Sufjan Stevens meets The Office

"Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven," according to St. James. "The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light" (James 1:17, The Message). This is a heavenly gift, pairing one of my favorite TV shows with one of my favorite musicians. Kudos to Josiah Renken for describing every album …

Jazz

Jazz. That little word conjures up so much delight: grooving to the bewitching music in night clubs, savoring the honeyed taste of the eponymous apple, and improvising in “a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil. 1.27). “Jazz is freedom,” declared the great Duke Ellington. It is an exhalation of the human spirit, like all …

Music for hope

On Easter Sunday (April 12, 2020), by invitation of the City and of the Duomo cathedral of Milan, Italian global music icon Andrea Bocelli gave a solo performance representing a message of love, healing and hope to Italy and the world. https://youtu.be/huTUOek4LgU

Pairings of great literature and classical music

Whenever I read literature, I try to pair it with relevant music, which is either based on the literature or mentioned explicitly in it. If you have recommendations, please share them. Book of Job Orlande de Lassus, Lectiones Sacrae Novem, Ex Libris Hiob Excerptae (ca. 1582) Homer, The Iliad Jacques Offenbach, La belle Hélène Hector Berlioz, Les Troyens  Homer, The Odyssey …

Jesus Christ the Apple Tree | In the Bleak Mid-Winter

Advent season begins this Sunday (December 2, 2018). To prepare my heart for the Christ Child, I am listening to Christmas carols on an exquisite album called, O Holy Night: A Merton Christmas (Delphian, 2016), which features the Choir of Merton College at Oxford University. (Incidentally, J.R.R. Tolkien was Merton Professor of English Language and Literature from …

Sufjan Stevens: No Shadow in the Shade of the Cross

Stuff Aesthetic Fascists Like: Of all the singers populating my ears over the years, none has provided more habitual companionship than Sufjan Stevens. His music is a soundtrack to my life, which has a certain fittingness because we were both born in the same year. It is never easy to articulate why one singer becomes a resonant voice over another. But …

Sufjan Stevens: The Perpetual Self, or “What Would Saul Alinsky Do?”

Stuff Aesthetic Fascists Like: Of all the singers populating my ears over the years, none has provided more habitual companionship than Sufjan Stevens. His music is a soundtrack to my life, which has a certain fittingness because we were both born in the same year. It is never easy to articulate why one singer becomes a resonant voice over another. But …