what's on the CD player?
. the big chill - ichill . !k7 . fila brazillia - brazilification2
what books are by the bed?
. the music of silence - john tavener . hey nostradamus - douglas coupland . this is uncool (the 500 greatest singles since punk and disco) - gary mulholland . the bible . fences and windows - naomi klein . the art of looking sideways - alan fletcher
mike yaconelli was killed in a car accident last night. he was founder of youth specialties, a greenbelt favourite speaker who manged to make you laugh and cry and feel inspired all at once, cheeky, fun, a writer, a prophet, said it how it was, a storyteller.... youth ministry has lost one of its heroes. what a sad day. youth specialties site has more info and space for people to add their reflections...
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
got to visit two bill viola exhibitions as well (what a few days eh?! - come and live in london). i mentioned these last week in anticipation. the first is at a small gallery the haunch of venison and is a piece called the hall of whispers. there is a darkened hallway and on either side are a total of ten video projections of people with their eyes closed and their mouths gagged. you hear the sound of them trying to speak but all you hear is muffled voices. this was incredibly powerful. made me think about church | worship | expression | finding your voice | not being heard | the prophets | crossing cultures | .... one idea can so powerfully evoke so many thoughts. apparently the piece when exhibited before was called buried secrets, which i think is a more evocative title.
the other exhibition is at the national gallery and includes the passions which i have blogged about before so won't go on again. the main theme that they explore is grief - again so many thoughts buzzing round my head on that. but the piece i really wanted to see was the crossing and this was simply stunning. i could have stayed and watched it for ages. there is a screen in the middle of a darkened room - both sides have a video sequence projected on to them. a man walks slowly towards you and then stops. one side of the screen then has water that begins as a droplet landing on his head, the drop becomes a trickle, and builds until the man is engulfed in water. he raises his hands as though to welcome this baptism and then disappears. the other side is similar only with a flame that begins small and engulfs him. i'm sure this wasn't exactly what viola had in mind but this is so ideal for pentecost or a baptism (of water and of fire). i'd love to know what is going through other peoples minds as they watch. it filled me with longing for god to fill me and refresh me and i found myself praying. go and see it if you get the chance (you have to pay for this one - the other is free).
as ever i thought how similar these kind of installations are to much of what is done (on a much smaller budget!) in alt worship.... i'd love to see more churches embrace this kind of art. it's a window to the soul or at least to mine - there's a breeze blowing in.
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
talllankybaker standing by one of banksy's stencils that we spotted on the south bank! (it says this is not a photo opportunity on a bin in front of the tate)
went back to see the weather installation at the tate as the boys hadn't seen it.
the way we went was via st pauls tube which means that you walk past st pauls cathedral and then across the milenium bridge to the tate. in the pic you can see me (or at least my shadow) - when you look from the bridge one way you see st pauls and when you look the other you see the tate. that bridge joins up what needs to be joined more than just physically. two worlds need to collide... ancient and contemporary | art and faith | risk and tradition | spirituality and soulless expression | god and the imagination | art space and sacred space | worship and installatons | word and image | in many ways both could do with the best of the other... (and a personal dream would be to see the kinds of art/design books in the tate being invested in by the church - anyone like to commission us?....)
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
it's amazing how a couple of days off can refresh you... a weekend with friends in bath and a day with joel and harry visiting some galleries in london has done me the world of good. bath is an amazing place. as well as being a beautiful city, all round it you can be in gorgeous countryside within 5 minutes in almost any direction. living in london, you get to appreciate countryside in a different way. ealing has plenty of green but it's common or park land. we visited southstoke where they have a millenium bench that looks over the landscape. the sun was shining and it was so quiet. we sat soaking in the sun and the view and then strolled through the valley below. i've added a few snaps to give you the flavour.
i'm reading douglas coupland's latest hey nostradamus at the moment. one of the themes i love in his books is the sense of wonder at the world (and how in danger we can be of losing it). a quote from the latest...
i'm glad that i never lost my sense of wonder about the world although i have a hunch it would have happened pretty soon.... the world is a glorious place and filled with so many unexpected moments that i'd get lumps in my throat, as though i were watching a bride walk down the aisle - moments as eternal and full of love as the lifting of veils, the saying of vows, and the moment of the first wedded kiss.
Monday, October 27, 2003 jon birch has put up a wonderful web site showcasing his work. it's a great portfolio. jon is one of the team behind proost. illustration, design, logos, flash animation, music production, web design... - all these are talents up jon's sleeve. with the web site up, the rest of the world can now see what a genius he is. if you've got any work needing doing you know who to call... one of my favourite piece's in the portfolio is the sower. this will no doubt be appearing on a future proost resource at some stage in the future... i have added the sower in as worship trick 61.
Monday, October 27, 2003
Sunday, October 26, 2003
congrats to seb and sam who were married on friday. it was a fab wedding. it was also a first for me in that i was invited to run visuals during the wedding. i enjoyed the challenge and used arkaos. i have put a few screen grabs to the left. i put together a few transparent word slides such as 1+1=1 | one | flesh of my flesh and overlaid other video loops. seemed to work pretty well. one of my favourite loops was one of osbd's of a man and woman outline that fades between the two. it's from the being and belonging video.
have a fab honeymoon in cuba!
am now in bath for a couple of days with jon and clare. no doubt we'll dream a few new dreams for what next on proost. jon played me some very very cool dub tracks he has been working on....
Sunday, October 26, 2003
Thursday, October 23, 2003
world studio foundation, based in new york, joins up social activism with art and design in some pretty cool ways. one of the ways they have done this is to link young people up with designers to mentor them in producing some art. one of the issues they have picked up on is prejudice and the young people have produced some fantastic work. there are two pieces in particular that struck me. the first is the one above why did god create us. john macdonald and vincent cardenas explain their thoughts behind the work. it seems ironic that while the church is arguing about purity and truth and what the bible says, a young person has so powerfully articulated what it feels like to be gay and on the receiving end of the church's prejudice.
worship trick 60 the other piece that really grabbed me was this one. it's hard to make out here but there's a larger version of the pic here. this piece is by 16 year old jessica fei - a simple but powerful idea and her spiel about it is wonderful:
"What are you made of? We're all different compositions of the same set of elements. You might be surprised to find out what someone in your life is really made of - your worst enemy may be more like you than you think. So the next time you roll your eyes at the 'freak' down the block, stop and challenge yourself to take a second look. Have you got it in you?"
Wednesday, October 22, 2003 worship trick 59 i while back i mentioned the fantastic stuff on the creative review dvd. the frustration with it is that you can only get it if you subscribe to the magazine. so i have been keeping an eye out for any of the bits i mentioned. anyway by a stroke of luck (or divine providence:-)) i came across the lemonjelly ducks video as a quicktime video. it is simply wonderful. i am adding it as worship trick 59 as a pentecost video. the video is of a coloured raindrop that falls from the sky and transforms a grey world. the rainbow of colours ripples through the whole creation infecting everything with joy so that all the animals are dancing along with the old man (perhaps the ducks swimming in the water is the equivalent of the trees of the field clapping their hands???) - anyway it's brilliant! so all i need now is to find ed holdsworth's videos and royksopp's remind me - let me know if you find them...
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
avant garde, a gathering of 'l'église en devenir', takes place in france this friday and saturday. hope it goes well guys. wish i was there... but seb (who was with us at the last paris gathering) is getting married on the friday so i'll be there (and am looking forward to it)... so say a prayer for him and sam when you get to the centre of the chartres labyrinth!
talking of new looks (shaved chins and all that) matt glock seems to have had a makeover by jonathan finley!
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
i don't think i have ever posted a picture of myself on the blog... but today is an exception. after having had a goatee for 8 years i decided to shave it off on sunday morning - why? i don't know.... anyway in case you wanted to see the result here it is - smooth eh? (and cold!)
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
i have blogged about bill viola before (see an earlier entry on the 5 angels of the millenium). well londoners are currently being blessed with an abundance of viola! as well as the angels still being at the tate modern (until jan 2004), there are two new exhibitions just opened. one is the passions at the national gallery, (as well an earlier piece that i haven't yet seen 'the crossing'). the passions is amazing - it is all on plasma screens with actors filmed expressing emotions but incredibly slowed down. the inspiration for several of the pieces seems to be older relgious paintings. viola is exploring the way in which art can evoke powerful emotions from us. (i seem to remember reading that he had an overwhelming experience of grief when looking at a painting of the madonna and child shortly after the death of a parent.). it runs until jan 2004. the other exhibition, hall of whispers, is at the haunch of venison and i know nothing about that one. this one only runs until mid november. i'm off to visit them next week.
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Monday, October 20, 2003
there is so much stuff to see in london at the moment! no doubt you'll have caught up with this somewhere else already but the latest piece at the tate modern filling the turbine hall is a piece called the weather and it seems to be a great success. i popped down there at lunchtime today. you can read about it here and steve has posted some of his pics of it on smallritual (i forgot to take a camera so these pics are just taken on a phone!). as well as the installation itself it is highly entertaining watching people. the whole of the roof is mirrored so people lie on their backs looking up and some perform what looks like synchronised swimming!!!
Monday, October 20, 2003
Thursday, October 16, 2003
i have added two new articles by me to that section on the left hand side of the blog. i wrote them both several years ago for third way but have just looked at their web site and found they are online.
they are both commentaries on a biblical text. the first looks at jeremiah 28 and revival. the second looks at the text the kingdom of god is forcefully adavncing and forceful men lay hold of it and is here. originally these would have slotted into what i called 'nuggets' but seeing as i have come up with so few i have removed that category of things from the side bar - seemed like a good idea at the time!
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Tuesday, October 14, 2003 worship trick 58 apologies if this excludes some but it's still worth a mention. found a site today that is set up as a fileshare for flash - there are quite a few little animations you can download. they might be especially useful if you are into VJing with something like arkaos where you can use swf files. anyway the ones that caught my eye were the text ones which are set up so that you can download the .fla files as well. so?... well all you need to do is open them up in flash, open the library and change the word text to whatever you like - (i tried 'grace' for one and 'cms' for another) and they look very cool when exported as swf files. here's a couple of screen grabs so you get the idea.... i apologise if you haven't got flash - just ignore this trick or find someone who has! i stumbled across this site from vjforums.com. not even sure how i ended up there!
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Monday, October 13, 2003
you may have guessed i'm having a catch up on the blogosphere....
loved this from stevedownunder's post/rant on people asking why more people aren't 'saved' in emerging church:
Honey, who shrunk the gospel? Jesus died so that all the broken and dislocated pieces of the Universe might be put back together (Colossians 1:18). I refuse to be part of reducing that to individual salvation.
Sunday, October 12, 2003
always good to get some new music. big chill always produce a summer compilation. ichill is this year's and just arrived in the post. it's as laid back and horizontal as ever (they do seem to get more hippyish by the day!!!) - sounds great on a first listen...
was at a day in exeter yesterday on worship entitled 'unity and diversity' - about 500 people were there with a range of seminars and workshops on worship ranging from being a cantor, songwriting, to alt worship. about 500 turned out! it all ended with a worship service in the cathedral. i thought it was a brilliant idea to get such a range of people contributing - bernadette farrell (anglo catholic tradition producing choral stuff), john bell (iona), matt redman (soul survivor), mark bick (instrument and rhythm workshops), myself (alt worship), staff from the cathedral ..... all made for a rich diverstity. i was amazed at how well attended the alternative worship seminars were - there was quite a buzz about it. most were from anglican churches - and i really think alt worship has lots to offer to spark peoples imagination from the anglican tradition... so i hope i did create at least a few sparks....
Sunday, October 12, 2003
Thursday, October 09, 2003
have been keeping an eye on the discussion boards at emergingchurch.info and as a result neglecting my blog! couldn't let a week pass without a post so...
off to hove tomorrow (a place in sussex on the south coast) to train some anglican clergy in all things to do with emerging church, then on to exeter (in the sw of england) for a day on worship doing some stuff on alt worship - both a kind of inspiration/ideas session and one on reflections/lessons learned from a decade or so of practice - i actually think i have put together some pretty good stuff on that so am quite looking forward to it.... welcome to any one popping in from those two days. check the links on the left for lots of links to things i will have talked about!
grace this saturday (which i may not get back in time for) is on the spirituality of sport?! - followed by watching england v turkey football match (which i will get back for).
living room has the following results of a blogging survey which made me feel better about my rate of blogging!!!! i have shamelessly lifted it from his post...
* 4.12 million blogs in existence using the following blog clients: Blog-City, BlogSpot, Diaryland, LiveJournal, Pitas, TypePad, Weblogger and Xanga.
* 66.0% of blogs haven't been updated for at least 2 months. (thats 2.72 million abandoned blogs out of the above total)
* 1.09 million were one day blogs only with only posts on their first day
* Males are more likely to abandon blogs. Those writing long posts (on average) were less likely to abandon their blogs.
* The average active blog is updated once every 14 days.
* 92.4% of blogs were created by those under 30 years of age.
* 56% of blogs were created by females.
* Projected estimates see 5 million blogs by the end of 2003 and 10 million by the end of 2004.
Hmmm - so the average blog was started by a teenage girl, its likely to have been abandoned, probably only ever written in once. If she updates it, its probably only once a fortnight. But have no fear, there will be twice as many of them in just 15 months time. Thursday, October 09, 2003
Friday, October 03, 2003 worship trick 56 (and the rest....)
one of the areas you can never get enough stuff for worship is good quality visual images. i love worship services where something is projected or flickering on a screen or painted. anyway this work i cam across a dvd that is packed with goodies. the bad news is that it is hard to get hold of....
creative review is a design magazine you may have come across. but if you subscribe you get a dvd twice a year that is full of cool stuff - music videos, ads, short films and the like. the design dept get it at CMS and i borrowed the dvd. here's some stuff i liked (and i haven't even got through the full 3 hours worth of material)...
. lemon jelly's all the ducks are swimming in the water video is fantastic for all ages. i'd use it for pentecost - a rainbow coloured raindrop falls from the sky to transform a grey world. . ed holdsworth has two videos of trains and traffic in tokyo that are breathtaking in their beauty. i know everyone seems to have a moving traffic video but these are second to none. . the bbc one advert rush hour with david belle doing his parkour negotiating the rooftops of london is stunning - see worship trick 55 for my earlier thoughts on the parkour idea. . also on the parkour theme is sebastien foucan also of parkour fame in the nike chicken advert - yes i know it's nike but it is a great advert . and perhaps my favourite is royksopp's remind me video (that apparently is on the double cd of melody am if you want to track it down) which is an animation of someone's routinised day - sounds dull i know but it is amazing and easily useable in worship as a start up video where you get people to reflect on the day they have had or whatever as they come to worship god....
like all these kinds of things there is some stuff not to use in worship as well.... but i think the approach of using the stuff that's out there as the building blocks of worship is the way to go especially if it's stuff as cool as this!
a bit about me...
i am a londoner; christian; dad; postmodern (whatever that means - i know at least that i'm not modern); director of an independent record label proost which we set up to release music without being subject to christian record labels who had a frankly unimaginitive approach to music at the time as far as we were concerned; a member of grace , an alternative worship community in west london that has been an inspiration, lifeline, home, great bunch of friends, provided an arena in which to be creative about faith and worship and culture; i'm also part of the wider alternative worship movement/scene in the uk where i have lots of friends sharing the same dreams and struggles; an ideas person; a husband; national youth co-ordinator for cms; involved in various creative projects, the most successful of which has been the labyrinth which has been on a roll since we first installed it in st pauls cathedral in 2000; a mac user; co-ordinator of the worship at greenbelt arts festival where we have tried to create a space for new/creative/alternative worship especially in the new forms venues - a good place to visit if you want to encounter lots of creative uk worship in one go; writer (albeit a novice) with a few articles in books, mags and the web; a chelsea football supporter; involved in youth ministry - i have been for 15 years now - in the uk at least many people involved in alt worship want to avoid being labelled youth ministry as it's a convenient way for the church to write off what you do and the people involved aren't by any means youth (though some are), but i live in both arenas and think there's lots of overlap and creative conversation and ideas to be shared between the two; songwriter; lover of music especially the ambient, chilled, dub, instrumental end of things; lover of good food, belgian beer and conversation;