First fruits is a Biblical requirement from the Old Testament. For the music on this album, I have drawn a connection linking the first fruits of the Old Testament to Matthew 6:33 where Jesus tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
For the past few years, I have begun each work day with work I am dedicating to “the kingdom of God and His righteousness”. This is not the only way that I put God first in my work life, but it is the most obvious one. Each day, the first thing I do before I start my own work, is compose some music that either glorifies God or honors the people He places in my life.
Over these past eighteen months, over ninety percent of what I’ve written during that first fruits time has been trumpet ensemble music. I do write other types of music, but since I also play trumpet and have been releasing my own albums, I often choose to compose trumpet ensemble music because I have an avenue for it to be recorded.
And that’s how First Trumpet Fruits came to be. In a way, this album is sort of a sequel to my Trumpet Quasi Master album, released early last year (2016). They are both mostly original trumpet ensemble pieces. The difference with the First Trumpet Fruits is that ALL of the compositions on this album were written during my first fruits time, first thing each business day. Also, all of these First Fruits compositions were all written in the past year and a half. The Trumpet Quasi Master album had compositions on it from every period of my career as a composer.
That’s a lot of music to have composed in such a short period of time. As impressive as that may seem to some people, what I find most interesting about the fact that all of these compositions are recent is that it serves as a genuine reflection of where my heart is right now. These current compositions are a very real reflection of who I am at this stage in my life.
That’s not supposed to be how you “sell” an album, or any other product for that matter. I’ve read enough business books to know that you’re not supposed to tell people what went into making a product or what it means to you. Instead, you are supposed to tell them what your album “or product” can do for them! Right?
Music can be very narcissistic in that regard. So why am I breaking the rule?
Because where my heart is at this stage in my life is that I want nothing more than to serve God by serving YOU and the other people He has placed in my life. I want to glorify Him with my life, with my marriage, and yes, with my music.
In that regard, I pray that other Christians hear this music from that perspective. It really isn’t about me. When I listen to the album myself, I don’t think to myself “look how good I am…look what I did.” What I think about is how miraculous this project was. Look at what God did with the first fruits I gave to Him! God took the first fifteen minutes of my work day and created this album. Yes, He used me to do it. And I praise Him for that. But I cannot take credit for the final results.
My favorite psalm, for many years, was Psalm 127. The first verse of that psalm says:
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
I gave this composition time over to God. I’m not suggesting that I didn’t enjoy the work. I enjoyed it immensely. And I felt genuinely expressive and creative in the work I was doing. Expressing myself, not being preposterous enough to pretend to express God’s feelings, etc. So in that sense, it was the same as any other kind of writing I’ve ever done.
It’s not the writing itself that is miraculous. It’s the final result that I find miraculous. It’s what God did with what I gave him that I find to be almost unbelievable. And I was there!!! I saw it with my own eyes. 🙂
I know most who read this will not understand what I’m saying, but I am compelled to share that part of the First Trumpet Fruits story.
I do hope that this album is successful. I hope people all over the world listen to it and are uplifted by it. And of course, I hope they buy lots of copies. But I place all of that in God’s hands. My part in this project is done. I have planted the seeds. This is one harvest I must send angels out to collect on my behalf. I don’t have the resources myself to “market” the album. So I trust God to do with it as He wishes.