Improvising the Gloria
In this season of epiphany, we will be "improvising" the Gloria as a congregation. This is a brand new way of being for us, a new exploration into music making as a congregation. We are doing very exciting work! Throughout the season, I will offer some thoughts about what we are doing and why. I invite you to be aware of your experience, reflect on it, and to share it.
One of my musical mentors, Joe Craven, defines music as POP - the pursuit of possibility. Music has the potential and power to change us - to change the way we feel, to change the way we think, to heal our bodies and our minds, to draw us close together in community and in love. Making music is the pursuit of that potential, that power. It isn't something external to us, something that comes to us from the outside. Rather, it is something that we are born with, something that is an inherent part of our nature. In making music, we are tuning into something that is intimately familiar, natural, known on the deepest levels of our being. Music is built into us, everything we do expresses and revolves around it - our life is full of rhythms, tone, pitch, patterns, loops, dynamics, phrases, space. When we make music, we are connecting with who we already are, who we are on our deepest levels of being. And it is precisely this "connecting" that is potential, is power, is what changes us. Epiphany begins with the story of a star that guides us to our savior, the core and essence of who we are. With this as a metaphor, we are going to explore music, and specifically "improvisation" as a guide - a guide into our deepest levels of being, our emotions, thoughts, bodies, minds, voices, our community, our connectedness, our duality and our unity, our union with God. Improvisation is just a fancy word for play. Music is also just a fancy word for play. One of the highest compliments you can give to a classical musician is to say that she played a piece of music as if she was improvising it. Play is the very nature and soul of music. Play is exploration without a definite goal. Play is a state of being that opens us up, it changes us just by being in that state. Music is a place we can explore the potential of this state of play, of openness, of listening, of being and connecting. There is no fear in play, just possibility. There is no fear in love, just possibility. Music is the pursuit of possibility, of play, of love. "Truly I tell you, unless you become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of God." I invite you into our improvised Gloria as little children, children of God, of the earth, of the universe. I invite you into wonder, into curiosity, into a place with no judgment, no black and white - just vivid color. I invite you to hear your voice as if for the first time, to sing as if for the first time, to be in the present moment as if this very moment is all that there is. I invite you into the pursuit of possibility, into the joy of music, into our very deep connectedness as beings, into the very heart of God.
— Jack Barben, Music Director
Tags: News & Events / Music / Worship