Hello everyone, this is Rev. Jeff Lowery, Director of Youth Ministry for Open Door Churches. One of the ways that I live out my call is to write and record songs. Over the past 15 years I have had 3 collections of my original songs recorded, mixed, and manufactured into CD’s. The first project was completed in 2008, the second project in 2013, and the most recent in 2019. When finishing up the most recent project I was given the opportunity for a few bucks more to have my songs uploaded onto all of the major streaming sites like Spotify and Apple Music. In 2013 this was an option but I didn’t see the value in it and I am pretty sure it wasn’t an option in 2008. Since the way that people experience music has changed so much over the past decade, I decided that now would be a great time to put the old catalog on the internet. I could have just uploaded the old songs and called it good, but it dawned on me that this could be my big opportunity to go back and fix all of the things about the old recordings that bothered me, so that is what I have been working on.
As the years have gone on I have gotten better at getting the recording sound I want and the old recordings don’t quite live up to that standard. Part of me wanted to just go back and re-record everything but that would have taken too long and would have erased the reality of the original project. Some songs just needed a “fresh coat of paint.” A few tweaks here, a few there and voila the song sounded great. Other songs needed more of an overhaul, a few updated words, a more modern drum track, and a new mix. I struggled as to how far to go. Do I erase everything from the past for something new or do I leave the recording the way it was as a reminder of time and a place from the past? It’s been an interesting journey reflecting on these songs and stories.
The season of Lent calls us into a time of reflection on the events of the past year. There is much about this year that I would love to erase, “rerecord.” I would love to start over anew and forget they ever happened. We don’t always get the opportunity to go back and fix things or improve our past but through the act of reflection we can learn from our mistakes. Many times those “original recordings” have their own particular beauty or were just fine the way they were.
I’ve enjoyed reflecting on this old music primarily because it connected me to people, places, and stories from years ago. In this season of reflection may we remember what has been, celebrate was is, and begin to create something beautiful that will be.
Reverend Jeff Lowery