Archive for June, 2009

Spy Music Winner

Posted on June 26, 2009 at 1:23 pm, by Ben

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Three weeks ago I stated that the first person to recognize every element I intentionally included in my spy music re-mix would receive a free download of the Return of The Daughters Original Soundtrack. After a lot of astute observation and deduction in the comment section, every melody and theme in the mix was properly guessed …save for one. It only comes in for a moment, but I intentionally left the orchestration pretty bare so that the “secret” melody, played by flute at 0.59, would be more exposed and therefore easier to hear.

Hint: Chances of your recognizing it without having grown up in 1970s Soviet Russia are slim. I never would have heard this music if it hadn’t been passed to my brother by a Soviet Navy shipbuilder from Vladivostok. It’s from Semnadtsat Mgnovenij Vesny, or in English, The 17 Moments of Spring, a 1973 Russian miniseries about a Soviet spy operating in Nazi Germany under a false identity. The melody I “pulled” from it can be heard in this clip.

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Knowing it was a little unfair to require listener familiarity with a melody this obscure, (hey, spying is about keeping secrets, right?) I decided to award the first person to correctly identify the four other melodies (Mission Impossible, James Bond, The Incredibles and Secret Agent Man) intentionally placed in the mix. His name is Warren. Jeremiah Warren.

Music: the Savior of the World?

Posted on June 17, 2009 at 12:45 am, by Ben

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“I believe in God, Mozart and Beethoven, and likewise their disciples and apostles; I believe in the Holy Spirit and the truth of the one, indivisible Art; I believe that this Art proceeds from God, and lives within the hearts of all illumined men; I believe that he who once has bathed in the sublime delights of this high Art, is consecrate to Her for ever, and never can deny Her; I believe that through Art all men are saved.”Richard Wagner

“I despise a world which does not feel that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” – Ludwig Van Beethoven

Music does not possess the power to save because music is not our Savior.

Though created by God with specific designs and intentions (a topic for another day), music was not created to be the savior of men or the savior of culture—that claim belongs to Christ. Furthermore, nowhere does scripture indicate that music is the agent God uses to open the eyes of the spiritually blind or to spiritually awaken those who are dead in their sins, but throughout it clearly outlines what is: the grace of God through faith by the hearing of the Word.

But surely, if we could just show an unbeliever the evidence of Creation—perhaps through a really beautiful and emotional piece of music—and tell him how reasonable it is to believe in God… that would be enough to convince him of his error and prick his heart unto repentance, right? No, because human unbelief is not due to a lack of earthly evidence, but a complete inability to properly understand the created things of God because we are spiritually dead and blind in our natural state. Fallen man requires Christ as his savior because he is in desperate need of the eye-opening saving grace that no amount of evidence, emotional stimulation, or even music (however beautiful), can provide. Scripture portrays a crystal-clear dichotomy between the spiritually dead and the spiritually alive in Christ. The notion that the dead can make himself live is ridiculous, and the suggestion that the blind can see for himself the way of light is utterly absurd… So why do we even pretend to believe that a spiritually blind, dead man can discern the salvation of Christ through the hearing of music when we are clearly told that Christ saves through the hearing of His Word?

Most theological blunders are birthed when we conform the Word of God to our individual lifestyles and not our lifestyles to the Word. If saving faith was triggered merely by an emotional jolt souls could be saved by the music we write and play, seemingly eliminating the need to stand up in times of intense persecution to proclaim, preach, teach and uphold the Word of God or evangelize to the lost (Mat 28:18-20, Col 1:28, Rom 10:14). God forbid that we ever replace His mandates and commissions with ones of our own construction.

I praise God that He has opened my eyes to behold a revelation higher even than music, and that I can stand in confident opposition to the teachings of Wagner and proclaim with joy that the salvation of mankind lies not in art or music but in Christ, the only true Savior.

Music. Spy Music.

Posted on June 4, 2009 at 2:06 pm, by Ben

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Have you ever noticed how all spy/secret agent music sounds kinda similar? If you didn’t before, you definitely will after hearing this little orchestration and arrangement exercise I put together recently. Obviously, most of the musical material was pulled from a selection of works that I felt characterized the “spy music” genre well. As it turns out, most of this “spy music” is so similar in form and style that many of the melodies, harmonies and rhythms are compatible and interchangeable with those of other spy films… giving me the opportunity to mash together a slew of musical content from a wealth of differing sources.

The first commenter on this post to correctly recognize every element I intentionally copied included in this mix will receive a free download of The Return of the Daughters Original Soundtrack.