Artist in Residence 2015, Benje Daneman

John 1:1-5, 14; 3:19-21; 12:34-36; 1 Thessalonians 5:5-11

You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

(1 Thessalonians 5:5-11)


June 8, 2015

Benje Daneman here with my second update as a 2015 Resident Artist for Spark & Echo Arts… as I mentioned in my last update, my project this year is writing a full length jazz suite based around the concept of Light in scripture. This yearlong endeavor is extremely interesting as I’m able to see long term how the project is being formed and changing over time. Even after only five months it’s evolved and morphed from what I thought it’d be to something slightly different!

A few updates…

This is a great time for an update as one of my bands, SearchParty, met for the first to do an initial reading session of my music for this commission. I was able to bring four parts of the suite to the guys and they played them beautifully. Check out the video to hear the clips!

I was hoping to stay only in the Book of John, but it seems as though as I’ve been finding my way out of that book and into the book of Thessalonians … and potentially one in Job still in the works. So far four songs have come to fruition… they are:

“(Our Fear of) Exposure” – John 3:19-21

“Light in the Darkness” – John 1:1-5, 14

“Just a Little While Longer” – John 12:34-36

“Children of the Light” – 1 Thessalonians 5:5-11

My most recent band, SearchParty, is taking this music on and our debut performance in NYC will be at Saint Peter’s Church (619 Lexington Avenue (& 54th St.) at 5pm on August 9th at their Sunday Jazz Vespers series. We’d love to see you there as we’ll be unveiling pieces some of the suite for the first time to the public there. My hope is to debut the full suite in a live recording performance in early November here in New York City. I’m in the works of securing the venue and should know very soon. Please stay tuned and we’ll let you know more info as soon as we can! I envision this being a pretty special night and would truly love you being a part of it.

It’s pretty exciting seeing how the scripture has been speaking to me as I’m composing over the past few months. I find it to be my meditation/prayer time where I can dig deep into the context of the text and see how it shines a light in my own life. I can’t wait to see where the next steps bring me and this composition!

Follow the development of Benje’s project by reading this in addition to his first, and third posts as a 2015 Artist in Residence.

All materials are copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.