This is for Apple Music subscribers: I created a playlist of music that inspired me during my work on the THE REIGN OF GOD book 1.
Music played an important role for me to get into the mood or even shape certain scenes in the book. So this playlist is not a sort of “soundtrack” (although I arranged the songs in an order that somehow corresponds to the story), but what is called ‘image album’ in Japan.
It was especially music from the Middle East and from ancient times that I searched for, but also contemporary music that matched the mood, such as movie soundtracks. This is just a selection that encapsulates the spirit of the book.
Inspiration from Film and Folklore
One of the biggest inspirations came from the tremendous performances led by Spanish artist Jordi Savall in collaboration with his ensemble Hespèrion XXI. Albums such as Orient – Occident and Jerusalem with their haunting songs in Arabic, especially the song Qalaq performed Weed Bouhassoun often took me to foreign lands.
The music of the Taizé community in France that, in my opinion, truly reflects the spirit of the Gospels and of Jesus (although I now have to learn that cases of sexual abuse are under investigation…). The instrumental albums often helped me grasp the kindness that was flowing in the interactions between Jesus and the people, especially when the story went to dark places of war and torture.
I often remembered Japanese movie classics by Kurosawa Akira and Ghibli master Miyazaki Hayao. The character development and free-spiritedness of their works as well as their humanism are always sources of learning for me. The playlist features tracks from Kurosawa’s Yôjimbô and Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke.
Since my days as a student, I’ve been listening to traditional Persian music. Sahba Motallebi is an excellent Tar and Setar player, teacher and artist with otherworldly works of beautiful music. Even though Persian culture is different from ancient Judea, the music is channeling the spirituality of ancient people.