Sunday, January 16, 2011

this is it

this post is not about michael jackson. he's been dead for over a year and a half now; coincidentally, at that time the desire to move back to germany was starting to become a concrete plan. although many people who know me are aware of my nostalgic feelings towards this country, some might think: why germany? what is it about that place you grew up?
this is it. today was it, once again, maybe stronger than ever. i left home at around 4 pm for a bike ride in the neighborhood. november and december have been freezing, in all senses, and the mild temperatures of january have caused quite a lot of flooding throughout the country, due to the large amounts of snow freezing and making rivers overflow.
there is a small little river a few hundred meters from where i live, called "wümme". that's where i went on this sunny sunday, and in this time a year, 4 pm is pretty close to sunset time.
i'll post some pictures as soon as i can (can't seem to find the cable), but this is why i love north germany; and this is why i have fallen in love with bremen.
i moved to borgfeld, a little village still belonging to the 10th biggest german city, not even two weeks ago. and already it has the potential to become what i imagine to be a place i could live for a long, long time. it just feels like home, it feels right. within 2 minutes, i was in the middle of the fields, overflown with the water that used to be snow and ice. and what i saw there made me be profoundly grateful to God, and it left me feeling as if i've returned home.
i also remembered my younger brother and think this could be a quite inspiring place for him, maybe for a future project.
the national park here in the wümme area, that's what makes borgfeld, bremen and north germany so great. i can still o visit many places from here, but i'd love this to become my permanent home, sometime.
here are just a few pics:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

album 43: saviour (various artists)

those were good times - when major projects were made, and all major christian contemporary music artists would be invited to lend their talents and voices. the beginning of the 90s had a few of those projects, and i'd like to mention "the new young messiah" and "my utmost for his highest" as very good examples of making this format work.
it was a special project led by greg nelson and phil mchugh, who had made a name for themselves producing the big ccm christian singers of the 80s, sandi patti, steve green and larnelle harris. greg and phil are producers, arranjers and composers, and that's what they did on this special project, which was supposed to be their musical masterpiece. and, to me, it still is. "saviour" attempts to be a musical, and instead of everyone singing a solo or participating in a duet, this time the idea was to ask five singers to solo, duet, trio in various songs, accompanied and sometimes lead by a choir. the high quality of this album is certainly also due to the talent of larnelle harris, steve green and wintley phipps in top form, and a fantastic choir, far from being only backups to the "stars". twila paris did very well, and even wayne watson was okay.
but the songs and arrangements are at the heart of this endeavor; the choir does a great job in the opening (creation) and in the exodos (slavery and freedom), singing very profound and witty lyrics in great orchestreal, but still modern and timeless music. "the kings of the earth", featuring harris, green and phipps, and the creation of man duet pulled off grandiously by phipps as God and harris as adam ("my heart belongs to you") are the high points of the repertoire, with the song "the rose of sharom" being also beautiful.
all in all, a true masterpiece in christian music, with some really thrilling moments in between. i've sung it twice in portuguese, and it was still really great - which gives the songwriters and arrangers even more credit.