As a deacon, I have always wanted to find and share media (music, movies, internet, etc.) that are not promoted by the mainstream media. I contend that mainstream media is driven by money and commercialism. The future depends on our young people embracing a spirit of the unity of humanity; a recognition of stewardship of the gifts we have been given; an unselfish love for each other; and the building of unselfish relationships. Yes, some people have been hurt in unselfish relationships, but the best way to heal is to get back up and start again Gesangsschule Appenzell
Music, to me, is therapeutic. It has helped deal with depression, regrets, guilt, you name it. I needed music that was calming, affirming, inspirational, and loving. My experience with the healing power of music inspired me to copy calming music to be placed in my father-in-law's palliative care room. Maybe because of his illness and the medications, he seemed overly agitated; I believe the music helped. The music was set to play continuously. The nurses asked me if they could keep the music; they appreciated the calm it produced in his room.
To me, most CCM (Christian Contemporary Music) is too "rock", too "noisy". Traditional Christian music is great, but not always what I needed; I was looking for something more contemporary, more in touch with my day-to-day life. These artists were right for me, even if they don't seem to be right for most "normal" people.
Most of the time I want calming, soft music that doesn't create a level of nervous anxiety. Sometimes though, I like to hear music that is more dynamic, more passionate, yet not "noisy"; I hope you understand what I mean.
Maybe this music is right for you too.
I am Catholic. I have deliberately not included known Catholic artists for two reasons.
One: There are some beliefs on which we do not agree. I do not want these to be reasons to continue to separate us. Christian music speaks from the heart, from our need for God, usually with a passion that is energizing. We share that passion.
Two: There are several Catholic artists I like, and would prefer to profile separately as Catholic contemporary musical artists.
The World of Christian Music For the Young-at-Heart Senior
There is so much great Christian music and so many talented artists evangelizing love of God and love of neighbor, through music. Music is an international language, with many dialects, that can communicate so well. With video, great melodies, and great instrumentation, the message gets across even if we don't understand the words. Music can touch our hearts and stir our souls in ways no words can.
Music can be used to promote peace; peace through compassion, understanding, mutual respect, and love for God (however we conceive God) and our neighbor. Our neighbor isn't just the person next door; our neighbor is also the homeless poor downtown and across the world in Calcutta, Syria, Africa, and so many places in the world.
"Ortega was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico near the banks of the Rio Grande. He started learning piano at eight years of age. Through his father's work with the United States Department of State, he also spent time in Ecuador and Barbados. His family lived in Chimayo, NM for eight generations, which has been cited as an influence on his music.[by whom?] It is from his heritage and classical training at The University of New Mexico where Ortega derives his sound, embracing country, classical, Celtic, Latin American, world, modern folk and rustic hymnody." (Wikipedia)
Fernando Ortega's music is acoustic, low-tech; often including only a few instruments such as piano, cello, drums, accordion, and a couple of guitars. He generally singing songs based on his Christian faith and knowledge of scriptures, but also includes many songs about family and home. His latest album, "Come Down O Love Divine" is a reflection of his growing love for liturgical music.
I can listen all day to Fernando Ortega's music. It calms me, inspires me, teaches me, and sometimes even makes me laugh. Sometimes his songs are stories of people who important in his life; his landlady, his grandfather, his family, even his pets.
Fernando Ortega has a DVD "Live In St. Paul's" which I would recommend for anyone who likes watching live concerts.
Fernando Ortega's music has a unique combination of beauty and message.
"Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Christy Nockels was born in Ft. Worth, Texas and raised in Oklahoma as the daughter of a pastor and a piano teacher. She met her future husband and musical collaborator Nathan Nockels in 1993 at a Christian Artists Seminar. The two married in 1995 and began writing the songs that would make up their debut album, Holy Roar, recorded with longtime friends Charlie and Kimber Hall and released under the billing Sons and Daughters.
Upon relocating back to Texas, the duo was championed and eventually signed by Rocketown Records, a small label owned by Grammy Award-winning CCM artist Michael W. Smith. They relocated again to Nashville in 1998 and formed the highly successful Watermark, releasing five albums that resulted in both significant chart success and a handful of Dove Awards. Christy released her first solo album, Life Light Up, in 2009 on Six Step records." (YouTube - Christy Nockels - Topic)
Christy Nockels has recorded several songs that really speak to me. I like her soft side but she can "rock" too.
I like her soft voice, wonderful lyrics, and calming melodies.
Originally a string bassist and never expecting to pursue what would eventually become her career path, Story joined Silers Bald as a (eventually) bass player after meeting vocalist Shane Williams at Columbia International University. With the band, Story would be a part of four albums, but felt that her true calling lay elsewhere, and by 2000, she was off on her own. Upon entering the studio to record her debut album, Story needed one more track, and quickly composed the work "Indescribable." The track would give the album a name, and was given an even wider audience when singer Chris Tomlin took the track to the top of the charts and to churches from coast to coast. Taking her success in stride, Laura Story went to work on independent album number two, There is Nothing, which was released in 2005. The success of the album led to a deal with INO records, which released her third album, Great God Who Saves in 2008. In addition to her career as a vocalist and songwriter, Story was also women's leader and pastor at Perimeter Church in Atlanta, Georgia. (https://myspace.com/laurastory/bio)
Laura Story has a "little girl's voice" on many songs that is very endearing. Like so many of the artists I like, Laura combines great lyrics, great melodies, and her love for God and her neighbor.
Steve Bell (born November 17, 1960) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is among the best-known Christian musicians in Canada and is an accomplished songwriter and record producer. Bell has an extensive catalog of songs including "Deep Calls to Deep", "Eventide" and "Fresh and Green". Before embarking on his solo career he was a long-time member of the group Elias, Schritt, and Bell. In 1989, Bell founded the independent recording label Signpost Music. His first solo album, Comfort My People, was released on Signpost that same year. Bell now has seventeen albums to his credit. Among his many awards are two Junos. (Wikipedia)
Steve Bell is a wonderful guitarist and story-teller in addition to his great music. I have had the great opportunity to see him live in Toronto. He was performing a concert in a church to a small crowd with only a pianist and a bass player. He was funny, engaging, and humble. He could easily have a more lucrative career, but I'm sure he feels he is serving the Lord more faithfully by touring to small audiences. Chances are, he will be performing close to you soon; don't miss the opportunity.
Brooke Gabrielle Fraser Ligertwood, better known as Brooke Fraser (born 15 December 1983), is a New Zealand singer-songwriter and musician best known for her involvement with the Christian label Hillsong Music. Her third studio album Flags has become the most successful album of her career, with the single "Something in the Water" reaching number one on the New Zealand Singles Chart in 2010 and charting around the world. "Something in the Water" was the 9th most played song in Germany in 2011 and has been certified Gold in Germany. The album debuted at No. 1 in NZ, No. 2 in Australia, No. 6 in Germany. Aside from her solo career, Fraser is known for being a Pentecostal worship leader at Hillsong Church. (Wikipedia)
I was watching Hillsong videos which fascinated me by their incredible participation by young people. I couldn't imagine stadiums of 20.000 people so involved in Christian music. I found some good, some "noisy", but one artist in particular, Brooke Fraser, really impressed me.
Brooke Fraser has a rare voice quality that is both soft and powerful. She has written most of her own music. Brooke has recorded a couple of albums, independent of Hillsong, which I thoroughly enjoy. They are not generally overtly Christian, as her Hillsong compositions would be, but they are infused with Christian values and sentiments.
My favorite song would be "Soon". One video I've seen uses wedding pictures, but I think it is better as a song to comfort someone who is facing imminent death themself or of a loved one. Listen to the song and decide for yourself.
Songs of Praise
I really enjoy music videos that show what is good, and true, and beautiful in the world. The beauty of loving relationships, the marvels of the natural world, the unimaginable size and beauty of the universe.
When we think about all this, how can we not want to praise the source of these wonders.
A great Christian video should inspire us through beautiful music, heartfelt faithful lyrics, and wonderful imagery.
There are so much great music of praise available to us through the talents of so many gifted artists, writers, technicians. All it takes is a little effort on our part to find it.
Songs of Healing
Christian songs very often deal with the need for healing.
We know we have sometimes hurt others or ourselves.
We see how often we place other things as more important than God in our lives, and know that is not good.
We recognize our weaknesses and admit we need the grace of God.
We are all in need of healing; healing that comes through forgiveness. We all need to be forgiven, and we all need to be forgiving. Forgiveness is freedom to be joyful and grateful.
Great Christian music helps us see the beauty in healing our troubled souls and seeking the comfort of God's love and mercy. Christian music inspires us to love enough to forgive, and humble enough to seek forgiveness.
What in The World Are We Listening To?
How many of us simply turn on the radio or the tv and accept what the popular media feeds us as entertainment?
If we had a choice, what would we listen to on the radio or what would we select from the media available to us?
I prefer to choose media that is inspirational, that is positive, creative, and productive. I don't need talk shows that are gossip, scandalous, sensational, or petty I don't want music that is rude, degrading, angry, shallow or selfish.
But where can I go in the mainstream media to find what I want? Do I have a choice?
Search the internet as I have. When you find music, videos, whatever, that you like, make note of it, save it and treasure it. In fairness to the wonderful people (the artists, writers, producers, etc.) I conscientiously purchase CDs, DVDs, books, for any media I add to my collection. You can do the same; you have a choice! You can accept what the mainstream media offers (bad idea) or choose to select and support people and companies that share your values.
We are not sheep that blindly follow. Each of us is a unique and precious being with the right and capacity to choose our own path. I choose to follow a path of seeking all that is good, and true, and beautiful. I sometimes stray from the path, but hopefully I never lose sight of it , and can return to it when I see the need..
A Seniors Hope
In a world of constant media through smartphones, television, radio, printed media, billboards, etc, we all should have a place of quiet and silence to hear the quiet voice of God.
We are sometimes uncomfortable with silence and that is understandable.
We do have a choice when we feel a need to fill the silence. I believe it is good at those times to choose music, simple audio or video, that calm, inspire, and heal our frantic spirits
Published by Dorothy Jones