Saturday, August 23, 2014

reader Tim Worley has a question about Mars Hill Church, Tooth & Nail records, and BEC recordings ...

Earlier today reader Tim Worley asked a question in a comment box.

Wenatchee, your blog is largely about MHC relationships and inter-relationships...with some of the MHC bands leaving the church, I'd be curious whether the Mars Hill/Tooth & Nail Records/BEC recordings link is being maintained, whether former Mars Hill bands can maintain the "record company" relationship apart from MHC, etc. On a practical level, I integrate some MHC musical material into what my church does on Sunday morning, but I'm getting increasingly nervous about potential negative connotations, even with some great material I find above reproach.

That's a good question.  There's been some memorable and interesting music to come out of Mars Hill and it's starting to find its way into services at church that aren't affiliated with Mars Hill.  Given the controversy surrounding Mars Hill recently are there reasons to worry about use of material that in many cases is copyrighted to Mars Hill, for instance? 

In a larger historic sense it might not be a huge problem. It's not unheard of to hear the hymn "Nearer My God to Thee" sung in Trinitarian liturgical settings even though the hymn was written by a Unitarian.  Lutherans can love Wesleyan hymns and vice versa.  Presbyterians can like Catholic texts set to music by avant garde composers (Messiaen's glorious setting of "O sacrum convivium" is a personal favorite)  But, uh ...

Anyway, that's a good question Tim. Would someone at Tooth & Nail/BEC recordings be willing to publicly field that question?  And it provides an occasion to briefly review the history of Mars Hill public announcements about music labels and music partnership. 

In fact we're about to do a little guided tour of the history of Mars Hill experiments at starting music labels since Tim Smith and company started Re:Sound back around 2009.  Stay tuned.

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