The first time I climbed Pike’s Peak I swore I would never do it again. The second time I tried tackling Pike’s I thought that it would be an easier process. I was in better shape…but my quicker finish was met with yucky altitude sickness. Both hikes had to start very early in the morning because of a danger on the mountain in the early afternoon that threatens to kill. Almost every day on the top of Pike’s there’s a thunderstorm. Due to frequency and nature of lightning strikes near the top, the tight switchbacks 2 miles from summit have earned the title “Devil’s Playground.” Sure enough, despite starting our accent before 5:00AM, the late morning clouds begin creeping over the top of the mountain and you begin wondering: (1) will I be done before the lightning starts, and (2) am I going to find shelter by running down the mountain, or by finishing as quick as I can? (there’s a gift shop on the top)
In the midst of life we all experience storms. Sometimes we feel like we’re on the naked face of a mountain in the rain, the wind, the lightning. Sometimes our life feels like a “Devil’s Playground.” Where do you find shelter from the storms of life?
Back in college, when a little soprano by the name of Ami asked if I’d like to hear some of her music, I didn’t know what to expect. Ever since, I have been blessed by her gift for song. It’s the type of music that speaks to your heart and gets stuck in your head. Ami Andersen’s work is meticulous and inspired. Besides its thoughtful construction, the relationship between notes, rhythms, and words is so organic in nature you wonder if she’s creating it on the spot.
Shelter: Hymns Resung is the name of her debut recording, expecting a late summer release.
I am privileged to be on this recording as well. The duet we’ve recorded is entitled “Who is this Enthroned.” While most of the songs on the disc are her own reworking of older hymns, this piece is completely new. Ami’s style bridges a gap between hymnody and Christian Contemporary because, like hymnody, it has theological depth, and beautiful melody; but it’s message is conveyed through intriguing word setting where tactful uses of rubato, syncopation, and form bring a diversity and newness to familiar ideas.
There are others doing great work in this genre of neo-hymnody, but I believe Ami’s capturing her own style. Listen for yourself.