So, who had a chance to watch the Kennedy Center Honors? There's a great video going around... a cover of Led Zepplin's "Stairway to Heaven" by Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart fame..that simply rocks. If you have a moment, take a listen. It's incredible.
A couple things struck me as I was watching it. First, Yo-Yo Ma is in the audience as he too has won one of these honors. He's completely into the music. When the rock 'n roll guitar solo starts the camera pans to Yo-Yo Ma and he's bobbing his head up and down and he's completely into this music.
Of course he is.
This morning I am thinking about Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, and Chris Thile. I'm thinking about various genres of music and how we relate them to a certain age of person, and how that model simply doesn't work anymore. Rock 'n roll is not just for kids. Maybe it used to be. But it's not anymore. The Rolling Stones are not young people. Robert Plant is not a young person. Ann Wilson is not a young person. Paul McCartney and the Grunge band Nirvana have a new song that's out. We have generations now who've grown up with rock 'n roll and hip-hop and genre-crossing music from rock-country to bluegrass-pop.
Today I'm spending a good portion of my time talking about church and music with some people. It's a beautiful day in Berkeley, and I'm glad to be here. We're going to be talking about music and church and trying to find an answer to the question of what makes church music.
This is not an easy question to answer. And the old trope of "young people want drums in church" no longer stands because every generation living experienced some version of rock 'n roll. And just because we get older doesn't mean we start listening to classical music. And we never actually stopped listening to classical music. Beethoven and The Beatles go hand in hand for most of us. And with hip-hop in the equation, there's an incredible richness of music available to any church. So when we ask the question, "what music belongs in church?" we are actually asking a really complicated question. Because one of the answers may very well be "all of it."
Yeah, this is too much fun. I love this world.