Monday, November 30, 2009

Times Squared Collaboration

This is a collaborative piece created for the song "Times Squared" by photographer (oboist, vocalist and sybling) Kimberly Glick and I.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sunslide Art

This piece is by Christa Reuel for the song "Sunslide."

We made 20 small copies of each piece of art and the artists signed and numbered them. Been trying to figure out if we include one, two, four or all the whole collection of art with the CD.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Art and the JRL Farewell recording

So I finally got the music back and ready for the live cd of the Farewell Concert. I also got a different artist to create a peice of work for each song. It's pretty exciting. Here's an example: this is for the song "Carbon Blanket" and the art is by Carrie Yoder. I'll post more examples soon.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mixing Collaboration

Mixing Collaboration

I just read an interview with Daniel Lanois (who has produced a pile of good and great records including Dylan's Time Out of Mind, U2's The Unforgettable Fire and Joshua Tree, and Wrecking Ball by Emmylou Harris). I like some of his thoughts about recording and collaboration.

Best collaboration idea:
Lanois talks about collaborating with Brian Eno: one of them sits down at the mixing desk and gets a rough mix together in 20 min, then the other guy sits down and starts where the other left off.*

I like that they build a process in which they respond to and work from each other's ideas.

Christa has a friend that she paints with -- they either start with two canvasses and switch part way through, or both work on the same canvas.

I cowrite songs periodically, but tend to feel pretty vulnerable during the early part of the creative process.

How do you collaborate?

Read the full interview at:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Me and Music, November 2009

Since March 09

It's been good to rest. To not tour. To have no musical projects in the works besides the CSM.*


Some values and goals for music in the next season are getting clear:
1. Grow as a songwriter (depth, clarity, uniqueness)
2. Grow as a singer/musician/collaborator (excellence, passion, uniqueness)
3. Incorporate visual art into my music (recordings, live shows, etc)
4. Embody my life mission in my music and my music in my life mission**

Slowly develop the music -- new material, a new concert, new recordings.
The JRL Farewell Concert CD is scheduled for release this year.
I'd like to record another project and have a cohesive concert ready by summer 2010.

* Community Supported Music. Monthly deliveries of new songs. A delivery will be coming out soon. (click on CSM).

** Cultivate creativity. Follow Jesus. Grow community. Help others do the same.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Some more lyrics from the current CSM collection:

I don't want to die in this conflagration
I just want to fly to a safer haven

I remember how religion taught me a safe path
I remember seeing pictures of crusaders and the aftermath
Some years later when I finally think about the irony
I wonder what to leave and what I still should could keep close to me

I remember when the power of music first gripped me
I remember sitting there for hours as it stripped me
What is left when all the feelings end and silence covers me?
Is the source of what I felt before still here with me?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Quick, Lasting Change

As postmodern USAmericans we have a strange relationship with change.

As postmoderns we tend to see life as a journey and change as a process. We're slow to believe grand claims about quick change, whether it comes from religious leaders or political pundits. We know life just doesn't work that way, at least very rarely.

As USAmericans we're inclined to believe in change. Things can change. Unexpectedly, quickly. It happened at the birth of the nation and it's continued to happen in the centuries since then. One invention, one courageous choice, one new perspective or innovative approach can reshape the playing field. We know what it's like to be the one bringing that invention, making that choice, or needing that perspective. A New Deal. Twitter. The Atomic Bomb. Amazon. The Great Awakening. Jazz. Abolition of slavery. Microsoft. Azuza Street. Elvis. A Minority president.

Fallout from postmodernity leaves us thinking we can't make radical changes that will be permanent and healthy.

Fallout from Team USA!! has us expecting those sort of changes to arise from the few, the proud, the individuals with strong wills.

Jesus seemed to model and demand hard choices that resulted in quick and lasting change. But he always based this in the love and help of God and grounded it in a community of people who would help.

All this happened for Jesus and his followers in the context of a journey, so that makes me feel good as a postmodern, although he asked (asks) for a lot more than I feel comfortable with -- at every stage of that journey.

Jesus continually redrew the lines and reshaped the playing field. As an American I like that, but I'm confused by his refusal to use that advantage to take control of the situation.

Some areas I'm wrestling with or seeing Quick, Lasting Change: communication with my wife, diet/exercise, and my job.