Betty Duffy

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Music for the Already/Not Yet of Advent

Well, it's been a busy Fall. Busier than expected due to the out-of-nowhere gift of making contact with two very talented women who were riotously game for making an album of Advent music over the course of a very intense month or so.


I have so many thoughts in mind about this project, about my faith-filled, talented partners, Kaitlyn and Elise, about the gift of working creatively with women, about the fruitfulness of the Holy Spirit, about each of these songs...

For now, I'm just going to put the music here without delay, so that you may have it. I hope you love it as much as I loved helping to make it.

Here's Elise on some of the impetus we felt for doing this:

Eight weeks ago, two friends of mine here in central Indiana and I got together to ask what it would be like to do an album for Advent. Elizabeth and Kaitlyn were meeting each other for the first time. Their respective three-year-olds were hiding behind maternal legs and sizing each other up with sideways glances. I was on and off my work email. But something felt immediately fitting and right about the project. Three mothers, with varied challenges to our time and energies - three creative types, wanting to do art in a way that would connect people - and ourselves - to God. Three human beings, frustrated with an idealized model for creativity that requires freedom from dependents and large chunks of uninterrupted time.

We thought about incarnation, about the real demands of parenting and working and providing for the needs of others. We thought about a creative life. And we decided to try an experiment. We would do an album that was truly incarnational - music that could be born in our real lives, just as they were - and we would do it for Advent - a season when we celebrate God’s taking on our flesh - and a season during which we are reminded, forcibly, that all is not yet well. That we are still groaning for God’s coming. That we are trapped here in the already/not yet. And that yet, because of Jesus, we do this compromised living with hope.

There's more to read on our Sister|Sinjin Blog, including some explanation of our name and patron saints.

And here's Kaitlyn on doing creative work with kids:

What if creativity does not flow best into the limitless space we strive to create around ourselves? What if, instead, it is pressed out of us by the constant, repetitive, unending cycle of daily life? What if creativity is not the result of acting on our every desire, but rather what’s found after everything else has been drained from us?

Maybe there, in the uncomfortable realities of our lives is where creativity is expressed, because it must be in order to survive the exhausting and the mundane. Maybe creativity is more incarnation than transcendence.

Creativity of obligation requires us to show up with all our baggage and create something anyway.

I know the text on our blog is a little difficult to read, due to my horrible web-design skills. Any minute now, I'm going to go back in there and figure out how to change the background to white and the text to black.

Until then, a very warm thank you to all of you who have supported us by sharing links, and buying copies. It's all been so much more than expected.


You may also enjoy the solo work Kaitlyn and Elise have done. I love to trace the cross-pollinations of sound that occur when we work together.

 (I especially love track 4)

Here's a link to Elise's most recent album Valley: Hymns for Travelers.


Anonymous said...

Thank you all for these Advent gifts. Soul food from other mothers in the midst of things is like none other. More please.

Seth said...

What a combination of ethereal purity and homespun authenticity, just like Our Lady. Blessings!