Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fingerstyle on a Stratocaster

I have been playing around with fingerstyle on my electric guitars lately and this is a piece I wrote as a result of that experimentation. It is still in somewhat rough form and I'll probably expand/change it over time...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Cry Ascends

Back in my homeschool high school years I became familiar with the name Greg Wilbur through George Grant's "Gileskirk" curriculum. Occasionally Greg, who also teaches at Franklin Classical School, would lecture when Dr. Grant was away. I also read his biography of Bach (recommended, by the way). I did not know until recently that he also serves as the Director of Music at Parish Presbyterian Church in the Franklin, TN area. Over the past few years he has written or adapted tunes and texts to various psalms and hymns of bygone eras for congregational use at Parish. 16 of these psalms and hymns have been compiled into a CD that was just published by Ligonier Ministries, titled "My Cry Ascends". On the CD artists including Michael Card, Nathan Clark George, Wes King, and Steve Green perform the arrangements beautifully. I highly recommend purchasing the CD as excellent listening material, and I have also really enjoyed singing them at home and with others in small gatherings. Perhaps eventually some of these settings will be used in the worship at WPC...

Here are some links:

To purchase the CD from Ligonier, go HERE. (mp3s available soon)

To purchase the CD from Nathan Clark George's store, go HERE. (cheaper shipping)

To download a free track from the CD, click HERE.

To purchase lead sheets, or read more about Greg and his work, go HERE.

On Greg's website, I would particularly commend to you the section on Musical Philosophy, a portion of which I will quote below:

I believe that beauty is an attribute of God and is therefore a theological issue.
I believe that beauty and excellence are objective and that the Bible provides the standard for what is beautiful and excellent.
I believe that since there is a biblical objective standard for what is beautiful and excellent that this should apply especially in areas of worship.
I believe that an understanding of beauty enables a greater understanding of the nature and character of God.
I believe that the arts are worldview incarnate.
I believe that goodness, truth, and beauty are Trinitarian concepts and that each element requires the relationship of the other two for complete understanding.
I believe that the saints need to know how to read music and how to sing for the sake of the worship of God.
I believe that we should know, respect, and utilize the arts of the past as we continue to create new art that is historically informed but also Biblically creative.
I believe that originality is not a Biblical notion.
I believe that we weaken our understanding of art when we try to apply a narrative structure on all works instead of trying to understand music as music, painting as painting, etc.
I believe Philippians 4:8 provides a Biblical pattern by which to critique our thoughts and actions as well as our affections.
I believe that the Church abdicated its rightful place as the leader of culture.
I believe that the Church no longer knows how to train and equip artists because we have adopted a secular view of the arts.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Peppino D'Agostino

Last night my wife and I had the opportunity to attend a concert by acoustic fingerstyle guitarist Peppino D'Agostino in Hillsboro, Oregon. I have been urged multiple times over the past few years to check out his music but had not seen him live until last night. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I would recommend you check out his music as well. As a guitarist, I was inspired with new ideas and techniques I had not heard before. Below are some of the photos and video I captured from the concert. Enjoy!

(Photos and videos shot with a Canon 7D, 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens, Video: ISO 3200, 24p @ 1/40s, Photos: ISO 3200 @ 1/40s, 1/50s, and 1/100s)

If you are interested in such things, he was playing a Seagull Artist "Peppino" signature guitar, through an L.R. Baggs "Venue" DI box / EQ / tuner, Digitech Hardwire RV-7 reverb stompbox, into an AER Compact 60 acoustic amplifier. He was also mic'd with a Shure SM81 into the house PA system for a very full, bright sound.

Here are the videos I captured: