I finally decided to bite the bullet and do FAWM. What is FAWM, you ask? It stands for February Album Writing Month, and people who take part make it their goal to write 14 songs in 28 days. You can check out my page here: http://fawm.org/fawmers/gregscheer/.
For this year’s FAWM, I plan to write music around the “Hallel” Psalms (Psalms 113-118). For each Psalm there will be a song (that’s 6 songs), padded by instrumental interludes (7), and interjected Hallelujahs (5), for a total of 18 pieces of music. Part of the reason I decided to take the FAWM challenge this year is that I feel the need for a big project to keep me excited about life. It also coincides with a Cardiphonia project centered on the Hallel Psalms, due at the end of the month.
Now, on to the first post:
The first half of Psalm 113 is lots of beautiful creation imagery, but the second half contains some things that don’t fit as neatly into a modern worship song: God raises the needy from the garbage dump and places them among princes; he gives the barren woman children. I boiled this down to three themes in verse 2: God gives us a place at the table, a place in the kingdom of God, and a place in God’s family.
[Trivia for those who have too much time on their hands: this isn’t the first time I’ve set Psalm 113 to music. A few decades ago I wrote a whole cantata based on the Psalm for a church in Elterlein, East Germany.]