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a ride to remember

Conversations at the Bus Stop


The Download Begins

Sep 20 2012

I discovered that God loved me first. Me? Yes, even me! Un-done. How could I not love Him back?

With this, my life began to change so fast that many around me were simply not able to comprehend what had happened to Alan. As my studio partner said, “this is not the man I grew up with.” This was a very good thing. My then wife figured that my change was just another “phase” to grow through. Wrong. When she realized the change in me was genuine, she left.
Alone with only my faith I realized that I still had my music. It was time to revive this dear old friend, but this time the music stared back at me and asked, “are you going to do this for a purpose that matters this time?” Gradually, clarification came – yes, it is OK to bring back my old god, as long as I was resurrecting it for the glory of the One true God.

Next, there came a flood of Christian musicians into my life from all angles. One stood out. One grabbed my heart as never before. For the first time in my life I found out that someone could love me back and love me for who I am rather than as someone who they wished me to be. Her name is Kim. We both serve a God of second chances -- He gave us both a chance to get it right this time. We married. Oh,did I mention that she is a pianist? Entirely too cool! No, I didn’t meet her in a bar – I met her in church and we were friends first. For years I had joked that if I ever met a talented female keyboardist, I would marry her. Didn’t that would be prophetic.

Soon, our church opened opportunities for us to play worship music. Before too long, the pastor asked me to lead the worship team. Kim taught me that J.S. Bach signed the end of every piece of music he wrote with, “Soli Deo Gloria“, meaning: “To God alone, the glory”. The composer in me then knew it was not just “OK” to come back, it was expected of me. Suddenly, compositions started coming – all for Him.

Easter 2010 was only six weeks away when our Pastor, Ed Boon, came to me and charged me with, “Alan, you write a lot of music – how about you write some special music for Easter this year?”. Gulp! Compose, rehearse and perform an entire music program in only six weeks? For the next few weeks I didn’t sleep much, but I did not need much sleep. As Jake Blues once said, I was a man “on a mission from God”. The pieces came to me in a rapid succession of “downloads” (as my friend Lisa Gallant-Seal once said). I recruited a small choir from our congregation and some friends to sing the parts, but I knew I could not get a band together to play the instrumental parts tightly in such a short time, so I stayed out in my studio until the wee hours night after night until I had recorded the backing tracks for the songs. In less than 3 weeks I had composed, scored and recorded about 20 minutes of music to tell the story of the Passion Week leading to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Choral rehearsals were begun.

I needed a narrator. Would God provide the right person for that job? Stay tuned . . .

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