The Journey to Innovation
As the Soloist at the international headquarters of the Christian Science church — The Mother Church — I found myself in the unique position of bringing to the services all kinds of inspiring and innovative sacred music for the 21st Century. From 2005 to 2012, I performed several hundred sacred and inspirational songs in English and Spanish as well as in several African languages.
It was a large part of my job to do this, and I loved it! I loved it because it was natural for me to explore and expand my sense of music in church. I was drawn to do it, and inspired to do it. I simply had to do it! It was my spiritual path to walk during those 7 years.
Over time, I helped to expand the instrumentation at The Mother Church beyond its grand Aeolean-Skinner organ. Though much beloved and well used with over 13,000 pipes, we needed other instruments to express the more contemporary music. We added digital keyboards, a computer bank of state-of-the-art sample libraries of orchestral instruments and an acoustic grand piano. We regularly invited special guest instrumentalists to accompany me: acoustic and electric guitarists, keyboard players and programmers, a brass quintet, harpists, a violist, a clarinet player, a drum line of African drummers from Kenya and Nigeria, and more! Occasionally, I sang a capella, and once I sang with a sweet harmonica as my accompaniment. I also used professionally produced orchestral tracks as my band, which expanded the sacred sound landscape even further.
The expansion and innovation of the music in church always came from a deeply grounded motive to serve: to serve the worship service, its congregation, and follow the inspiring messages coming to my thought. My spiritual goal was to bless the service and congregation with music that would lift up, inspire, and heal, while supporting the main ideas of the sermon. During my tenure, these motives and goals found their expression through the addition of instruments and instrumentalists mentioned above, different kinds of guest singers, a wide range of spiritual songs in many musical styles as well as my own evolving style of performance.
When I arrived at the beginning of my final year, I thought, well, it seems my work is done. So, I asked, what am I supposed to do now? Through prayer and practice, the answer came. I was to go deep into Mary Baker Eddy’s prose text and sing her timeless truths straight from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. “Wow.” I thought, “Sing iconic statements from this seminal book! What an interesting and challenging project to undertake!”
I took the idea to my principal composer and producer, Peter Link. As a well-crafted lyricist, he was initially resistant to the idea. It’s a whole different process to set prose to music than it is to set poetry or lyrics specifically written to be sung. But Peter also loved so many of the iconic statements in Science and Health, so he was intrigued. He went off to find out how this idea could take shape through his own creative expression.
The result is my new CD, Solos composed and produced by Peter Link. The CD is comprised of 12 songs whose lyrics come directly from Science and Health. One song, “Today,” was the first piece that Peter wrote for the album. He took the opening sentence in the preface of Science and Health and he then expanded on that first phrase with his own lyrics. The other 11 songs on the CD are all comprised of direct prose quotes written by Mary Baker Eddy.
The process of creating and recording “Solos” became a profound experience for both Peter and me. We each discovered that the words and ideas came to light with fresh understanding when married to this original contemporary music. We both felt that releasing this CD as I finished my 7 years at The Mother Church really served as a summation of that rich time of spiritual and musical innovation. The CD also became a wonderful bridge to continue communicating inspiring truths through music as I go forward into the world.
I am so excited to share this CD of the innovative music of Peter Link with the timeless lyrics from a great spiritual thinker, Mary Baker Eddy. She wrote Science and Health for the world. She meant it to be shared, read, and used in every walk of life. It is with that intention that we offer Solos to seekers of Truth everywhere!
“Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love — be it song, sermon, or Science — blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty.” From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: 234:4 – and found in the song, “Footsteps of Truth” on the Solos CD.
Enjoy listening to songs from Solos at: http://www.reverbnation.com/juliawade
Listen to samples, download and purchase shippable copies of “Solos” at Watchfire Music: https://www.watchfiremusic.com/artist.php?arid=2
Get the sheet music for Solos at http://www.watchfiremusic.com/composer.php?coid=2
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