Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link

Episode 9: Sacred Sunday Morning Volume 2 Part 1

April 06, 2021 Peter Link
Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link
Episode 9: Sacred Sunday Morning Volume 2 Part 1
Chapters
Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link
Episode 9: Sacred Sunday Morning Volume 2 Part 1
Apr 06, 2021
Peter Link

Sacred Sunday Morning Volume 2 – Parts 1&2 is an exploration of stories and concepts from the Bible.  With Guest Artist, Julia Wade, both Link and Wade  discuss and investigate through song and conversation some of their favorite Bible stories and themes.  The amazing work and voice of Julia Wade gets a beautiful presentation here as she performs and delves into her process of preparation to record. We also hear from Mindy Jostyn and The Jenny Burton Experience.


Scattershot Symphony is presented by Watchfire Music. Learn more by visiting watchfiremusic.com 

Show Notes Transcript

Sacred Sunday Morning Volume 2 – Parts 1&2 is an exploration of stories and concepts from the Bible.  With Guest Artist, Julia Wade, both Link and Wade  discuss and investigate through song and conversation some of their favorite Bible stories and themes.  The amazing work and voice of Julia Wade gets a beautiful presentation here as she performs and delves into her process of preparation to record. We also hear from Mindy Jostyn and The Jenny Burton Experience.


Scattershot Symphony is presented by Watchfire Music. Learn more by visiting watchfiremusic.com 

Scattershot Symphony #9

Sacred Sunday Morning - Volume 2

Parts 1 & 2


Welcome to:

Scattershot Symphony

The Music of Peter Link

(That’s me.)


People ask me, “Why “Symphony? You’re not a classical composer.” Well, Wikipedia defines “Symphony” as: an extended musical composition most often written by composers for orchestra – often presented in several movements. 



And so, I bring you the music of a lifetime of composition – often presented in several movements.  That’s the nature of these podcasts – a scattershot look at a lifetime of music …


So, strap on them headphones.  

We’re 90% music with just a smattering of commentary.

And for god sakes, 

(Crowd)

Turn it up!


This week being the ninth episode of this podcast, I prefer to let the music do the talkin’.  However, if you need to know more about me, please visit Wikipedia.com – Peter Link.    


This episode is entitled “Sacred Sunday Morning - Volume 2”

Parts 1 & 2

Moments from the Bible — An Exploration

With Guest Artist, Julia Wade


Part 1

Phlutterphase Hang Music Cue




This episode is also a continuation of Episode #5, Sacred Sunday Morning, Volume 1. It differs in that Volume one looked at the many different ways people spend their Sunday mornings and the various sacred approaches that people take, whereas in Volume 2 we will explore a number of specific stories and concepts from the Bible through songs written mostly by yours truly. 


And what good is a composer without an orchestra or a singer to perform their music?  On this level I am blessed! Not only do I work with a terrific vocalist, herself blessed with a superb instrument, but I also live with her ... for she is my wife. Not only is she my wife, but she is also the president of our music company, Watchfire Music.  She’s with us today as our guest artist to help me spin the tales relating to many of the sacred songs from the Bible that she has recorded during an inspirational music career that has spanned 20 years and 15 albums.



I could go on and on ... and I will, but following the theme of this podcast, I will try to scatter my applause and standing ovations throughout this Volume Two presented in two parts. And so, without further adieu, please welcome, Watchfire Music’s best selling artist, and my constant companion, Julia Wade.


(Thunderous Applause)


Julia

Thank you, Mr. Link ... for inviting me to join you here in this studio that I know so well. This will likely be a somewhat different experience than our usual most intimate producer/artist sessions ...  Won’t it?

  

Mr. Link

Well, I certainly hope so, Ms Wade.


Ms Wade

How fascinating to do a session with you and never sing a note.

Mr. Link

Yes, how novel ...

Ms Wade

Well, I do love to talk!

Mr. Link

Yes, I know.  So today I’m going to ply you with questions that I hope will elicit from you answers that not only illuminate many of these stories from the Bible, but also shed light on your process of recording.


Ms Wade

Fire away ... I’m ready to rock.

Peter

OK, let’s start with the concept of creation. As a composer, I do not consider myself the creator. I leave that job to The Creator of all things spiritual. Rather, I am the messenger. Through the language of music, I get to deliver the creator’s content, it’s Truths, it’s inspiration, to people around the world.  And especially, working with Biblical content that was created centuries ago, I am simply the messenger bringing it once again into the light.  You, Julia, and I both get to play our small parts in bringing that light to the world.

Julia

Yup!

Peter

So Jules, where do you see yourself in this process of creation?  Are you a creator? Are you a messenger? Are you ... What?


Julia

Well, I see myself as an interpreter and a storyteller -- even when a song is loaded with dense metaphysical ideas.  My job is to relate those ideas -- position them in such a way that the song feels like a simple story unfolding to the listening ear.  So in the case of this song, “Creation,”

I definitely dove into who I was in that moment, and who I was talking to,  and why I was telling the story.  These are all choices I make to allow the listener to relate it to their own life.  In that sense, I am a messenger too!



Peter

From Julia’s album, Solos.   Creation.


Creation

Text by Mary Baker Eddy

Music by Peter Link


There is but one creator

And one creation.

Infinite Mind is the creator,

And creation is the infinite image or idea

Emanating from this Mind.

There is but one creator

And one creation.


Creation is ever appearing,

And must ever continue to appear

From the nature of its inexhaustible source.


This creation consists of

The unfolding of spiritual ideas

And their identities,

Which are embraced in the infinite Mind

And forever reflected.


When we learn the way in Christian Science

And recognize man's spiritual being,

We shall behold and understand God's creation, —

All the glories of earth

And heaven

Earth and heaven and man.


There is but one creator

And one creation.

And one creation.


[Words used courtesy of The Mary Baker Eddy Collection]


Peter

Here’s a song from an album we did with a super talented 12-year old Broadway veteran named Noah Marlow. The album, entitled Miracle Of Faith, told the story of Jesus and the Five Loaves and Two Fishes, from three different points of view, using three of the central characters in the story — the boy who first steps forth and offers his basket of food, the disciple who tries to stop him from bothering the master, Jesus, and a witness to the miracle, the sometimes called “thirteenth disciple”, Mary Magdalene, who watched it all go down.  I got to play the doubter, the disciple, Thomas, and Julia played, of course, Mary Magdalene.  Julia, tell us a little of your exploration and findings of this much misunderstood Bible Character, Ms Magdalene.



Julia

I’ve been fascinated with Mary Magdalene for many years. I’ve read scholarly books and historical novels about this woman -- she feels so important to Jesus’ career and ministry -- and yet she was largely left out of much of the Bible translations except to insinuate that she was a fallen woman, a prostitute … but she wasn’t.  There’s nothing in the Bible that says she was.  And then, we find her at the cross.  She was one of the first to discover that Jesus’ body was missing from the tomb.  Like you said, Peter, Bible scholars agree that she might have been a 13th disciple.  But one thing seems sure:  she was a witness to the many miracles which Jesus performed, and she lived to tell about them.  


And so, Yours Truly — The Evidence Of Things Unseen


The Evidence of Things Unseen

Lyrics by Dora Redman and Peter Link

Music by Peter Link


And so he spoke

"They need not depart.

Give ye them food to eat."

Give them food for thought,

The food of light,

The light of sustenance

Don't send them away in their time of need

Feed the flock


But his disciples were not in the mind of Jesus

They struggled to raise their faith

And though miracles had abounded throughout the days

They were stuck in the world's worn out ways


They knew not God's law of infinite abundance

And I watched as they muttered amongst themselves hmm

"Feed them with what? There's nothing to eat"

No apples, no almonds, no meat


Then a boy stepped forth

With a basket of bread and two fishes

Well you know the rest

The five thousand were fed

And we all saw the power of his wishes

And the evidence of things unseen

Oh yes the evidence of things unseen


You ask, "What is that evidence?"

It's the substance of faith

And no seeming dreams that lie in between


There, by his prayer

Pulled out of thin air

In a miracle of such routine

(As I witnessed so often, again and again)

Was the evidence of things unseen

Yes, the evidence of things unseen


Yes a boy stepped forth

With the spirit of "Nothing can stop me"

A boy, just a boy

And five thousand were fed

And we all felt the power and the glory

Of the evidence of things unseen

Oh yes the evidence of things unseen


And right there, by his prayer

Pulled out of thin air

In a miracle of such routine

(As I witnessed so often, again and again)

Was the evidence of things unseen


The man

The miracle

The son of God

Hallelu!!!

And all this from two fishes

And five loaves of bread



Peter

Julia, as President of a music company these past 15 years, you’ve faced the total collapse and crash of the music business, a world-wide political upheaval and now a pandemic, yet Watchfire Music continues to grow and expand. How’d you do that? What gets you through it all?


Julia

You keep on working. You keep on creating. I am an artist first.  So, when you commit to being an artist, you are signing up for a very unconventional life of creativity, which is wonderful ... But you are also signing up for a largely unconventional source of income.  At Watchfire Music, we were already prepared to handle the problems you mentioned by simply continuing to do our work, -- keeping  our ears to the ground, and staying nimble.

 

 So this idea that income or supply is spiritual is very powerful  And the Bible is full of this wisdom that you and I, Peter, have lived by.  I get to say it so much better in this next song from Matthew, Consider The Lilies.


Consider the Lilies

Music by Peter Link

Lyrics from Matthew 6


Take no thought for your life

What ye shall eat

Or what ye shall drink

Nor yet for your body

What ye shall put on


Is not your life more than the meat

And the body than raiment?

Are ye not much better than they?


Behold the fowls of the air

For they sow not

And nor do they reap

Or harvest for others

Yet God feedeth his own


Are ye not much better than they?


Consider the lilies of the field

How they grow

Oh how they grow

Consider the lilies of the field

They toil not

Neither do they spin


And yet I say unto you

That even Solomon in all his glory

Was not arrayed like one of these


And therefore take no thought

In wond'ring who will clothe

And who will feed us

And who will end this thirst within

No take no thought

For your heavenly Father knoweth

That ye have need of all these things


But now seek ye first

The hand of God

His righteousness

And all will be added

Take no thought for the morrow


The morrow shall take thought

For the things of itself


Consider the lilies how they grow

How they grow

Oh how they grow

How they grow

How they grow


Peter

I’ve always loved the Bible story of Jesus in the boat with his frightened disciples weathering and controlling the storm. To have the mental might and insights into physics and the so-called laws of nature that Jesus had, was always a wonder to me even as a child.  To control the winds, to walk on the water, to move through time and space as he did always amazed me.  And to do all these things, not to mention the physical healings that he performed, all through a deep mental focus, was not an unexplainable miracle, but rather a teaching by example of the power of thought. He was the great exemplar. That always meant to me that he was here to teach us that we could do the same.  


I do believe that we can control matter with our minds. I can’t always do it, but I do know that it is possible.  Otherwise, what was the point of Jesus’ being here? If he were on the planet today, I think I could actually give it all up and go follow him. That would be cool.


Ah, the possibility!  And to think, it all started with a bunch of guys 

out on the sea ... in a boat!


Julia Wade — Peace Be Still


Peace Be Still

Music by Peter Link

Lyrics Adapted from Mark 4

Additional Lyrics by Peter Link


And when they had sent away the multitude,

They took the Master into a ship.

And there were also with him other little ships.

But then there arose a great storm

And the waves beat down

And the wind rose up

And the sea filled the ship

Till the waters reigned


And the Master asleep on a pillow lay

While all of those around him lost hope

So they began to waken him and say to him

Oh Master why do you not care

That we perish out here

In a raging storm

And the waters rise

And the ship goes down

Aaah


And he arose

And rebuked the wind

And said unto the sea

Peace be still

Peace be still


And the wind ceased

And there was a great calm

And he said unto them

Why are ye so fearful?

How is it that ye have no faith?


And so they esteemed him exceedingly,

And said to one another "Oh my

What manner of man is this who works such miracles

That even the wind and the sea obey him?"


For he arose

And rebuked the wind

And said unto the sea

Peace be still

Peace be still


Julia

This next song is by a beloved artist, Mindy Jostyn. I first met  Mindy when we were both performing at a little / conservative college in the midwest.  She was already well known for her work with a number of famous artists including Billy Joel and Carly Simon.


As an artist, Mindy was now a rugged individualist. By the time  she came back to her alma mater to do a special performance, there was a hint of the prodigal daughter returning that allowed her to stand on the stage,  and in her now offbeat way say to this audience, 


“OK People! The Mindy you knew back then is different now. It’s been a long time since I was last here.  A lot has happened. A lot. I got married.  And then, I had a baby ...Wow ... that was different.” 


Mindy had come a long way to stand on the stage that night. This next song of hers traces this prodigal story from the Bible in a most personal and unique way. 


Prodigal Child by Mindy Jostyn with John James


Prodigal Child

Music by Mindy Jostyn

Lyrics by Mindy Jostyn and Jacob Brackman


I am a weary wanderer, I've traveled far and wide

In search of satisfactions I could not find inside

But everywhere I travel, I'm searching in the rain

And every city floods me with emptiness and pain


I left my homeland long ago with pockets full of gold

I squandered my inheritance, I slept out in the cold

Till in my darkest hour, I cried out in despair

Oh, lead me back to my childhood home

Back to my father's care


And if he will not have me, I'll go down on bended knee

And ask my generous father if a servant I could be

Though once I was his cherished one

I fear that in my shame

I am no longer privileged to bear our family name


My father sees me coming from far across the field

He runs to hold me in his arms before I reach his hill

I beg for his forgiveness, I don't deserve his grace

He cries, "I've found you, child of mine"

As tears stream down his face


I am a weary wanderer come home at last to stay

My restless soul has found its peace

My heart has found its way

I failed to win the world, but I've gained a greater prize

To know I am a worthy child in my gentle father's eyes


Peter

OK, let’s talk for a bit about your process of preparation to record a song in the studio.  And let’s use the example of a song you’ve sung for years now, a central piece in your repertoire, Isaiah 40. This is certainly one of the most quoted sections of the Bible.  How do you even begin to approach the power and majesty of these lyrics? As an interpreter, how do you go about preparing to perform such monumental material?


Julia

Well, you gotta couple more hours? ...

To give you the “short” answer,  I go back to what I said in the beginning of this interview -- it’s true, I am an interpreter.  But more than that, I identify as an actor. I can play a part that might be larger than myself. I can play a Queen.  I can even play a great Prophet. 


It’s my job to find my character, find out who I am singing to, figure out what I am doing -- am I begging or proclaiming, defending or attacking?  And I figure out why I am doing all of this -- and how does it make me feel? And what’s my objective? 


So in preparation, I ask myself The Five Questions that you, my producer and director taught me to use as an actor many years ago.  I’ve incorporated these questions that help me discover the essence of the song.  And the answers all come from the lyrics and the music -- so not only am I an interpreter and an actor, but I am also a collaborator: I am responding to the lyricist, the composer.  Whew!  It is ALWAYS a grand exploration!  So, the opening lines of this song plant me firmly in the mind and soul of the great prophet Isaiah.


Peter

Julia Wade — Isaiah 40



Isaiah 40

Music and Additional Lyrics by Peter Link


Have ye not known

Have ye not heard

Has it not been told you from the beginning

Have ye not understood the word

That the everlasting God

The creator of the ends of the earth

The Lord

Fainteth not

Neither is weary

And so it is from the foundations of the earth


He giveth power to the faint

To them that have no might within them

He giveth strength to the weak

Even the youths shall faint and be weary

And the young men shall utterly fall

But they that wait upon the Lord

Shall renew their strength


They shall mount up with wings as eagles

They shall lift their dauntless faces to the sky

They shall carry on with great expectations


They shall run and not be weary

They shall walk and not faint

They shall run and not be weary

They shall walk and not faint

They shall run and not be weary

They shall mount up with wings as eagles


Have ye not known

Have ye not heard

Has it not been told you from the beginning

Have ye not understood the word

That the everlasting God

The creator of the ends of the earth

Is the Lord


There is no searching of his understanding (x6)


There is no searching

No searching

There is no searching

No searching

There is no searching

No searching


Have ye not known

Have ye not heard

Has it not been told you from the beginning


Peter

This completes Part 1 of Sacred Sunday Morning Volume 2. Please tune into Part 2 as we continue to explore moments from the Bible.




End of Part 1