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Friday, January 14, 2005

Artist Retreat

Earlier this week I attended an Artist Retreat held by a ministry called Porter's Call. The speaker was Don Miller, the author of Blue Like Jazz and Searching For God Knows What. I enjoyed both those books, and Don was compelling as a speaker too.

He talked about how we live in a "how' society, but the Bible is a "why" book. Because of our cultural biases, we've tried to translate a "why" book into a "how" book (i.e. how to have a better marriage, how to raise your kids, etc.) and so have done it a disservice. He also talked about Romeo & Juliet as Christian allegory, Adam & Eve and the sin nature, and a bunch of other topics in a fresh and insightful way. You can check out his site here, and download sample chapters of BLJ and SFGKW here and here, respectively.

(I'll post more updates for IG4 soon. Soon-ish.)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

IG4 tracking.

We've started tracking Indelible Grace 4 this week, and I'm thrilled with the results so far. Monday we worked on songs to be sung by Sandra McCracken, Matthew Perryman Jones, and Taylor Sorensen, and Tuesday was me, Andrew Osenga, and Laura Taylor.

If Indelible Grace was the classic, Pilgrim Days was the Americana record, and For All The Saints was the mid-tempo contemplative record, then IG4 is shaping up to be the rock record. This group of musicians is so creative and are bringing a whole new level of artistry to what we're doing. So far, the band has consisted of Kevin Twit (electric guitar), Andrew Osenga (electric guitar), Aaron Sands (bass), Matt Odmark (acoustic guitar), Cason Cooley (MIDI controller), Jeff Pardo (keys), Charlie Lowell (keys), and Will Sayles (drums). Josh Davis returns as engineer. New songs from Christopher Miner (writer of "O Love That Will Not Let Me Go," "On Jordan's Stormy Banks") and Kevin Twit ("Arise My Soul Arise," "Thou Lovely Source Of True Delight") are some of the reasons why I think this will be the best IG record yet. Kevin wrote most of the first IG, but has stayed mostly on the production and playing side since then, and his return to writing more is something I have long begged him to do. Other tremendous writers (Matthew Perryman Jones, Laura Taylor, Jeff Pardo and others) have brought their best as well. I cannot wait to start singing some of these songs in concert. This will be first IG record that I haven't written a song for, but I will still be singing two, including one of Kevin's new ones, "More Love To Thee." For all the fans of my songwriting (hi Mom and Dad!), don't worry, I will be writing and demoing new songs throughout 2005 for a projected 2006 solo album.

Osenga and Pardo say "Could this possibly rock harder?" Posted by Hello

Andrew Osenga contemplates leaving his cushy Caedmon's Call gig to join Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Posted by Hello

Aaron's chart for "His Love Can Never Fail" Posted by Hello

Will Sayles (standing), Cason (in back), Jeff Pardo (with pencil), Josh Davis (keeping things together). Posted by Hello

Cason's MIDI controller Posted by Hello

Matthew Perryman Jones, Matt Odmark, Kevin Twit Posted by Hello

Picture in studio bathroom: "I've learned you can't be too careful when making recordings." Posted by Hello

This morning Dan Haseltine has been here to sing his scratch vocal for one of Kevin's songs. It's sort of a smoldering funk tune, if that makes sense.

Dan faces the band Posted by Hello

Closeup of me by Chris
Originally uploaded by matthewmusic.

On a totally unrelated note, to those of you who've been reading my blog for a few months, I've been meaning to tell you that I've recovered very well from my laser eye surgery. The doctor told me I have 20/20 in my right eye, and 20/15 in my left. All praise be to God!