Last week, I drove into the city to attend a concert for a CD release. I spent 45 minutes in traffic—before rush hour, mind you—to get to my husband’s office. After getting a quick bite to eat, we drove to the auditorium, sitting in long lines of cars along the way. After a while, we made it to the right place, found a parking place, and walked a couple of minutes to the auditorium.
Why am I giving you all these details?
Because sometimes seeking beauty can be a little inconvenient. And last Thursday evening, it was so worth it.
The evening was a celebration of award-winning pianist Stanton Lanier’s latest CD, Climb to the Sky. Stanton writes scripture-inspired songs for piano and has had 30 million streams and downloads worldwide on iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube.
Stanton is known as the Pianist of Peace. Fans all over the world write in to tell him that his music brings them peace, lifts their spirits, and soothes their souls.
Who doesn’t need peace?
Stanton’s personal journey has taken him from chemistry major to MBA to financial planner to pianist-composer-author. He created his first scripture-inspired piano medley in 2001, wanting to write instrumental music from Bible verses that had spoken into his life. Since then, he has recorded 10 albums, six of them with William Ackerman, the Grammy-winning founder of Windham Hill Records.
That evening, I found his music to be the perfect antidote to traffic and noise and stress. It washed over me like a gentle shower. Even his presence on stage was one of calm.
Stanton and his team put a lot of care into planning a special, multi-genre arts evening for his CD release. He shared the stage with other musicians and artists. Spoken-word poet Amena Brown hosted and read from Psalms that inspire him--and me. The Georgia Boy Choir and the Sage String Quartet accompanied him. On the visual side, videos showed Stanton playing his music in the midst of stunning scenery, and an artist painted a beach scene during the concert.
The evening was such a treat. I was surprised by the creative use of different types of art working together. And Stanton’s music, inspired by Bible passages, created space for his audience to experience peace after a long workday and, for some of us, a long commute, too. The peace and beauty I found there was so worth it.
What is your favorite type of music? What type of music refreshes you? When do you listen to music?