations, etc.


For Your Lenten Listening.

(Source: Spotify)

For your Lenten listening.

"Song for Athene was cast heavily into the spotlight on September 6th, 1997. Millions of people, the world over, would hear this piece for the first time as the flag-draped casket of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, was carried out of Westminster Abbey, destined to its final resting place at Althorp, north of London."

(Source: Spotify)

In this world Christ was rejected. He was the perfect expression of life as God intended it. The fragmentary life of the world was gathered into His life; He was the heart beat of the world and the world killed Him. But in that murder the world itself died.

Alexander Schmemann: "For the Life of the World" (via joshuadavidwatson)

Music for today. Do yourself a favor and listen. I just discovered that John passed away last November. He will be missed.

John Tavener : Remember Eternal Things

"The Funeral Canticle is one of two works inspired by the passing of the composer’s father, Kenneth. The other, Eternal Memory, is a co-memorial to Tavener’s father and to the late Lady Diana, Princess of Wales… The Funeral Canticle is explicitly religious, having been prepared for the interdenominational funeral service that his father had requested. Its texts include the kliros from the traditional Orthodox funeral service, interspersed with verses composed by Tavener’s longtime friend, collaborator (Mary of Egypt, Akathist), and spiritual guide, Mother Thekla of the Monestary at Normanby. As is the case with many of Tavener’s other works, an overarching motto permeates the piece. Here, it is a solemn chant in Greek: "Remember eternal things." 

Though a sense of stasis pervades the work — for there is no hurry when distances are traversed over eternities — each sectional division is marked by a distinct kind of calm. The opening motto is given in what sounds like Byzantine chant; the subsequent lines, “We are born as naked infants, Then baptized into Christ our God,” are set in delicate, sinuous parallel chords; the kliros that follows is set in rich chord progressions overlaid with solemn repetitions, the sustained tones in the upper voices hovering over a restlessly ponderous bass. The Greek chant returns, followed again by a lush texture of parallel thirds and a rich Alleluia passage. The warm harmonies of the kliros return, followed by another Greek chant, and another verse: “Grant O Lord in love unceasing … rest among the faithful, in the life beyond compare.” After the Alleluia, the final iteration of the kliros brings the work to a close. 

One senses a deliberate (and to those familiar with Tavener’s work, expected) attempt to create an air of timelessness in this work. There seems to be a circular trajectory to the repeating textural patterns: the liturgical and ancient sounds of the Greek chant give way to the parallel harmonies, which are supplanted by the rich chords of the kliros. Law, theology, speculation seem to fade and blend into the higher reality of the eternal unknown; material objects and mortal ideas, “the idols of the world,” disappear in the wake of “eternal things.” Tavener has constructed a terrestrial musical frame, made of simple signs and symbols, through which to view existence from a celestial perspective.” [Allmusic.com]

This is a really great (ultra)condensed articulation of actual Christian thinking on most of the hot button Issues today. In 15 minutes, NT Wright does a great job thoughtfully dismantling the modern inherited assumptions most of us bring into our thinking. His comments touch on gender, sexuality, biblical slavery and sexism, environmentalism, post-modern relativism, hell, universalism, tolerance,  politics, and the New Creation. It’s just an off-hand Q&A session but he does a great job succinctly addressing these topics with clarity. Evangelicals, atheists, agnostics, republicans and democrats Do yourself a favor and listen. My Eastern Orthodox friends can pass on this one as most of this will already be painfully obvious to them. ;)

(Bonus comments on CS Lewis toward the beginning)

NT Wright

Excerpt taken from The NT Wright Podcast.

Johnny Cash : If You Could Read My Mind (Cover)

I’m telling you, the “American” series is the pinnacle of Johnny Cash’s career. The man ended things with his best and most personal material.

Good to be back at Men’s Group. Pipes, cigars, steak, scotch, good company and the Communist Manifesto… (at St Matthews Church)

Good to be back at Men’s Group. Pipes, cigars, steak, scotch, good company and the Communist Manifesto… (at St Matthews Church)

I woke up with this on my mind. This clip from “This American Life” has always stuck with me. A little girl hears about Dr. Martin Luther King for the first time and cuts right to the core of humanity’s problems.

There are no visuals so just listen.

Nº. 1 of  49