As the lead worshiper at a church, and also when I go out to various events and talk to people about Motif Worship, I get a lot of people who ask a lot of questions, but essentially it always boils down to: why? why go through all of this hassle with the keyboard?
Well, here are ten reasons why!
Consistency. For rehearsing with vocalists or a choir, it means we can run through the arrangement the same way every time, and we don’t have to imagine what it’s going to sound later because the guys in the horn section had to work late. ("No really... this is gonna be the best part... I promise!")
Personnel flexibility. So that when the drummer or bassist is sick, or if I have two guitarists instead of one, I don’t have to panic, it just means certain tracks I’ll have to turn up or down or have muted or whatever. We can add or subtract people from the mix and it's less of a headache in terms of keeping a consistent sound.
Cohesion. Everyone can play together to the same tempo or groove, and it doesn’t fluctuate unless I want it to -- like, for example, if a song has a complicated riff or a set of fast changes, I might rehearse it 10 or 15 BPM (beats-per-minute) slower the first time.
Dynamic variety. Reduces the tendency for other musicians to overplay (because they can choose to drop out and let the track breathe) or underplay (because they have to keep providing the groove for the singers to feel comfortable). As I tell the musicians who play with me, “it means you can play what you WANT to play, not what you HAVE to play.”
Timbral variety. Not everything has to sound like an acoustic guitar or piano! I can use organ sounds, lush pads, lead synths, string attacks, etc.
Transposing on the fly. Different vocalists have different sweet spots in terms of what songs work best in which keys. Using tracks means that I can raise or lower a song by three or four half-steps without memorizing the chord progression in the new key.
Arrangement flexibility. So during the times when I want to reprise a tune from the worship set at the end of the service, and I don’t want a stripped-down, unplugged sound, but we don’t have time for the whole six minute arrangement, I can still call up the patterns for the intro, the chorus, and the ending, and be done.
For emergencies. So that if I get into a car accident the day before and both thumbs end up in splints, I can still lead worship the next day (true story!).
To reduce my brain strain. Because it’s a lot easier to press the “PLAY” button than it is to land a G13(#11) chord at 135 BPM, especially when I’m doing lead vocals AND directing the choir AND leading the band.
Diversity. So that I can do songs in styles that I don’t or can’t play well by hand, but that I love to sing. Salsa and reggaeton, baroque cantatas, even some traditional gospel styles… using tracks enables me to go beyond my own level of instrumental prowess and engage these and many more styles in worship.
Five Ways to Help the Motif Worship Kickstart Campaign
April 24, 2013
HERE ARE FIVE WAYS TO HELP:
1.) PRAY FOR US. (And "us," by the way, refers specifically to Jelani, his lovely wife Holly, several of the JS5 musicians/vocalists, and other various volunteers who are helping represent Motif Worship in various capacities.)
Prayer is not something you just do when you can't do anything else. Folks, we truly believe that God gave Jelani this vision and is leading us through this campaign, and we just want to follow His timing, walk through the doors He opens, and not get too caught up trying to do everything on our own. Especially for Jelani, because he's taking the lead here, it's easy for him to run himself ragged trying to accomplish every task and handle every detail. Pray for us that we can truly be led by the Holy Spirit as we commence with this campaign.
2.) CONSIDER JOINING THE CAMPAIGN. There are donation amounts at many different price points, and each one comes with a set of interesting perks and extras -- various kinds of worship music, swag, digital downloads, etc. So whether you're in for $1 or you're in for $1,000, every little bit gets us closer to our goal, which will help position us to bless other ministries with our blend of worship music, training, and resources.
Click the little envelope on the top left, under the social media links, that says "Forward to a friend."
Sounds so simple, right? With so many new social networks and apps being released every year (Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, Gorq, Klingrsplyz... okay, I made up those last two), it's easy to forget that plenty, perhaps even MOST of our friends and associates still use email more often than any other means of electronic communication. Don't be spammy about it, but identify several of your friends who might be passionate about worship, diversity or church ministry in general, and let them know this is something you're interested in and perhaps they might be also.
(and if for some reason, you're not on our mailing list, join up already.)
5.) PLAY & SHARE OUR YOUTUBE WORSHIP COVERS. As we say in the campaign video, people don't necessarily have a concept for the importance of multicultural worship music until they've experienced it themselves. We can't replicate a whole church service in your living room or office (that'd get pretty awkward!), but these worship videos are a nice example of the kinds of worship arrangements we like to do. Hopefully you'll find blessing and enjoyment in them, and if so, feel free to pass them around.
It's Official - The Kickstart Is On
April 22, 2013
Motif Worship is teaming up with Jelani & The Secret Five to record a worship project.
We've been hinting at this for awhile, and now the cat is out of the barn (or however that expression goes). We made the announcement during last Friday's concert at Kaleo Covenant in Beaverton OR, and if you're getting this email now, you might be among those who took the first steps helping us to make this recording a reality.
That's because, rather than trying to court a record label, we are joining the ranks of artists who arecrowdfunding their creative projects. Using popular website Indiegogo (which is powered byPayPal), we are actively soliciting donations in an effort to reach our financial goal of $5,500, which will allow us to proceed with the recording process.