Today is release day for the new song My Spirit Refreshed, now streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, and all music platforms, or you can click below to listen as you read the inspirational notes underneath.
Today – July 20, 2022 – is release day for Prayers for a Lifetime. You can stream on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, and all music services, or by clicking below. As you listen, scroll down to read some of the story behind this song…
“Life is short. God is big.” This phrase comes to mind every time I think of Bible verses speaking about how short our time is on earth. For example, Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom,” and Ephesians 5:16 “…making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” For me these are reminders that heaven is our true home, and we are just passing through. Prayers for a Lifetime comes from deep places in my heart and soul. I have experienced great loss and great blessings. I have had times of victory and times of struggle. Life has brought moments of sanctuary which are like a cool, refreshing waterfall, and moments of desert which are like a parched land causing me to ask, “Where are you God? Why is this happening?”
Some of the piano notes in the chorus are “singing” the words “a prayer to the God of my life” from Psalm 42:8. This song takes a long look back on life, from God conceiving me in my mother’s womb and knowing everything about me before I was born, even the numbers of the hairs on my head (Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1:5, Luke 12:7), to a lifetime of memories from childhood until today. By God’s grace and faithfulness, I can look back and look ahead, knowing He is with me in good times and bad. “But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.”
As I composed the music I reflected not only on prayers for my lifetime, but prayers for other lifetimes — my wife, children, family, relatives, and friends, and prayers for every person around the world who hears my music, and hears this new song. May we all grow in pursuing our heavenly Father, surrendering to Him, longing to hear and obey His voice, and experiencing His grace and goodness in our lives. Thank you Jesus for being the way, and the truth, and the life (John 14:6), and for the gift of eternal life with you forever (John 3:16), far beyond my short lifetime on earth.
Thank you for listening to and reading about Prayers for Lifetime. Wishing you God’s grace and peace, Stanton
Today – May 24, 2022 – is release day for Come and Talk with Me. You can stream on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, and all music services, or by clicking below. As you listen, scroll down to read the inspiration behind this song…
Don’t we all have a friend or family member who we want to talk with, or who we want to come and talk with us? The title of this piece speaks to this universal human desire, for another person to “come and talk with me.” Yet the context of these words from Psalm 27:8 is an invitation from God, asking us to come and talk with Him. In Psalm 27:8 the psalmist writes, “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.'” (NLT) Other versions of this Scripture speak to seeking God, seeking His face, worshiping God, praying to God, and chasing after God. God’s simple invitation to Come and talk with Me is deep and rich with meaning.
Psalm 27 begins with, “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Throughout the Bible God promises to be our Savior, Protector, Provider, Comforter, Healer, Guide, and much more. When I put my faith and trust in Him as Father, and seek to obey Him, God is always faithful to be with me. He is filled with love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and patience in response to my sin, and when I fall short of His holiness. Jesus is the only Perfect and Holy One, without sin. He invites each of us to be saved by His grace and forgiveness when we receive this gift by faith. We can come and talk with Jesus and God with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Musically there are two primary themes. The introductory theme has some rhythmic movement to symbolize life’s busyness. Even though coming to talk with God is a simple invitation, it is not so easy most of the time. The main chorus theme which answers is an expression of when we begin to experience God’s voice, and when we purse coming to talk with Him. The beauty and wonder elevate musically to illustrate the blessing of being in fellowship with Him. The “life is busy” theme returns once more, but the “hearing God’s voice” theme becomes what the song is about. This chorus theme is repeated to the end of the song with various solo instruments, orchestra, and choir joining the piano, sometimes in unison, and sometimes with a counter melody or harmony. The music fades slowly to a gentle chord ending, symbolizing walking through life on earth, and into eternity in conversation with God, speaking our heart and listening to Him. I hope this piece is uplifting to your life and faith journey, and offers you peace and encouragement in your current circumstances.
How does “Come and Talk with Me” speak into your story right now?
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” — Psalm 27:8 (NLT)
Today is release day for the new song Harmonies of Light. You can stream on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, and all music platforms, or you can click below. As you listen, scroll down and read some of the story behind this song.
The new title Harmonies of Light surfaced when I came across Isaiah 45:7, which talks about how God forms light and makes harmonies. These are only two of His vast, infinite capabilities, and they are definitely worthy of musical expression! I also found the word harmonies used in Philippians and Colossians, and included all three passages down below.
Since Johann Sebastian Bach is my favorite composer, and he phrased my favorite quote about music, I was inspired to use the opening chord progression and harmonies from his famous Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major. If you haven’t heard it before, you should look it up (renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs a gorgeous version on YouTube). After finding the left hand chords, I began experimenting with melodies in the right hand. The ideas began to flow over a couple of days, and the opening section began to take shape. I initially thought I would continue to use Bach’s harmonic chords, but the initial sequence launched me into a new place. The Cello Suite harmonies became a slow introduction theme, followed by a variation on this with piano and a solo clarinet. Then I found my own chord progression and melody, which became the central theme of the piece. It appears first at the 2:25 mark, with piano and harp, and is repeated from 3:20 to 4:15 with the clarinet, orchestra and choir joining in. The introductory theme returns again for a slow, beautiful ending with its beautiful harmonies. The very end features a hint of the main theme melody to tie everything together and complete Harmonies of Light.
In my 2021 video series Piano with Stanton Lanier my opening words for each of the 12 episodes is “…I believe we all have a song in our heart, and we can think of our life as a song as we seek to make a positive difference in the world.” And the Bach quote I love is, “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” If we seek to glorify God and refresh the souls of people through our lives, this is one way to be a harmony of light in the world. I pray your light shines brightly today!
How does “Harmonies of Light” and its inspiration speak to you?
“I am God, the only God there is. I form light and create darkness, I make harmonies and create discords. I, God, do all these things.” — Isaiah 45:7
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” — Philippians 4:8-9
“He (Jesus) was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so expansive, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.” — Colossians 1:17-20
The new song Wiping Away Every Tear just released today. It is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, and all other music platforms, or you can click below. As you listen, scroll down and read the inspiration behind this piece. (The “Explicit Lyrics” indication on some music services is an unfortunate error which hopefully will be corrected and removed soon.)
I was inspired to compose and record Wiping Away Every Tear to express the need for hope and healing in times of loss or sadness. During twenty-two years of composing Scripture inspired instrumental music, within my fourteen albums and twenty-one singles there are some melodies and harmonies which “speak” to real life moments when we have tears, distress, or sadness. Hope, healing, and even forgiveness can all be found in time, and are available from God by His grace when we seek Him and ask Him for help. This can also require surrendering or releasing a circumstance to Him. This has helped me make progress toward not being anxious about anything, and experiencing God’s peace which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).
Fear and anxiety are issues I have faced for much of my life, but God has continued to offer hope and healing. I have found Him faithful to guard and protect, and even bless my heart and life with His goodness and faithfulness. I hope this melody will inspire you and encourage you if you are facing any type of loss or sadness. The verses below were the inspiration behind this song, and have been helpful to me. Wishing you God’s grace and peace today, and in your days ahead, Stanton
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” — Revelation 21:4
“…he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.” — Isaiah 25:8
The new song Sky Whisper (track 17) and album Treasures of Peace II are available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, and all other music platforms, or you can click below. As you listen, scroll down for the inspiration behind this new song and album.
Sky Whisper is the name of my studio which I created in 2016. “Sky” is another word for “God” and “Whisper” is another word for “Voice,” so for me the studio means “God’s Voice.” In my composing and creating I want to surrender every note and song, to glorify God and refresh the souls of people (this is what Johann Sebastian Bach believed the aim and final end of all music should be, to glorify God and refresh the soul). Treasures of Peace II is my second listener favorites collection, featuring seventeen pieces of music created from 2015 (Breathe) to the beginning of 2022 (Sky Whisper). The track selections include favorites from albums Climb to the Sky (2016) and So Loved (2018), as well as many singles released in 2020 and 2021, featuring both piano and orchestral works.
The new song Riding the Clouds is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, and all other music platforms, or you can click below to listen. As you listen, scroll down and read the inspiration behind this dreamy, hope filled melody.
What would it feel like to float on a big, white, puffy cloud, soaking in the warm sunshine from above? This is what I wanted the music to sound like for Riding on the Clouds. The rhythmic piano pattern, and various melodies and harmonies on harp, cellos, horns, and flutes are seeking to express what it would feel like to ride on the clouds. Ambient piano sounds, a full string orchestra, and woodwinds provide rich harmonies and substance underneath. As the song fades to an end, a solo trumpet ushers us toward heaven.
This piece is one to just sit back and take in. The title and theme Scripture verses speak for themselves, and are filled with hope and wonder (see below). With this being released in December, I am reminded how each song and its inspiration are for “all the people” to encourage us in our life and faith journey. One of the most popular Christmas passages, Luke Chapter 2, says in verses 10 and 11, “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
How does “Riding the Clouds” inspire you?
“Glory and strength to Christ, who loves us, who blood-washed our sins from our lives, Who made us a Kingdom, Priests for his Father, forever—and yes, he’s on his way! Riding the clouds, he’ll be seen by every eye…” — Revelation 1:6-7 (MSG)
“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him…” — Revelation 1:6-7 (NIV)
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.” — Daniel 7:13 (NIV)
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” — 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NIV)
The new song Quiet Revelation releases worldwide Tuesday, July 28, 2020. You can listen below, and stream on all major services including Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon Music, etc. Scroll down to see some inspirational thoughts…
This new song Quiet Revelation happened within a few days in late June 2020, and was completed much faster than usual. The idea I wanted to express was very clear in my mind, but how would the music take shape? I personally need to invest time regularly to slow down, quiet my mind, be still, and listen. When I compose music there is a sense of the melodies coming down from heaven. It feels like God already knows the tune, and He reveals it to me through quiet revelation. The song name and theme invite you to listen for some kind of quiet revelation you may need in your life and faith right now.
A chamber string orchestra plays beautiful chords and swells as the harmony foundation. The piano carries the melody, and is gradually joined by cello and later French horn as the chorus builds and repeats. A gentle choir and more symphony strings join the chamber orchestra to enrich the harmonies underneath, as verse and chorus melodies build emotionally. All of these musical textures symbolize the wonder and diversity of words God wants to say to us, and songs He wants to sing over us.
Relax, close your eyes, and invite your heart, soul, and mind to be blessed with Quiet Revelation. “I love your clear-cut revelation. You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me.” (Psalm 119:113-114, MSG)
How does “Quiet Revelation” speak to you?
Click below to hear the new song Perfect Peace with beautiful, peace-filled piano and cello (released April 28). Stream on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon Music, and more. For pianists you can also purchase the PDF Sheet Music.This Swiss Alps photo I took last year is the background for the song artwork. Please see underneath the image to read some inspirational notes…
During these historic and unprecedented weeks of the global coronavirus pandemic, I have been meditating on Isaiah 26:3 which says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (ESV). The Amplified Bible says, “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You–in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation]. Meditate on these words as you listen. It is a powerful combination to take in the Scripture inspired piano and Isaiah 26:3 together.
If you are interested in more of the “behind the scenes” story for this song…it took a couple of weeks for God to reveal. The piano begins by slowly singing the notes for “Perfect Peace” two times (each word is two syllables, musically). Then the notes sing “You keep him in perfect peace.” This phrase becomes the verse portion, which appears several times throughout the song. The chorus portion starts with rhythmic notes, and was inspired by the words “whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” The chorus answers the verse as a response to the perfect and constant peace God promises us when we fully trust and take refuge in Him. It was a beautiful blessing from God to finish this song a few days before we remember Jesus’s life and death, and celebrate His resurrection. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is our ultimate Perfect Peace, who saves us from our sin, and gives the gifts of resurrection and eternal life to all who believe.
How does the music and theme of Perfect Peace sing over your life today?
Click above to listen to my newest song Walking on Air as you read. After reading and listening, I encourage you to watch the Walking on Air Music Video for additional reflection and inspiration.
What is your hope in 2018? What beauty can you look for?
There are three references to “Walking on Air” in The Message Bible (included at the bottom of this post). These inspired a fifteen hour studio day last year writing and recording this new song. During a summer British Columbia concert trip, a new music video was filmed to combine a musical and visual expression of hope and beauty in a world that so often can seem hopeless and unappealing.
Isaiah 55:8-9 is a powerful passage I rely on by faith whenever things don’t make sense, or whenever events are impossible to fully understand… “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (ESV).
Just as we all would love for a moment to be able to “walk on air” or fly like a bird, we also experience events in life that are the opposite of hopeful or beautiful. When my faith is tested, I can either put my faith in God’s promises or in my circumstances. In an Isaiah 55:8-9 kind of way, I have found God is always bigger than my situation and worthy of my trust. From tragic events happening around the world today, to this week’s severe winter weather along the US east coast, to whatever “storm” you may be facing in life, my prayer for you is to receive God’s grace, hope, and beauty through Walking on Air.
How does “Walking on Air” encourage you with hope and beauty?
Interestingly, the three passages below use the phrase “Walking on Air” in contexts of celebrating life’s beautiful moments, worshiping God with vibrant beauty, and looking to the future with eternal hope.
1 Samuel 2:1 (MSG)
“Hannah prayed: I’m bursting with God-news! I’m walking on air…I’m dancing my salvation.”
Psalm 89:5-9 and 15-18 (MSG)
“God! Let the cosmos praise your wonderful ways, the choir of holy angels sing anthems to your faithful ways! Search high and low, scan skies and land, you’ll find nothing and no one quite like God. The holy angels are in awe before him; he looms immense and august over everyone around him. God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who is like you, powerful and faithful from every angle? You put the arrogant ocean in its place and calm its waves when they turn unruly…Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise, who shout on parade in the bright presence of God. Delighted, they dance all day long; they know who you are, what you do—they can’t keep it quiet! Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us— you’ve been so good to us! We’re walking on air! All we are and have we owe to God, Holy God of Israel, our King!”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (MSG)
“He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.”