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Heaven as Soundscape (A Theology of Music)

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

"We’ve all been swept away by music. Maybe it was a live performance by a favorite band or of a favorite symphony. Perhaps it happens while you’re fixing dinner and Alexa plays a tune from your teen years that you haven’t heard in years. Maybe it was the shock of a new discovery. You went to a concert to hear one band or song, and discovered another one that changed your life. At these moments, it feels as if you merge with the music.

Two of my most memorable musical moments were shocks of discovery. Years ago, Noel and I went to King’s College to hear the Tallis Scholars perform Tallis’s 40-part motet, Spem in Alium. Allegri’s Miserere (Psalm 51) was on the program too. After the Tallis, I watched the choir disperse to various places around the chapel, but I didn’t know what was happening until I heard the soprano, from behind me, soar to the fan vault and then break through to the night sky.

Then, a few years ago, Ken Myers played a recording of James MacMillan’s Miserere during a Theopolis course. There was a moment late in the piece that took my breath away, and still does, every time I listen to it, even though I know it’s coming..." from the article: The God Who Sings

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