Why do I do it?
by Dave Skipper
This is a summary version of the original article Thinking About Noise.
Click here for full list of Pocket-Sized Summaries.
Compulsion and Curiosity
- “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” (Proverbs 25:2)
- Utilising, developing, exploring, and analysing noise are exercises in ‘searching out.’
- The mysteries and paradoxes of noise, and the gaps in our understanding of the physics of sound, psychoacoustics, etc, maintain and celebrate the ‘concealedness’ (subtlety, restraint, surprise, mystery) of God’s glory, even as we reach further into uncovering the unknown.
- God’s glory is not confined to that which ‘science cannot yet explain’, nor is it diminished by our expanding knowledge, for it is constantly manifest in all things, known and unknown, and it glows and blazes the brighter as we marvel at his handiwork.
- We are meant to develop the creation, but we also need to enjoy and celebrate the raw creation.
- There’s something wild and glorious and intriguing about noise that I find invigorating.
Worship in Work
- “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- God is glorified in noise/sound/music by:
- Acknowledging that Jesus is the eternal Word of God through whom and for whom the universe was made: he is the source, the meaning, and the end-point of noise/sound/music;
- Observing, studying, and contemplating the created world of sound and noise as revelatory of God’s Bible-revealed attributes (his power, divinity, glory, love, wrath, mercy, judgment, beauty, wisdom, holiness, etc);
- Exploring and creating sound/noise/music as an intentional act of worship to this God, and as an intentional act of love and service to others;
- Growing as an artist in integrity, excellence, depth, the quest for truth, and desiring change for the better within and without.
Surrender and Sublimity
- “On that day ‘Holy to the LORD ’ will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the LORD’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar.” (Zechariah 14:20)
- The ordinary, the everyday, the mundane will be dedicated to the one true and holy God.
- Even the tiniest noise-makers (the horse’s bells) will be precious and special in their place, not overlooked by the Lord of the cosmos but noticed and loved by his eternal eyes, treasured and enjoyed by his all-hearing ears.
- The condition and precursor to this state is the softened and transformed human heart, willingly committed to seeking the sublime and awesome holiness of the Lord forever.
- Christians (including musicians/noisicians) work toward the fulfilment of this prophecy.
Deepness and Desire
- “…in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3)
- Do you want wisdom about noise? Knowledge of noise? Treasures of noise? Then go as deep as possible to the very Source of it all.
- I am seeking to understand the glory of Jesus Christ in noise.
“Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar”
- “[…examples of how a farmer works with land, plants, and tools…] …His God instructs him and teaches him the right way… […examples of using different techniques with different crops…] …All this also comes from the LORD Almighty, whose plan is wonderful, whose wisdom is magnificent.” (Isaiah 28:23-29)
- Affirmation of the value of practical work and the accumulation of years of experience as a source of real knowledge and wisdom.
- God himself is the teacher and the source of all knowledge, whether acknowledged or not.
- God alone is the giver and sustainer of life, the giver and sustainer of the cycles of ‘nature’, the giver and sustainer of all good things.
- The expert noise artist is a doer, a listener, an experimenter who gets his or her hands (ears?) dirty.
- Knowledge of physics, acoustics, engineering, or philosophy can help the noise artist, but is not essential.
- Study noise by: 1) listening; 2) experimenting and exploring.
A Noise Orchard
- Someone I don’t know wrote this for me: “Starting an orchard, you have marked out the boundaries of the plot. Now select the apple trees. The harvest will come as the trees mature.”
- First: mark out the boundaries.
- This blog is about laying foundations, exploring the territory, and providing an overview of the relationship between the Bible and theology with noise in general and noise music in particular.
- Second: select the apple trees.
- Where do my main passions lie? What is foundational, most important, most needed, most original? What am I uniquely equipped to offer insight into? What will be of lasting benefit? What will honour Christ the most, serve the church best, serve noisedom best?
- Third: watch and wait for the fruit to grow.
- Plant, cultivate, share with others, then leave the results to God
- I want to make a contribution that others can take further and deeper and higher.
- Spiritual knowledge, scientific knowledge, and practical knowledge are overlapping, interlocking, and bound together by Jesus.