First the milestone: this past week, our little "Music at Bethany" blog had 50 unique visitors for the first time. I hope that all you readers are enjoying what you find here, that you're learning a bit more about Lutheran church music, and that you visit often in the future. You can help us continue to grow by becoming a follower, linking to us at your own blog, Facebook, or Myspace page and in general just helping spread the word. Also, join in the conversation anytime with email or comments (online or in person)!
Now for the movies: I've been at the movie theatre more than is typical for me lately, having seen both Star Trek and Angels & Demons. This isn't meant to be a review, but I did enjoy them both. They're what you expect in a summer blockbuster - fast-paced fun, adventure, etc.
I was just reminded again how much the soundtracks of summer movies rely on big Carl Orff-style vocals to underscore their most dramatic turning points. There's no particular reason that a big choir should signal the major fight scenes of Star Wars or the infinity of space in Star Trek, although I suppose Angels & Demons has a better claim for relying on such "church music" since it is set in Vatican City. However, I think that these movies are relying on our collective cultural heritage of meaning and emotion that stems from the hymns we hear and sing.
Open your ears if you're at the movie theatre this summer. See if you don't hear some "hymns" in the background. If you think of other great examples, leave a comment. I'm always curious to hear where other people hear the influence of church music outside of the santuary on Sunday mornings.