Sunday, February 17, 2008

Techno Worship

For our midweek, "believers" service called New Community, we normally give our band a break by having on week per month where we back things off in terms of instrumentation. This usually manifests itself in an "unplugged" night with acoustic/piano and maybe a small drum kit. This is great. I love the flexibility of this ensemble for leading.

Last Thursday we went on a new adventure for this service where we did "normal" worship songs that we do, in quite a fresh way for us. Everything was TECHNO. All keyboards and track. Here was our set:

O Sacred King - Matt Redman - pretty much did this one as a special - allowing our people to soak in the sovereign nature of our God as creator and friend simlutaneously.
Majesty (Here I Am) - Delirious - I used the main bass and strings riffs from the CD but added quite a bit in the drum track. I found that bringing a huge pad sound to the chorus on this really helped fill things out. I heard that Adam Callender mixed everything really FAT in order to bring out the emotion.
No One Like You - David Crowder Band - I used Crowder's arrangement from Sushi and Sunsets to make this one with a few adjustments to make it more singable. I also had the idea to sample in portions of audio from "That's My King" by SM Lockridge. This seemed effective but it would have been good to have it on a separate mix to bring it out more.

Jason Miller, my good friend and fellow worship leader delivered an incredible message about "Thou Shall Not Murder" which took us down the road of dealing with our anger and eventually redeeming it for the right purposes. So easy to lead people in worship out of great preaching! Way to go Jason!

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus/Center - Newsboys/Charlie Hall - used a shuffle beat to keep a medley of these two songs in the same key. Turn Your Eyes was an arrangement that I heard almost 13 years ago at a Newsboys concert when they opened for Steven Curtis Chapman - yeah, I admit it. I was an SCC fan. Still am as songwriting goes. Sometimes hard to know what people know in terms of the melody of this song. Hoping it was helpful. Used a fun riff with choir and an opera singer sample to intro each verse. Center was pretty much the Charlie version with a techno shuffle beat. This was the one song I wish I could have spent more time on.
Awesome God - Rich Mullins - This was pretty much a big build and then pull back. My mind through this was racing and in another planet - missing chords on a simple chord progression. But I think it was meaningful.
Sing to the King - Billy Foote - This was probably my most creative arrangement of the night. I loved the siren like sound that played a riff that marked the intro and verse. Heidi Leets did a great job leading us on this one.

1. Don't try to do too much new at one time! I literally KILLED myself trying to put all these songs together.
2. Creative arrangements without practice can prove to be less effective than simpler arrangements with more practice time. I had confidence issues because I put my eggs in the arrangement basket and not in the practice time. So important to be able to lead in humble confidence.
3. We stepped into a new realm this week. As Jason told me, we may be able to take elements of this night and incorporate it into what we do "normally" to help create variety. Taking risks is important. This week was certainly that.

Thanks for everyone's kind words and support. You are awesome. What a great church to be part of.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Hey Dan,

In my experience as a performer and a musician, follow the K.I.S.S. principle...Keep It Simple Silly.

As a drummer/percussionist, if you want to get people to tap their feet or clap their hands the simpler is much more effective. I've heard some stuff that made me wonder if the performer was expecting to perform to an audience of music majors only. So yeah, keep it simple.