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)


August 31, 2015

Greetings from New York, Spark & Echo! I’m honored to be submitting my third update for my artist in residence with Spark & Echo Arts. Just a recap: I’m writing a full jazz suite based upon the concept of LIGHT in scripture called “Light in the Darkness.” It’s been an amazing and enlightening process so far and these next few months will be no less exciting! Here are a few things I wanted to update you on:

1. SearchParty, the band I’ve formed to coincide with the writing of this project, debuted the first time at Saint Peter’s Church in midtown Manhattan on August 9th. If you check out my video, you’ll see some clips from that performance. We played three of the pieces from my forthcoming suite “Light in the Darkness.” It was a great first performance and am excited for more to come!

2. I’ve been lucky to perform and rehearse sections of the music I’m writing many times now as I’m constructing the full suite of music. This is definitely a luxury in helping me figure out what works and what doesn’t. It has been to the point where even one whole composition I’ve realized, while it’s a good composition, it doesn’t quite “fit” into the whole piece. Additionally, I’ve realized that parts of the music I thought was just a section of one piece, should actually be a whole composition itself. This only can happen through the ability of performing it multiple times in multiple settings - I’m very lucky to have this time to work out “the kinks.”

3. In multiple parts of the suite, I’ve found that I’ve used a similar chord progression in different ways without really even realizing it. I’ve begun to label this progression as the “Light” progression and am starting to utilize it in different ways to sprinkle throughout the composition. It’s awesome that this came as a sort of “accident”… or better yet, naturally!!

4. On November 15th at Marble Collegiate Church, 5pm, we’ll be debuting the full composition “Light in the Darkness” at the Jazz Vesper Series at Marble Collegiate Church (274 Fifth Ave New York, NY ). I hope you can join us as we premiere this exciting work that I’ve been honored to write.

Thanks to you all for your love and support through this process!! I can’t wait to share it with you all on November 15th.

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

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