Posted on May 9, 2015
LIAM: It’s clear your reflections which get expressed in your training role also found a voice in the songs, what were the cross overs and what makes song writing different to teaching/preaching/training?
STEVE:“There is indeed a lot of crossover, but there certainly are huge differences between the mediums. Songwriting (particularly when writing songs that are intended to be sung in community for the purpose of spiritual and political formation) just taps into a different part of the mind. There is much more freedom in songwriting than in teaching because I find it to be less academic… there is just less script. I still find myself teaching a lot more than song-writing these day. Fact is, however, I probably teach, preach and train more as a songwriter than I song-write as a teacher, preacher or trainer. I would call music my core instigator from which everything else flows. I mean when I’m cranking 15-20 hours worth of lectures there is just a natural rhythm and stomp that forms. I can’t help it. So I end up treating my teaching role more as a song… Which I think helps content land in interesting ways.
A few weeks ago I wrote a review of our friend Steve Schallert’s new album, Songs of Sorrow | Songs of Hope. As I mentioned in the review, the album has been easily one of the most played records this year for me, and so questions have been coming up as I’ve listened and I asked Steve whether he would answer some on here. He agreed, and this is the first part of that interview;
LIAM: So last time you recorded you were unmarried and had no kids, right? How do you think that dynamic impacted the song writing and your style as a musician in general?
LIAM: I have begun to notice a trend in myself and I realised I was not alone. I’d be moving along in a process with those I was leading, trying to be discussional, create consensus, when suddenly we would hit a point where I would either be highly tempted, or give into the temptation to be strong and directive. Why the sudden switch? Why weren’t there 10 steps between those two forms of leading? I decided to ask Noah Kaye, who wrote here a couple of weeks ago, and I may ask one or two others to chime in on the subject;
Leadership is tricky. The longer I live in it, the less I’m sure I agree with most popular definitions of it.
Here’s one small leadership tendency that my buddy asked me to reflect on: all too commonly, a leader will be leading with grace and consensus making everyone feel involved and heard and then BAM, they switch styles. From gentle to firm. From soft to hard. From diplomatic to direct. And it surprises and hurts people. I’ve done it. I did it a month ago when I didn’t like a direction my team was going. But, why? What happens to cause the quick switch? I suggest two things are most commonly behind this:
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so… Read More
The Oyster Review just posted their top 100 books of the decade, a dizzying feat which saw their staff read 1000 books in order to make the decision. In their words, naming “Open City” as the number one spot was the least contentious decision of the whole escapade.