Monday, April 30, 2007

To Synth

I've always avoided using the string sound whenever i'm playing the synthesizer for service (basically because i don't like the fake sound). But what makes it hard for synth players like myself to fully use the capabilities of the synth in the auditorium is the lack of opportunities to be able to play around with the sounds.

So anyway, the topic of "variety of sounds" came out during last week's debrief and i felt a little indignant. Because i think that while the people-up-there feel that we are free to experiment, there are the elements of communication, subjective tastes in music and personalities that can come in the way of creating One Unified Complementary Sound.

There's also the thing about taking risks, making mistakes and all... And i guess we'll just need to be at the mercy of the amount of forgiveness and understanding from leaders and the band in the midst of trying out what they tell us to.

As i'm sitting here editing my essay, i'm listening to my library of contemporary christian music (and other stuff) with a more specific goal of listening out for what the synth players are doing.

My main question at the moment is:
HOW on EARTH do they switch from sound to sound so fast while filling in, in the appropriate places without missing out a beat, all within the same song and without causing the song to sound empty during the pockets of time used to change sounds?

While another concern is:
I get the feeling that people are not ready to hear the voice of the synth doing its intermittent bursts of effects, albeit using pretty cool sounds. Well, will never know till i do something out of the ordinary eh?

I think that level of deftness will come with familiarity and more practice (both of which i'm not getting). Hey, lets be honest about it, yeah. I think i'll certainly aim to come at a time well before sound check.

But my one last, and actually the most important concern is:

Though having a range of musical styles and variation can help being fresh vibrancy to worship, i don't think we should be too hung up over technicalities. You've got to admit that with better music, people may fall into the trap of paying more attention to the music than to God Himself.

We need to know when to quit being obsessive and pay attention to the real spiritual issues at hand that we may be blind to by our thoughts that we "are doing all right" in our playing and leading. What the ground experiences may not be what we think they're going through. That said, i think the congregation also need to know when to take a step back to recognize that the music is only a tool to help in encouraging worship, and not out there to fabricate a holy-airy-fairy feeling of worship or to create some kind of wannabe rock concert. The music shouldn't really matter, in actuality.

Ok, done muttering for now.


Issy said...

yeah...i agree with ur last 2 paragraphs...the lord sees our hearts...sure it's nice if we can sing/play well but the lord's happy so long as we do ;)

joline said...


I concur! You're right.... I think that understanding that God sees our hearts is a crucial concept to grasp because we tend to think that God sees us as unworthy because of our sins. But the reality is that we can never be perfect, so does that mean that God will always dislike us? Nope! :-) He's pleased with hearts that are open to him and long for him. And that is inspite of our sins... What a cool God we've got! ;-D