Showing posts from February, 2011

How science is showing us the beauty of creation

For many years now I have used the internet to collect images from the Hubble space telescope and other space observation devices (as well as from an ever growing number of amateur space photographers who are producing results of a quality NASA could have only dreamed of 15 years ago). I have used such images in R.E. lessons when discussing creation, the origins of the universe, etc... with pupils. I have no problems accepting the current wisdom in the scientific community on the universe's age (reckoned to be 13.7 billion years), though such wisdom is being continuously refined. I suppose, therefore, that I am not much of a Creationist, and this would be true. Actually, accepting such an age for the universe and therefore the length, scale and detail of the cosmic evolutionary process that must have taken place to arrive at where we are now, is for me simply further evidence (I would not be so arrogant as to say proof) to sustain the argument that a Creator is ultimately behind i…

Switchfoot win a Grammy!

To commemorate Switchfoot's win at the Grammy's over the weekend (their wonderful 2010 album "Hello Hurricane" won Best Rock/Rap Gospel Album), here's a track from their 4th (+ breakthrough) album, 2003's "The Beautiful Letdown". The track is the beautiful "On Fire". In my iTunes library it comes in at 24th position in my all-time most played tracks (120 plays!! :-) out of nearly 6,000 tracks (including rock/pop, Christian rock/pop, classical, folk, monastic chant, etc...).The video is an unofficial slideshow that someone has done for the song which I rather like (there are lots of others for the song on YouTube). The lyrics (which I love) are reproduced below.I should really do this song at communion in a school Mass with our student liturgy band sometime.

On Fire by Switchfoot

They tell you where you need to go
They tell you when you'll need to leave
They tell you what you need to know
They tell you who you need to be
But everything inside…

"The Demon Headmaster" - our school musical

After many weeks of rehearsals and preparation, tonight sees the first evening performance of this year's school production (a musical): "The Demon Headmaster" (don't worry about the subject matter - the good guys win in the end!!). It's based on a popular children's novel which was turned into an equally popular children's tv series and subsequently into a stage musical production. In total, about 35 pupils are performing on stage (mostly aged 11-14), with over 20 other pupils involved in lighting, sound, stage management, props, etc... and a further group helping with costumes and make-up. I'm one of a 3-member staff team running things, my job being Musical Director + sound co-ordinator (backing tracks, 2 live keyboards, soundtrack music, sound effects...) and occasionally waving my hands around from a desk in front of the stage (see photo of me in silhouette below). As you can imagine, much hard work has been put into it and it has been great to s…

"This Little Light" - Addison Road

In the Mass readings at the moment the theme of light/light of the world/being a light to others is very present. Here's a song that I keep coming back to at the moment that acts as a personal response to the call from God to let our light/his light shine out to others through our actions, attitudes, etc... through the way we live our lives. It takes the words of the chorus from the well-known sandles + candles folk hymn and does its own thing with it.

"This Little Light" - Addison Road
There’s a little flame inside us all
Some shine bright, some shine small
The rains will come and the waters rise
But don’t you ever lose your light
In this life you will know
Love and pain, joy and sorrow
So when it hurts, when times get hard
Don’t forget whose child you are

This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine,
gonna let it shine

May you live each day with no regret
Make the most of every chance you get
Let your eyes get wid…

"The King’s Speech" - a personal reaction

Well, any self-respecting Film Studies teacher simply has to go and see those films that are being acclaimed by the critics and are up for awards, if only to better inform his/her students and perhaps encourage them to see the film in question. So, off I went to see what all the fuss was about.

"The King's Speech" is full of very British wry, self-deprecating humour, affectionate digs at the royal family and tremendous performances. I never got the sense that Colin Firth was playing his character's handicap to the gallery, nor was he simply baiting the Academy Awards voters with yet another Oscar-friendly performance involving physical handicap. In fact, his handicap was much more an emotional one. I felt there was a real emotional honesty and depth to his portrayal (and the swearing is hilarious!). Both Helena Bonham-Carter and Geoffrey Rush are worthy of awards too. I loved B-C's knowing humour and intelligence as Bertie's wife (who for people of my generati…

Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol), poet and songwriter

It's always a joy when you make a chance discovery of a song or album that turns out to be a real gem. That happened a couple of months ago.Gary Lightbody, the lead singer and central creative force behind Snow Patrol released a side project under the name of Tired Pony, for which he gathered together friends and fellow musicians such as former Snow Patrol member Iain Archer, Pete Buck (REM), Jacknife Lee, Scott McCaughey (part-time REM) and Tom Smith (Editors). The result is an intoxicating collection of generally mellow, slightly countrified songs that grew in the studio through the guiding hand of Lightbody and the alchemy of the musicians there present. They very effectively showcase Lightbody's beautiful relationship-centred lyrics.I find the following song particularly appealing with its wonderfully evocative words, its slow build up around a repeated chord progression leading to a transcendent conclusion (the type of thing that Sigur Ros do on many of their songs, inclu…