So Mash-Ups Are a Good Thing?

I wasn't clear about the whole "mash-up" thing. Some LeTour! members were getting excited about how we could create "mash-ups" as part of the ensemble repertoire for the fall season...but I was still back on: "What's a mash-up"? Sounded like a mistake, something to be earnestly avoided, and certainly not pursued with vigor.

As most of you probably already know (since most of my readers are 'hipper' than I), a mash-up is actually the blending of two or more songs into one piece for performance. Sort of like a medley, but not necessarily in sequence, and sometimes overlapping one another.

As I pondered this in the midst of the joyous cacophony of a typical LeTour! repertoire meeting with the directors and artists, I was struck with the sense that this is exactly what we are doing in this inaugural year of the secondary ensemble we call LeTour!: creating mash-ups not just of different songs, but of different art forms, so that the overall impact is greatly heightened.

In LeTour! you will find dance, the spoken word, vocal and instrumental music, photography, painting and even film co-existing in the same performance space in real-time.

It might be helpful at this point to see an example of an arts mash-up, this one from Blackhawk Church, one of the few churches in America that is embracing the arts as a powerful vehicle to reach this culture we swim in.

So now you have a better idea of what LeTour! is after: maximum impact through the blending of art forms so contemporary audiences will be moved to start conversations...hopefully about Jesus!

Please mark your calendars for November 7 at 7:00pm, when LeTour! along with special guest Mrs' Bowling's Dance Troupe will present it's premiere performance.

It's your chance to become even 'hipper' than you are now!

 

(Wait--does anybody even use that word anymore...

 

 

God's Grandeur

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining shook foil...
                                 From God's Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The world is indeed charged with God's greatness, majesty and glory. It is so because He is the Creator-God, from whom all things derive and in whom all things hold together. And all we who are humans, created in His very image, are, then, born (again) as artists.

Children understand this, though it is too sacred a thing to put into words. And often (too often, I would say) we domesticate and commoditize their in-born, God-given creativity out of them. Instead, we should be about the business of leading them to pursue their development as artists as a sacred trust before the Lord...freedom within boundaries, presaging a different, a better, a tantalizing, an infinitely more beautiful Reality.

For young artists who are God-followers, this pursuit will have little to do with competitions, college scholarships and the ever-dangerous, applause-driven, self-focused delusions of humanistic grandeur that are rampant in the current cult of American celebrity. But it will have everything to do with choosing to exercise an intentional stewardship of the gifts of these young artists as humans, as Christ-followers, as those whose very view of reality is being significantly shaped (we diligently hope) by the ancient-yet-true texts of the Holy Bible.

Should worldly success result from this pursuit, then we praise God for it, and we will be called to steward that as well.

"Success" or not, this stewardship of which we speak takes many forms, yet can be expressed in a few simple and profound words:

Craft

    Mastery

         Joy

             Gospel

                  Presence

                      Truth

                         Beauty

                              Co-creation

Of course, these emerging young artists may never make money from their art...but in pursuing the beauty of God through it their souls will be enriched. And not just theirs--but the souls of many whom their lives will touch.

It is also true that being an artist-Christ-follower may take the form of revealing the beauty of God through numbers, or the written word, or computer coding. We must not be too narrow here in our definitions. Yet clearly our focus in this particular endeavor remains with the performing and visual arts.

***

This year at Community Christian School, I will have the privilege of leading the effort to steward these young emerging artists, K-12, in their pursuit of God through the Creative Arts.

We have assembled a talented team of directors and instructors who are intently focused on building a shalom community of artist-leaders who take seriously and joyfully the mission of raising up artists who will infiltrate culture with great art that points securely and wonderfully to the One who started it all, and who is bringing everything in creation to a climactic conclusion.

Why not join us on this amazing journey?