Thursday, June 19, 2008

JRL's Public Face

In the last few weeks (and blog posts) I've been reflecting about JRL: why I started it, what I've learned, where it's at now, and where it's heading.

As I've been reflecting and talking to people about this, I'm realizing that I have a different picture of JRL than everyone else. I see the vision, the potential, and all the people who have contributed to it. Other people think of JRL as a live show or a cd. I see what's behind JRL and what it could be, while other people see JRL's "public face".

So what's behind JRL's public face?

- Many people donating time, skills, and perspective to projects and events
- Booking and arranging concerts, tours, mailing cds, updating myspace pages and websites
- Writing and recording music, designing cds and promo materials
- Organizing and managing the above

Behind JRL's public face is a lot of work.

Since I started JRL I've been splitting my time and energy between developing the music and developing my other passion: helping people find community and connection to God. On most of my tours my time was split between music and connecting with people. These connections have grown into a network and I've been wrestling with having way too much to do.

This leads me to think about how my music fits into the next stage of my life... and the future of JRL.


Ken said...

"Every denomination and religious organization I have worked with does long-range planning. ironically, they do long-range planning as though the future will simply be an extention of the present. ...As a result, we are chronically surprised by change. In the future we can no longer afford this luxury."
-Tom Sine

I hope this is encouraging to you. I read this literally minutes after reading your post.

Joel said...

That's kinda funny (and maybe it means that you and I haven't talked about JRL enough), but the "Live" part, to me, emphasizes the fact that your art and ministry and leadership and life are so intertwined; that's one of the things I admire about you. So the face of JRL isn't a public facade; it's your face and the relationships and reality that are your walking, waking life.

As I've enjoyed "Now," I can't escape that it's you singing and playing and I can't help but let that influence (i.e., enhance) my understanding of the songs. Thinking about writing about the music, I was a little troubled by that prejudice because I thought it might prevent me from tapping into the universal message and appeal.

But then I realized that I hate exactly the kind of abstraction and generalization that I had lapsed into believing--if only for a moment--might be the ideal. After all, the human contact and the real life behind (and infused in) the sounds is just what we need if we're ever going to overcome "that loneli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ness."

And part of the power of art (the power, indeed, of Incarnation)--isn't it that it reveals the eternal through the concrete and specific, through that which is tangible and manifestly real, through that which has a human, identifiable face?

Oh, and speaking of the specific, I sure would love to get my greedy little electronic mitts on those lyrics. :-P