Saturday, November 24, 2007

My Music Diary

Music is very intimate. It is powerful in that it speaks to the deepest part of us. Music can open up doors because it communicates in a totally different way. It speaks to your emotions. Music can be calming, energetic, melancholy, or it can lead you places in the spirit world. Walking into the day spa you hear soft jazz or piano music with nature sounds in the background. In the department store you'll likely hear an energetic pop tune. Have you ever walked by one of those trendy gothic stores with the screaming guitars and painful sounding voices booming out into the mall? Or have you ever looked at the people going in and out of those stores? This music makes people feel oppressed. There are songs that bring you back in time and make you cry or make you laugh because of identifying with it. Now have you ever heard anointed music? No matter the music style, this type of music leads one into the presence of God where they feel uplifted and liberated, where the others cannot. I had a music class in college that admitted business owners actually have an agenda when they decide what music to put in their stores. They understand the sway that music has on their customers. With the power that music possesses, it can be used as an outreach tool in our communities.

I began thinking about this yesterday when I went to Books-a-million (akin to CA's Barnes N Noble or Borders) swarming with people (bookstores are always swarming with people). Allow me to take you there: with an almost immidiate overnight transformation of orange and golds to red and greens, Christmas music, and Santa Clause posing with children outside the door, I thought to myself: "one day I will have a bookstore/cafe with music... live music." As I sat in the cafe with Noah I watched all the different people who had come "into town" for the after Thanksgiving sales. It was pure madness as people rushed here and there (barely smiling). But then I glanced at those seated in the cafe sipping on their caramel apple ciders and pumpkin spiced lattes and most were pleasantly talking in quiet tones with relaxed smiles on their faces. I noticed that the holiday music was better heard above the hustle and bustle in the somewhat secluded cafe where people stopped to listen. Could it be the reason for the relaxing effect it had on people here? I believe so. Only one thing could have made it better... live music. Live music compells people to stop and listen.

This leads me to those live musicians (many times young people) in our churches. Our churches have so many talented musicians. Cornerstone Revival Center alone has many talented musicians including two singers/songwriters (David Brazeel; Zane Isaacson) who have already recorded solo projects. These musicians could come play/sing with the anointing and minister to people's needs... simply put: be used by God. Hence the door to the emotions opens up doors to other venues of their lives. Understand, the city where I live is very God oriented and everyone goes to church. You will not likely meet someone who does not love God... remember this is the Bible belt. So I kept thinking: "Live music (not to mention live anointed music) always makes people stop and listen. What a great tool for outreach." They could "see" us and note the difference that God has performed in our lives as well as be ministered to, etc.... How much more powerful would it be to play songs that people stop and pay attention to (live)? That said, it would be so much fun and fulfilling to have a cafe and hire out or allow aspiring Christian musicians to perform and minister in my store.

A side note: I remember as a teenager, a few of the young people went to a cafe in Stockton, CA where a family from Christian Life Center (the Hogues) owned a cafe where they played live music on a certain night every week and it was used as a major outreach tool. I only went one time but enjoyed it thorouhly and it seemed very successful in its outreach. I also did some research on the internet and found this idea to be not so novel. There are many Christian based cafes springing up all over the US that invite contemporary guest artists. Check out Edge64 Cafe in Nebraska, Fishlocker Cafe in Maine, and New Hope Cafe on Staten Island.

Whether or not this dream ever comes to pass, I find it very exciting. This may come about in a studio, a concert at the park, or some other place God may lay on my heart. Of course music is not going to save someone's soul but it (praise and worship) is definitely a powerful tool that confuses the enemy.


Jana Allard said...

Music is powerful. It can relax or encite, encourage or sadden. It should never be underestimated. BTW, did you know that Bryce and I each did solo projects last December? There are links to our websites on my blog and you should be able to hear sound clips. We are going back to Nashville (again) in a couple weeks to record WAY Quartet. Ken Fitzpatrick is helping them and they had a 12 hour practice yesterday and a 14 hour practice today. They are sounding good.

James Wilder said...

Our Campus Ministry team currently meets once each month for CoffeeBreak, and we always start off with LIVE worship music. There's nothing like it. It's funny you are mentioning coffee shops because Em and I were talking recently with her parents about a Mission242 Cafe. In Coos Bay there is already a Cafe 101: exquisite style, roomy, peaceful - includes a Christian bookstore, full coffee menu and snacks and about 3,000-4,000 sq ft of tables and couches.
I'll check out the Edge64 Cafe too. Opening a Live Music cafe would be great for you...and a wonderful place to release your own solo album!

Music Eloquence said...

Jana, WOW! I really enjoyed listening to your cd sample. You sing so beautifully and correctly.
You have the best of the best in Ken Fitzpatrick.

James, how neat is that?! What kind of success are you having in the outreach aspect? Thanks for the encouragement. I'd really love to open one up.

Janell said...

Vonney! Definitely go for it, girl. You've got the music know-how and the business know-how. I'm positive it would be the best coffee shop in America!! (can I come and make the coffee?! hahahaa You know, that's a motivating factor for people too! *jk) Coffee shops are such a cool environment. I love going to starbucks on my break and just chillin, even for 10 min. It's not even really about the coffee, sometimes, but about the environment! As I told my family on Thanksgiving--they were arguing that Starbucks is being threatened by McDonalds, because McDonald's new gourmet coffee tastes extremely good....but my reply is that nobody wants to go to McD's for cofee!! EW! We want the atmosphere! =) I bet you would have a very lovely atmosphere, with your decorating know-how as well!!

Music Eloquence said...

Hey Janell, Thanks for the encouragement and the offer to come help make my coffee. HAHA. I agree atmosphere has so much to do with it... what would happen in a Holy Ghost filled atmosphere????? Hmmmmmmm