Hey there! This is Zac, the electric guitarist from HeartSong Orange Team. The past couple weeks, all five HeartSong teams have been in the recording studio laying down tracks for our new CD, and I’m here to tell you all about it .
There’s something special and exciting about the studio. It’s about a 40 minute drive from Cedarville, which was made more interesting by the ice storms the first week that made the roads borderline treacherous (and gave us a snow…..errr, ice day ). After arriving at the driveway, which was pure sheet ice the whole recording process, you walk in, turn right, and there, surrounded by a bunch of sound equipment, a ProTools rig, a keyboard and some assorted African instruments is THE Heath West.
I hear you ask – who is this Heath person you speak of?
This is Heath:
Heath is a recording engineer who has recorded HeartSong albums for years, and the master of all things ProTools. I had the pleasure of working with him last year for the first time during the recording of “Healed”, and so I was thrilled to work with him this year. One of my career options is working in a recording studio after college, so I decided that I wanted to spend as much time as possible watching Heath in the studio, learning whatever I could.
Well, I ended up spending something like 6 days and over 40 hours in the studio the past two weeks. (And parents, I know what you’re thinking – no, I didn’t skip any extra classes just to be in the studio all the time . The ice day helped a lot with that .)
I LOVED getting to know people on other teams that I didn’t know as well, and I learned so much from Heath. After watching the other teams working on all their music, I’ve been reflecting on HeartSong and what I saw and learned in the studio.
It’s not just the technical side. I learned how to punch in on a take or splice together 3 takes into a comp track from watching Heath, but it’s more than that. I had the privilege of seeing the band from every team record their music, and as I watched them, it reminded me of my favorite part of HeartSong, which I would sum up this way:
Everyone on HeartSong has something to offer, and everyone has something to learn.
As an electric guitar player for HeartSong, I am always amazed and blessed while watching the other electric guitar players play. All the electric players have their own unique fingerprint on HeartSong, and nobody plays the same style. We hear each other play, and try to learn from each other. HeartSong is a collaborative effort, and that unity and celebration of each other’s gifts is one of the things I treasure about it. These unique fingerprints are all over this album.
I’ll give you one example, although I could say something like this about any of the electric players on HeartSong. The electric player for Green Team, Will Bush, is a shredder. I won’t spoil it for you, but just wait till you hear Rise & Sing on the new CD- it will blow your mind. He can do things on a guitar that sound amazing, things that I simply can’t do yet- and that’s awesome! I love it ! It makes me excited! The Kingdom of God is better for it that he knows how to do that, and while I’m trying to glean as much from him as I can, I am thrilled for sake of the Kingdom of God that he has been given a unique gift, and that he has cultivated it faithfully.
At the same time, I know that God has put His image in me as in Will, and because of that, I can offer my own style of playing that uses atypical kinds of chord shapes and lead lines, with a Hillsong United/U2/Angels & Airwaves sound. In the last year and a half, I’ve had the privilege of both learning as much as I can from other guitarists and sharing what I know with them. To be in a collaborative place with people that genuinely love each other well has made HeartSong more of a blessing than I can properly express, and a blessing that I don’t take it for granted.
As it says in Proverbs 27:17, “7 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” There is no room for jealousy or rivalry in the Kingdom of God. We all have our gifts, and we should be celebrating them and learning from each other and not allow our Message to be hindered by those lesser things. If we do not, we are no different than the world.
Let it never be said that in our lives, our traveling teams, our ministries or our churches that we proclaimed the Gospel of reconciliation and the God of love, yet did not love well those who were supposed to be our brothers and sisters, simply because we were jealous of the gift they received.
In the words of Paul (1 Cor. 12:4-5):
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
Let us focus on serving the same Lord for sake of the same Kingdom. Let us love each other well.