A New Musical Paradigm

Among the many passions of my life, there is a growing desire to see the Bride of Christ reclaim her rightful place as dominant benefactor of the Arts, a title she once owned in the day of Rembrandt and Beethoven, but abdicated shortly thereafter. Much of the decline was in pursuit of “internal spending” rather than advancing the Gospel and the things that propel it, much of it was simply apathy. But I am convinced we live in a day where that can be and is being corrected; if we have cause to be excited as Christians, it is today. Never before have we had the ability to influence world culture like we do now.

The obese and lethargic models of business that were once a necessity over the past three decades have quickly become outdated; if they fail to advance with the times, they will be obsolete. I do not scold them for the power they carried. Hardly. Millions have heard and seen the Gospel because of them, even if the motive was worldly. I rejoice that Christ has been preached.

But what awaits us is a world redefined by artists that corporations formerly overlooked because they didn’t look right, sound right, or speak right. On the horizon, already dawning, is a prophetic voice of Divine Dreamers who have a means to create, a vehicle to distribute, and a means to market art that is not inhibited by the almighty dollar or pop-culture.

With the advent of technology, true artists are able to reach their audience in unimaginable ways, and thus affect culture unimaginably. Simply put, this is exciting.

A perfect example is Eric Peters. I just read about his new project today on The Rabbit Room and would advise you to check it out. For three reasons, besides the fact that he’s producing great art: The first is that Eric is free from having to record with a record label. He is doing it with the community of artists around him. Thus he has complete control of the art. Secondly, Eric is using technology to communicate his need to his benefactors, something that previously would have taken a phenomenal amount of energy and time to do. And thirdly, he is turning to the private sector for support. Now, that is not new. Surely. In fact, it is very old…

…something done back in Rembrandt and Beethoven’s day.

Benefactors would house an artist and pay for their needs while they created their next masterpiece. Or they would pay for their continuing education. Or they would use their status to endorse a great artist and promote them to a place of cultural prominence.

Sounds like a record company. Almost. Accept where a record company would own 100% of an artists publishing rights (yup, you heard me), Eric will keep 100% of his rights. He’ll make the art he feels that God is calling him to make, and communicate it unhindered to a diverse audience. But that’s not the strongest point; that’s where I come in.

I. Me. A member of the Church. A Kingdom representative of the Lord Jesus Christ here on earth. I am investing. Not some Christian Record Label who is actually owned and controlled by a secular giant. Me, Christopher Hopper. Husband, father, Jesus-follower. My money has gone into Eric creating his next album. And in doing so, I reflect on the beautiful Bride of Christ by rectifying the errors made in the past.

Talk is cheap. Tired of how things are done? Then change it. But be forewarned: It will cost you; but the way I see it, $50.00 is a small price to help the Church once again set precedent for what true Art should be.

Thanks for reading, and for advancing the Gospel with Eric. Now, go contribute…

CH

  • Excellent words, brother. I felt the same way when I first heard about EP’s project.

    I am curious how you think these newer models that many brothers in music are engaging in (like Derek Webb with Noisetrade, etc.) can transfer to considerations for authors like yourself (and me, I hope)? I see some transfer, but it’s not the same. Print isn’t ready to be transported as easily as music (I know that Kindle etc. may change that, but in my view, not yet, people want books, the artifact).

    Anyway, keep up the great work.

  • Thanks, Christopher, for bringing more attention to EP’s project. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to give $50 that I knew was going to help Eric make the art he feels called to make. I’ve never been able to get excited about supporting record companies. But supporting artists? That’s easy to get excited about.

    S.D. wondered about how all this translates to books and stories. I’ve been pondering that in my heart. I don’t yet know how to answer that question, but I have a feeling that short-form fiction will be an important part of whatever comes next in that regard.

  • Thanks for contributing to The Rabbit Room, Christopher, and for writing this piece about Eric’s project. I’m also a $50.00 contributor and wouldn’t have it any other way. From “Land of the Living,” the first Peters CD I bought, I have been a supporter. I hadn’t thought of the benefactor comparison, but that parallel somehow makes my involvement in projects like Eric’s feel even better.

  • Thanks for stopping by my blog! I couldn’t help but mention the tour. That day you guys stopped by The Salt Shaker to meet us was incredible. I hope you and every one else who came out to Washington get to come back.

    I’ll go check out The Rabbit Room now. 🙂

    Because He lives,
    Jen the Punmaster

  • christopher:
    this is the first – and probably last – time my name has ever been uttered along with the likes of rembrandt and/or beethoven. i am grateful that you’ve gleaned the spirit of the overall concept, and are not only spreading the word, but investing in it yourself. thank you.
    pax –
    ep

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  • Thanks for coming by and posting everyone.

    SD: I’m working on a full fledged post just for you on the topic of books.

    Jonathan: I love your comment about supporting record companies vs. supporting artists. Good perspective. And I’d like you to chime in on the “short fiction” idea you mentioned when I write the book post fore mentioned.

    Curt: I’m all about making us feel better when parting with cash. 😉 Glad the terminology helped.

    Jennifer: You’re welcome. It was great to meet you, too. The Salt Shaker put on an amazing event I thought!

    Eric: I’m honored that you’d stop by. And as far as name association, I think it’s high time we have new masters step forward. May it not be the last, my friend.

    Blessings!

    CH