As I myself have striven over the past few years to draw nearer to music composition, and experienced a great number of struggles and discouragements along the way, the nature of music in general and of the music entrusted to me in particular has become clearer to me. Music truly is one of the primal languages of the universe, and of the human heart, which is in a sense pre-rational in that we can experience it and be moved by it even prior to formulated language or even the capacity for rational thought. On the other hand, music is intensely and richly rational, expressing as it does the Reason, the Logos, that lies at the heart of the universe. Thus music is a great paradox: it is a wordless expression of the Word through whom all things were made, and it can be a vehicle of the word and can channel words into a deeper intensity into the heart and mind (and ears!) of the receiver, while also carrying in itself a language that is itself wordless (in the sense of “little w” words).

Thus music can be both incredibly rich and incredibly simple, profoundly spiritual and yet also deeply enfleshed and earthy. But it can also be humble and servant-like or bloated up with self-focus and false prestige. Thus, like in all things, music was designed by God, and entrusted by him to us, for the sake of the making flesh of the Word. And in this lies its grandeur and its beauty, its meaning and its mystery.

In discerning what this means for my own practice of music, trying to become as much as I am able a transparent channel for his word to sound through me for others, a few key words remain with me as guideposts, as contours emerging from the silence and the darkness like the shape of a face of the tenor of a voice. I have already mentioned a few: Richness and simplicity in a mysterious tension. Spirituality and yet earthiness. For me, the difficulty (inherently, but especially for me simply in the matter of developing the ear-and-heart hearing and the technical skill) is in bringing these paradoxical realities together in a single reality. To express richness in simplicity. And to convey heavenly beauty, spiritual mysteries, in incarnate reality, in fleshly tones.

And for this, humility is necessary, humility in the creator, but also humility in the music. Thus it is not first of all a matter of amazing skill or inborn talent, but of docility to the Spirit, and of spiritual realities that live even in the most ordinary or unspectacular of created (and co-created) things. Thus even as my skill gradually improves–as all things do when you continue to play and work in ceaseless interchange–I continue to hear, and can in fact only write, in a profound simplicity, almost a “music of minimalism,” where sound and instrument are lessened, humbled, to be “at the brink of silence” and only to create a space for the silent echoing of the uncreated Word, the eternal Son of God, who is fullness both of Silence and of Music.

*Below I include online streaming for all of my music. If you wish to listen offline, you can purchase the albums on the publishing section of this site, or through bandcamp.*

The Music

Dawnbringer: Complete Music Collection

A Song for Niraniel (Dawnbringer 1)

Love in the Flesh: Holy Thursday