Posts Tagged With: music

Magnificent Song and Video: Diem Ex Dei

This is one of my favorite orchestral performances I’ve ever seen, and the song is about Christ. It is by Globus, and called “Diem Ex Dei.” The song is especially worth watching from 2:21 onward. See my rough translation beneath the video (credit to Rev. Jonathan Fisk for the outline of the ideas there).

The Latin is not perfect, but the idea is this:

Umbra Dextras (In the shadow of His hands)

Umbra Crucis (In the shadow of His cross)

Umbra Deus (In the shadow of God)

Lucius Dei (Light of God!)

Fide Sponsa (Faith in His gift)

Fides per Dei (Faith through God)

Missaes Canta (Masses sung)

Mistraes Lingua (Mysterious Word!)

Ave Vitae (Hail! He lives)

Rex Promissa (King of Promise)

Ave Vitae (Hail! He lives)

Rex Veritas (King of Truth)

Missaes Magnus (Magnificent Mass)

Fides en Dei (Faith in God)

Christus Laudamus (Highest praises to Christ!)

Mistraes in God (You can guess)

Magnificent mass! Faith in God! Highest praises to Christ! Mysterious Word!

Yes, indeed! Thanks for watching,

-Justin

Categories: Artistic Creations, The Arts, The Message of the Bible | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pause and Listen: Jim Croce – I Got a Name (1973)

When you live in a society that grinds the soul by constant, frenetic activity, it’s good to hit the brakes for a few moments here and there. Let me give you a reason to stop and listen: here is the gentle, pleasant sound of Jim Croce.

This song, I believe, is the epitome of the simple, somewhat innocent folk music of the 1960’s-70’s. I grew up shuffling through my dad’s collection of vinyl, occasionally coming across golden tunes like these. Here is yet another glimpse into the human being magnifying the Creator through our creation and expression of harmony, rhythm, and emotion. Enjoy.

Jim Croce, b. 1943 – d. 1973

Thanks for visiting,
-Justin

Categories: Artistic Creations, The Arts, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Music for the Soul’s Delight

Presbyterianism for the 21st Century

“Music is the handmaiden of theology,” said Martin Luther, and theology is the key to the cosmos (says me). We ought to deeply enjoy good music with our whole mind and heart-we ought to seek out and promote the music of men and women who have a true gift. As some of you know, I haven’t been shy about my enjoyment of secular, even dark music like the Doors, but when it comes to fresh, talented, and richly theological music, there is no comparison.

Through Hymn is like a Thanksgiving dinner for the mind and heart-like a lyrically luscious foray into a seminary classroom. Even if you are not a fan of hip hop, you will find yourself maximally edified in hearing this album. Seriously. There’s even an accapella harmony piece which will make you want to stand to your feet and worship:

Please listen to these free tracks from this talented brother, and support him with a purchase if able. Soli Deo Gloria!

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Artistic Creations, The Arts, The Message of the Bible | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grateful for the Art of Whitney Houston

1963-2012

As a child of the late 80’s and early 90’s, I inevitably grew up listening to the peerless voice of Whitney Houston being played in my home, Walkman, and at any given supermarket around Buffalo. Before I was 10 years old, I knew I wanted to dance with somebody who loved me. I believe it is safe to say there are very few if any other recorded voices in history which were as marvelous as Whitney’s.

When I consider the works of a particular artist, especially regarding musical arts, originality and uniqueness are just about at the top of my list of criterion for how I judge quality. In this sense, Whitney did not invent R+B or soul music, but she was queen of the mountain in her class, doing it better than the others. I did love her style, and in memory of her life and career, give thanks to God for the lovely gifts He gives to the society of men.

It is singers and artists like Whitney who set the bar so high that I am made to feel like I am being cheated by the many wannabes out there pretending to have talent. Maybe that’s why my iPod does not have an extremely wide variety of artists…

Interpretation of her life and death

The media will inevitably molest the last fiber out of her death, prodding and poking into the deepest speculations of her psychology and downfall. I, on the other hand, will simply recognize that Whitney’s life and death illustrates biblical truth on a public, spectacle-laden level.

1) She was given a gift which brought her intense fame and success – a gift which was meant to awaken a worshipful thankfulness to God from her and from us the audience. I’m not saying her music didn’t do that, but sadly her lifestyle seems to have more so followed the Romans 1 darkening of the heart rather than the Psalm 107 enlightening of gratitude.

2) She was a mortal, a sinner like anyone else, and needed the same redemption as the lowest, most obscure peasant in India. No amount of talent or fame can lift a person above their need for the saving atonement for sin which Jesus accomplished at His cross, and in His resurrection from the dead. In this I do not judge whether or not Whitney trusted her life to Jesus at some point, receiving the forgiveness of her sins, but rather I recognize that her private life spoke of an unfulfilled longing for something more which all the money and fame did not provide to her. As C.S. Lewis said,

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

3) We can and should appreciate her art and talent, but never in a way that glorifies her, the creature, as it was all a gift and signs meant to point us to the glorious Creator – the greatest lover of music. The full meaning of music and the ecstasy we feel in listening to it is found in completing the equation: Beauty + the perception of beauty = joy and goodness unto thankfulness and worship of the Lord of the cosmos. God loves a cheerful worshiper, and He gives talents to men and women to then bring us the deepest, most satisfying joy of all; the joy of knowing and loving Him, being a vessel of mercy in the house of our Creator forever.

In coming months, I plan on delving into the art and interpretation of the cosmic meaning of another famous singer who died similarly to Whitney… my boyhood anti-hero Jim Morrison of The Doors.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: The Arts, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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