My favorite art - music, visual, film - tells a good story, communicating a provocative message through word and expression of the artist in a meaningful way. Such is my friend Michael Friesen's ambitious and inspiring musical project, In Their Eyes.
From the website: Over 5 years in the making "In Their Eyes" is a work of faith, hope and love to share the good news for all of creation recounting history through the eyes of those who lived it.
In Their Eyes is artistic storytelling at its best, an integration of musical components to tell a story - the story of encountering Jesus. It's ambitious in its length of 25 songs (this is no side project or hobby!). It's inspiring in the stories it tells, each song relating its own narrative that also fits into the broader narrative of the whole project. Especially with the first listen, this is one of those albums best experienced start to finish.
Most appealing is how the storytelling goes beyond the biblical narrative-inspired lyrics. Leading the way are Mike's impressive guitar and songwriting skills that reflect an intentionality integral to any good storytelling. One gets the sense that each note, each harmony, each sound matters in the story. Along with dynamic guitar-driven melodies are interspersed strings (and horns and organ!) and timely vocal harmonies that combine to create a full experience of the story. The result: In Their Eyes is art experienced, not just listened to.
And seeing as we are all storied-people of one sort or another, In Their Eyes is worth recommending to anyone looking to experience how stories - and the Jesus story in particular - come to life through art.
A few of my initial favorite songs after one full listen:
And if you're in the Vancouver area, there is an album release party this Friday, April 5, 7:30pm at Hyde Creek Community Church (2145 Nova Scotia Ave. Port Coquiltam). Admission is free. Download cards for the 25 song album will be available for $10