The thought of Christians in music brings up two stereotypes: those narrowly defined Christians who appeal only to the churchgoing audience, or the inflammatory “former” Christians who went to church at some point, but who are now hellbent on rebelling against it; Miley Cyrus and Sinead O’Connor being two obvious examples. Between these extremes stands a different type of musician who is also Christian, the type who is “in the world but not of the world.” What are Christians doing in a space as vile as the music industry? As it turns out, they're doing quite a bit.
Amongst popular music icons, you'll find many have their roots in Christianity. Elvis and Johnny Cash sang gospel; and more recently U2 has formed a mutual admiration society with the last three popes.
Cynics might argue that Christianity's contribution to music stems from the fact that many Christians learn to read music to sing in the church choir; ergo, it is the ability to read music, not their beliefs that attract them to careers in music. Others may argue Christianity's contribution to music stems from its literature. Good stories, profound images, and classic cultural references make for great lyrics. While not an overtly “Christian band”, the lyrics of Mumford & Sons draw deeply from Christianity's profound words. Their lyrics appear to have been infused with incense before being released into the open air.
|Daryl Bazinet Musician|
What if some Christians entered the music industry, not because of their ability to read music nor their access to interesting words, but rather because music is their vocation? It seems clear that, singer songwriter, Daryl Bazinet received his vocation to music very early. He recounts the traumatic events which lead to his involvement in music:
"I have had 4 brain operations in my life. The second one when I was eight was actually a frontal lobectomy. They removed my entire right frontal lobe in order to make sure they got all of the tumor."
Bazinet actually died on the operating table and was brought back to life TWICE -that's more times than Lazarus. To help redevelop his small motor skills, which are controlled by the right frontal lobe, his mother placed Daryl in piano lessons with the church organist. According to medical reasoning, he should not be alive, let alone be performing as a musician. He says he owes his life “to the grace of God and music.”
Bazinet has been been playing piano for 34 years. Additionally, he plays drums, guitar and bass, an instrument also played by his manager Mark Rosner. Mark is the force behind Rosner Management Services, a company disrupting the North American music scene (www.rosnermanagement.com/bazinet.htm ). Bazinet says, “the expert guidance...I receive from Mark is amazing.”
|Mark Rosner Rosner Management Services|
Perhaps Mark's impact on so many music careers indicates that he too is living out a vocation that had its origin in Christian musician. Albeit a vocation that is different than he and others might have predicted. When he first entered the industry as a member of a Christian rock band, it was to touch people's lives through music. Now he manages musicians from many genres; in fact his clients include people who routinely take open and direct aim at Christianity. Somehow he manages to unify this motley crew. He describes his company as a 'mini-world' with it's own eco system that mirrors life and gives him an opportunity to help and direct people in their lives, provided they are open to it.
Rosner encourages Christian artists to be original, noting that “art is about expression.”
He is also clear that talent is essential for success in music, but notes that if talented people don't have ethics and integrity to accompany their talent, he can spot that quickly and will move on from those artists. He admits there can be conflicts between people based on values. In addressing these issues he says, “...I always try to educate first. If that doesn't work, I exercise as much tolerance as I can, but only to a point”.
On the point of values Bazinet says, “...When my Christian values have been challenged it's those same Christian values, my faith, that has seen me through.” When playing at venues that challenge his world view he says, “...really all I can do is hope that the message in the music reaches those listening on some level.”
While not opposed to fame and fortune, these aren't the forces that drive him. Daryl says, “My goal is to bring my music...my talent... to as many people as possible....if in some way I can touch people on some level... I have accomplished something wonderful. Money is often not a top priority for artists. To help musicians keep body and soul together, Rosner partners with companies like Sierrasil who fill the role that patrons of the arts once did. Every time a Sierrasil customer enters the promocode “DarylBazinet” on http://www.sierrasil.com/ that fan receives a discount and Sierrasil supports this artist in his vocation. If you've ever thought there should be more Christians in music, supporting the ones who are there seems like a good way to ensure more will answer their calling. To find out more about how Rosner, Bazinet, and other musicians engage the world of music and business while participating in a just economy visit http://artistdeals.ca/credo/.
Michael Bentley President of Seirrasil
Originally posted on Katrina Boguski's Writing Blog