Recently, the Guardian told me about the latest discovery of some astronomers. I quite dig space-stuff; ’cause it’s really, really big. So these astronomers had been trying to map out the entirety of space, & see how all those celestial bodies group together on a massive, massive scale. Basically, if you think of our cosmic address, they were looking to find out what would follow ‘galaxy’ as the next step outward. So galaxies group together into big old continent-like things called superclusters. Our little Milky Way is on the very outskirts of one supercluster that they named Laniakea. It’s Hawai’ian, probably because that’s where the observatories & research facilities are, & it means immeasurable heaven. Spacious heaven. Some of the scientific detail is beautiful too, but it just rocks me that heaven is part of our address.
So, since I do live in such a spacious place, it’s on me to do what Jesus said. To pull limitlessness in. Promote the culture of a distant country, knowing that it’s gonna pop up like a sort of eighth-wonder garden, unfold like that cityscape in Inception, dress this dear planet up in unbreakable beauty. That it’s gonna break up the concreted ground to make a precious-metal red carpet for the feet of Jesus himself to walk on. Unshakeable.
To promote it now, I gotta let its ‘brand identity’, its palette & architecture, shape my output. Even if i weren’t my contemporaries’ stock picture of a ‘creative type’, that’d still be my approach to speech, actions, how I love the person in front of me, etc. etc. But as I’m a musician, I’ll settle for the creation of a ***new genre***.
Haha, I don’t know if it counts as a genre, it’s more like an umbrella concept covering anything that promotes/that sings out/that illustrates the home-of-God, & thus the character of God, the dad who is coming home to make ‘this’ place like ‘that’ place. & there’ll be stuff about it that’s really unfashionable, like the whole ‘no dying’ thing (don’t we all like a bit of brokenness to relate to?), the way it all points towards one man, Jesus, the way not everything happens quickly… & the character of God consisting only of retina-scorching virtue, well that’s not gonna seem plausible or sexy, is it?
(Oh, goodness, even worse, the fact that sex doesn’t happen in heaven might be the most unspeakable of all, the last word in idolatry against the god Eros? Ok, just let me say that heaven’s gonna be better than sex, hopefully that’ll help you out. All our deepest desires will find their satisfaction in that place. No matter onto where or whom we’ve projected those desires during this short span on earth.)
I don’t know exactly how all this will be celebrated & sketched out in my heavencore art. I just know that I’m gonna aim for that art to be a taste-changer rather than a panderer-to-tastes. I’ll do what I can to drag melodies out of measureless heaven into the airwaves of earth, & hope that their distinctiveness from those pleasure-centre-hitting tunes already on VEVO will, um, float somebody’s boat. & better still, light a question in their nerves. Why the distinctness? What is this taste?
God’s got a banquet. One of His distinctives over gods of other faiths is that He throws parties for us, He unfurls His mouthwatering spread for His kids. Not the other way around! He’s more capable of generosity to us than we are to ourselves, & He’s got the goods to back it up. So when I talk about being a taste-changer, & taking people’s minds off time-bound things, I don’t mean changing their taste-capacity from ‘omnivore’ to ‘narrow/ryvita-only’. I mean throwing it open even wider, until you wonder what or who can satisfy the crazy, maybe limitless scope of your longing. So if I mention something time-bound, like the whole ‘sex’ thing, it’s not so much to poop the party, as to make the proposal that your appetite is FAR too great for focusing on that.
Heavencore should be fun. But maybe it should be the fun that pours through you from spending time with God, rather than the fun that comes from anything He’s made, or from anything He gave us the ability to make. Nothing wrong w/doing the latter… but I think it’s a matter of priorities. Heaven, when it comes, will probably be good at helping you realise what’s worth giving attention to, what’s worth loving, & what actually satisfies you! So I think heavencore artists should be taste-changers (more by ‘giving’ than by preaching, perhaps. I think the latter activity is something for heavencore preachers to do!).
A big deal, now; the character of God, illustrated by heaven’s style & filling the perspective of the artist, is a lot to do with love. Without love, any art or productivity or speech or provision-for-your-family, might fall flat. You can hit a cymbal as many times as you like, it won’t sound like heaven if there’s no love in you. & again to try & be a bit of a taste-changer, just check your idea of love. Its parameters, perimeters & substance. Regarding perimeters – there need be none. God the daddy-of-all-daddies has the resources to back up His generous words; the love that emerges torrential from His heart towards humanity is indeed measureless, inexhaustible, broad. Spacious, So let it rush in. But regarding parameters – He gets to make me a better person, right, as a part of my being *His*. What a joy. But He’s gotta change me & help me change in order for this journey-towards-Him to be a journey at all. The ungainsayable flood of affection & aspiration-on-my-behalf is too great to leave me to my own devices, leave me as I am. Love, if it is received, effects change.
If the cultural output & conversation etc. that will be known as heavencore is to be shaped by love of comparable heat & determination, then it’ll hope for positive change in those who find it. Full of affection, it’ll have crazy-big aspirations on behalf of its listeners/viewers/recipients. It will light questions in their nerves. It may come in opposition to the other focuses of their desires. So it might appear distasteful or offensive, never mind unfashionable.
However, it will not seek to offend. It’ll merely be distant snatches of sound, strains of merriment from a feast. The feast will be measureless & the banner over it will be love. The sound will be beautiful, but maybe all it will ever say will be, ‘you were made for so much more…’
-18th Sept 2014
pt.1 is here