Wednesday, 25 April 2007

A post-christian story

Due to an official complaint from a secular humanist, all bibles in the rooms of Scandic Hotels (affiliated to Hilton Hotels) are to be removed as they "obviously" flag an inapropriately intolerant wiev towards guests that are not "christian" (Jews, moslems, secular humanists etc). This has already started a debate in Sweden, and many christians have, in various ways, responded to this action. Most of the stuff i´ve seen seem to have at least some root in a fear of loosing what you might call "a witness of the christian faith" in the Scandic Hotels, or you might say a fear of loosing even more foothold in an increasingly secular society.

Mr Olle Nordahl, Swedish head of the Gideonites who provide Scandic (and other) hotels with the bibles says; (from an independent translation) "We distribute Bibles because we know people are helped by it. People find comfort and support by reading the Bible... It's the spontaneous reading of the Bible in one's darkest hour that helps the most"

Just a thought; What if the distinct "witness of christian faith" needed in a post-christian society has a more practical nature than just reading, and a slightly less inwardly therapeutic nature than finding comfort?
What if the gideonites (or by all means any christian group) would just pull up their sleeves, march on up to their nearest Scandic hotel and make an offer to clean each and every toilet seat in the facilities... for free? If people then ask why they do this they might invite them to borrow one of the bibles available in the reception desk (they will be allowed there!) and look up the story of Jesus and his disciples... or just share how that story connects to the story of the gideonites (or any christan group) who clean up filthy toilet seats for free.

Band meeting

The final stages of work with the new Plunge album seems to take forever. On friday however, it is time for a band meeting. Hopefully we can make final adjustments to the sound, decide what songtitles to use and get a glimpse of the artwork for the cd then.
If we pick up speed the album should be available in mid/late may.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Andreas Andersson: Teacher, drummer, narcissist

Starting today i will be spending this week in a jury listening to vocalists and brass/woodwind players eager to be accepted at the jazz school in Skurup (link in swedish). What they end up in is a strange situation for the spontaneous and often intimately personal expressions of improvised music. Imagine coming in to a room of complete strangers, with teachers hunched behind a table scrutinizing every note you sing or play and scrabbling notes on a paper while you give your all! I do admire them for doing it and hope that we can create an at least somewhat safe and welcoming environment for them!

In the evening i rehearsed with Niklas for a gig wednesday evening. I did some backwards counting yesterday and came to the conclusion that my last professional gig as a drummer was in 1993! 14 years ago!

It was nice though to switch roles in a band. I´m used to standing in front of or beside the drummer, picking up his sounds and movements and translating them into melodic shapes and gestures. It´s sort of "the other side of the coin" here! Now I find myself providing the rythmic foundation for Niklas melancholic The Band:ish music, while translating his melodies into rythmic shapes on my drums and cymbals. And it´s fun too...

In my morning prayers and readings of late, a psalm has been helpful in putting me in a proper perspective. Being an introvert and somewhat bent towards selfcenteredness I do need to lift my gaze from my shoes, recognising and submitting to someone who was before me, still is, and will be when I am long gone.

"Lord, from the very beginning you have been like a home to us. Before you created the world and the mountains were made, from the beginning to the end you are God." (Psalm 90:1-3)

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Slow progress appreciation

Funny! I´m locked up in one room of our apartment as Anna is doing some demo recordings of her songs. So i´m sitting by the computer working while listening to her doing the same vocal lines over and over again, just looking for the moment when all the sounds work well together ... It´s humbling, and I guess necessary, in a time of hurry, to actually see how slow a process is that ultimately leads to just three minutes of music. I´m impressed by her persistence and know that beauty will come out of it.

The words she sang? "Praise Him!" ... Referring to this Jesus again. I wonder if, in this time of hurry, anyone will take the time to listen to Annas encouraging request for "Nazarean carpenter-son" appreciation? I hope so...

While confined to my office space I also found some time to look at this

Aahh, nostalgia!

Saturday, 21 April 2007

First fruits

Time for a real blog then. So far i´ve been blogging on My Space but from now on this will be the space for my general rambling as well as more stuff infowise. Keep checking the My Space site however for info on gigs and recording activities as well as new soundclips.

Tomorrow i have the privilege of finishing a series of talks and conversations on Jesus sermon on the mount in our small fellowship of people eagering to follow Jesus in contemporary society. We end with Jesus urging us to build our life practices (You know: economics, family life, ethics, creativity and spirituality etc) on his words and his life.

Funny how we sometimes read Jesus as primarily wanting us to agree intellectually with his teachings and commands when in fact he is rather clear with the fact that this has to do with "learning to live". It´s about life skills for a distinct group of people that are called to be good news. What Jesus says is indeed so firmly anchored in communal practices before the eyes of the world that i must agree with
John Howard Yoder and call it politics, in the broad sense of the word.
I guess this means doing the stuff Jesus calls us to do must more often be the ground for our reflecting (ie: theology) rather than the other way around.

By the way:
I am convinced that IFK Göteborg will finish top of the swedish football league this season!