The dictionary defines “Beatitudes” as this: supreme blessedness; exalted happiness. To me it means selflessness and the idea of service or rescue.
This record was written originally for a documentary focusing on volunteer emergency response workers in the Dominican Republic. The majority of the pieces did not get used, so I decided to put them together and make this project. Writing the music while watching the selflessness of the protagonists in the documentary affected me and got me thinking on this concept of Beatitudes. Being of service to everyone around us without the expectation of anything in return. Simply just thinking of myself less, whether that be with regards to family, friends, the marginalized, homeless, refugees, etc.
I believe it is our highest calling on this earth to lay down our life for the service of another. Most of us, if we are being honest, are terrible at it. We have too many selfish desires. We too often think only of ourselves. We would rather the convenience of non-action, to the inconvenience of helping someone in need.
That is where this project lives: in the tension between the desire to help but the unwillingness to sacrifice. Sometimes I do not like my response to need. Sometimes I do nothing, and just sit and wait for others. Sometimes I do exactly as I should, and go out of my way to help. I believe that for this world to restore itself, we all need to die to ourselves a bit more and learn to live out Beatitudes. Light in the darkness is unmistakable. You cannot miss it; it permeates everything.
“Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.”
- Bruce Cockburn
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget you perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
- Leonard Cohen