“and this is how hope works. We are sidelined, sick, sad, and feel forgotten. But when the music plays, we are taken aback, and we remember the God who holds us. And in the remembering we are renewed and remade to hope again”
There is something pure and beautifully honest about the Psalms, the way that David’s heart is poured out for all to see through his songs and prayers, he is transparent, raw, and emotional. He draws us in and allows us to see his nakedness. It isn’t very often that we are invited into the heart of a man or woman, let alone the heart of a King and as I read the Psalms, I am often left feeling known, deeply known and truly loved and pushed to a new level of vulnerability.
In the Psalms Project recently released by Mike Janzen you are taken on a journey through the Psalms in a way that makes them come alive. Mike explores the pain and the joy that can found in the pages of this ageless book and brings it to life in a way that only music can. He stirs the raw emotions of not just David but of anyone who has themselves found themselves living in the Psalms, exploring their faith, their own suffering, and ultimately their own thankfulness, vulnerability, and their own hope.
Mike was approached years ago and asked to write an album about this beautiful book in the Bible. Not long after that ask Mike suffered a severe concussion and was forced to sit in a quiet dark space with no ability to create the music he loves so much. Where most would sink into that darkness Mike instead chose to meditate in the Psalms and what sprang from that dark time in Mike’s life is this stunning album, filled with songs that will move you and bring you to a new and greater understanding of the beautiful love of God.
“They (The Psalms) gave voice to my own despair when I couldn’t gather up the strength to call our for myself. They morphed from third person to first person. They carried me. And as I walk through this life, I carry them with me.” Mike Janzen
The project was birthed at a time in our history when it speaks to all of us and as I listen and walk through the Psalms through the music Mike has created, I have been moved to my core. Each song brings with it a new hope, a new joy and a greater thankfulness for what I do have.
In the jacket of the CD cover Mike writes:
“One of my favourite stories from this project occurred while recording with a string orchestra at Noble Street Studios, in Toronto, Canada. Because of the restrictions in place the ability to gather in a room together was almost impossible. Yet, in August 2020, there I was, standing in a studio with fourteen other musicians all socially distanced and wearing masks. For most of the string players gathered, this was the first time in six months that they had been able to play in a group setting and this was possibly the longest stretch of not playing with other musicians since my childhood, I raised my arms to bring the first notes of the morning recording session and tears filled many of our eyes. The sound was rich and resonant, and you could see each face taken aback by the fullness of the music soaring in the studio.”
In the Psalms project Mike brings us all on his own journey, and the journey of many who have gone through the darkness and found the light on the other side. But he also brings us along on a path we are all walking together right now, a path of uncertainty, of loneliness, of worry, anxiety but also of gratefulness and joy.
As we navigate the world, we now find ourselves we too can turn to the Psalms and be reminded of all that God has done, all that he is doing right now, and all that he has planned for us.
“May these Psalms both carry you through times of struggle and be carried with you into the world you tread.”
Buy it here http://www.mikejanzentrio.com/psalms-project