Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads

Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads
Get the new CD, "The Third Time" HERE

WARNING: Listening to this music doesn't require parental approval. It's a bit of clean rebellion. It keeps your outlook up and your hope alive. It's got strong drums and screaming guitars. It pumps you up and drives your life. It's a hunger for exploration. It chooses the right and returns with honor. It's music you don't have to confess to your bishop.

It's not your parents' "Saturday’s Warrior".

It's "A Joyful Noise"

Sunday, March 28, 2004

These last few days have been a whirlwind, and I'm very excited about them. I've got the enviable task, however, of writing about them, and since I've got a number of different places and audiences to write to, I'm gonna be typing for a long time!

This last weekend was the semi-annual FCMA workshop. I say semi-annual, not because it happens twice a year, but because it hasn't always been truly annual! Last year, for example, somehow got skipped altogether!

Anyway, friday night, I attended a panel discussion with the students of the BYU Media Arts program. Some film scoring composers and producers were there, and it was fascinating. Then a couple of friends came over and we jammed some. Cool fun.

Saturday morning, I was at the workshop main desk, helping to check people in and run the opening. That was fun, and I got to meet a lot of people. The first session of the workshop was an absolutely amazing keynote address by Newell Dailey. What a great man! His address both reaffirmed some of my own beliefs about the nature of culture and musical styles, and also challenged my beliefs about the direction we should take LDS music, as well as made me think good and hard about my motivations.

But all of that will be for my mo'boy blog... Here, I'm going to get a little self-centered and talk about some of the experiences that directly impacted my tunes.

One of the traditions of the workshop is to have a session called "The Refiner's Fire". This is kind of based on the "pitch sessions" of so many songwriter workshops out in the real world, in that there's a panel of industry pros who spin a stack of tunes and then critique them. In this case, however, they just critique. In some of the other forums, the panel can actually pick up a song on the spot, if they wanted.

I guess they could do it here, too, but that's never happened.

I've never participated in the past, mostly out of fear.

No, make that raw terror...

Anyway, this year, I stepped out on a limb, stuck my neck out, and put my recent mix of "Here in Me" in the box.

The session started, and song after song was played, and critiqued. I just kept getting more and more nervewracked as the time for the end of the session kept coming closer.

I was the last song of the session. As the tune started, they all started scribbling notes on my lyric sheet. I'd learned as I'd been watching that this was a good sign. If they didn't like the tune, they had no reason to take any notes or make any suggestions.

Then they started talking. There were comments praising the mix, and comments about the impact of the simplicity of the lyrics, and I'm glad they took notes (I jotted down a few, too), because it was just all washing over me, and I had a very hard time taking it all in. There were suggestions for improvement, too, which were dead-on.

Since it was the last one, after the session, they all came up to me as people were milling about to comment on it. It was interesting that even though it was an anonymous pitch, they all knew who's tune it was! Ron Simpson commented on the quality of the mix. (He said that later in the day as well, too, which made me feel great). Cori Connors gave me a big hug and said, "You just keep getting better and better!

It all left me feeling very light-headed. It gave me the feeling that, even though I'm not "there" yet, I'm definitely on the right track.

Later on in the evening, at the open mic, I performed "Wake the Dead". A tune I haven't recorded yet, but I've performed live quite a few times. I got a few nice comments about that one as well.

Well, I left the sessions walking on air. But for more detailed accounts of what I learned about the bigger picture of LDS music, you'll have to read mo'boy or the LDSmusicians yahoogroup...

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