Every so often, a band comes along with songs that take your breath away. Their music and lyrics become like favourite books read many times over–you know the plot, the characters are old friends–, and there are some things that only grow better with time.
You want to play their songs. You download the chord sheets, the names of the songwriters on the top right of the score sheet always catching the eye. Reading the CD sleeves, you eventually learn each band member’s name. You somehow manage to catch them in concert, once in Vancouver, twice in Singapore.
Time passes. Other bands, other music, fill up the iTunes store in my mind, because nothing stays the same forever. Then, one of the lead vocalists and songwriters of this once-favourite band comes to town. Suddenly, all the conversations you ever wanted to have with this beloved band come rushing in like a sudden breeze on a quiet afternoon.
For old times’ sake and the sake of research—for I am recording a chat with Wayne Huirua of the original Parachute band from Auckland, New Zealand—I play one of their CDs in my car. I feel time reversing, and I am a little younger, remembering the music that calmed and comforted, the music that kept bringing me back to the keyboard to create the timbre and the colours I wanted to imitate. These songs were like confidantes, for they were the ones I ran to when I needed comfort and help in time of need.
Their ballads–like I Stand In Awe of You–are like soft rain falling on the first morning of September, and in my mind, a dancer leaps toward the light.
Fast forward to the 21st century. This morning, Pastor Huirua is sitting in my car. How can that be? And we’re talking about the weather, children, and the music he made which so many of us have loved and know so well. How can it be that magically, he is sitting in the studio across from me and we’re chatting about worship in its many forms and facets? How can it be that later, we are having North Indian food for lunch and topping it off with mock pina coladas?
I don’t think I can ever order pina coladas without thinking of this amazing musician.
Never in my wildest dreams.