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