May 31, 2013
Brian DeRemer debuted his liturgy Letters From Earth in June, 2013. Below he talks a bit about his thoughts on the ideas behind the liturgy.
The inspiration for the title “Letters From The Earth” is a series of short stories by Mark Twain published after his death. My favorite part about Twain is his sense of humor and he was in rare form when he wrote these short stories. Twain can be brutal at times, but his brilliance is in the way he makes you think. In sections of “Letters” he created what was a caricature of God. Flawed and sometimes errant in his design, Twain’s ‘God’ flails about trying to figure out where he went wrong when he created mankind. God makes many humorous observations about humankind and is stunned by Man’s seemingly endless flaws. There are many folks, myself included, who consider “Letters” to be a study in Deism. That is: A philosophical concept that says basically, “God created the universe and everything we know and left the rest up to us”. Although I believe it is good and proper to doubt and question what we don’t understand, God speaks in my life very frequently. I believe God is the source of many of the finest qualities of human beings including (but not limited to): creativity, imagination, empathy and unconditional love. God created us with the ability to think deeply on many issues. I just hope He can be patient with me as I work through my beliefs. I hope he’s up there listening, shaking his head and smiling.
As for the songs themselves:
This group of six songs were created during the last 6 months or so in my home studio. I have a full-time job and two young children, so my composition time was made up mostly of “studio time”. This method differs from anything else I’ve done. You’ll hear drum machines and string parts as well as more stripped-down stuff. I experimented with melodies and phrasing a lot. I tried to let the songs happen organically and give them the time to be themselves. I basically would put my girls to sleep and run down to my basement to record. I used the studio and it’s variety of virtual instruments to form the foundation of my writing. In the past, I would just grab a guitar and play. The guitar has represented the majority of my palette for songwriting in the past, and there’s nothing wrong with that, I simply had a few more tools in the toolbox, and I decided I should use them.
This liturgy is dedicated to my mother Lorraine DeRemer, who lovingly dragged me out of bed each Sunday morning to attend church in my hometown of Bismarck, ND. Her steadfast faith and love for Jesus Christ continue to be a beacon to my wandering soul.