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Thinking With Barry
Bruce Von Stiers
Barry Bowers is a musician. But the instrument he plays is a bit unusual for Christian music. But then again, not really. Let me explain. Barry plays a six-string electric violin. With this instrument Barry can emulate the viola, cello and the violin. These instruments are sometimes used in hymns, but not in more modern Christian music.
Barry has recorded an album using this electric violin. The title of the album is Think On These Things. It is a wonderful instrumental album filled with beautiful, inspiring music.
There are ten songs on the album and it lasts a bit over forty minutes. Barry recorded and produced the album himself. His recording engineer for the album was Per-Arne Johansson.
For the accompanying instruments, Barry used a synthesizer.
The first song is Lord, I Lift Your Name On High. This is the Rick Founds song that has been done by several vocalists and musical groups. It might seem a bit strange to have the song done with a string arrangement like Barry's. But not really. In an article I read on the song, Founds said that he's seen the song done in several different ways, even to polka sounding music. So Barry's rendition here is not only beautiful, but is tastefully done and totally appropriate.
The second song on the album is the classic hymn, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. This is combined with a song called Open Your Eyes. With the wonderful music, you will just about want to sing the lyrics to the song.
I loved the rendition of Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. This is such a great string piece.
Then the album moves on to You Are My Hiding Place . This is a wonderfully done Michael Ledener song. I most recently remember this song being on a Selah album.
There are two Ken Medema songs on the album. They are Jesus, Lover of my Soul and Flyin' Like An Eagle. Both are very well done.
There is an extremely well done classical music piece on the album. This is the Pachelbel Canon. This song was originally composed for a three violin setting, but has been modified over the centuries to accommodate other arrangements. So with Barry playing the electric violin, it just adds a new dimension to a wonderful classical song.
Barry also tackles Fantasia on Greensleeves. As with the canon, Barry brings forth a great performance.
The other two songs on the album are Worthy Is The Lamb and Great Is Thy Faithfulness. Worthy Is The Lamb is a nicely done Don Wyrtzen song that has quickly become a classic praise hymn. And of course, Great Is They Faithfulness has been a standard in church hymnals for generations. It is a fitting song to close the album with.
Barry Bowers is an extremely talented musician. The songs on the album make a perfect fit for his playing of the six-string electric violin.
A portion of the profits for Think On These Things is being designated for Happy Child Mission. This is a Christian organization that works with street children in Brazil , the home country of Barry's wife, Sonja Melo.
You can hear samples from the album on Barry's web site. The site can be found at www.whatsoeverthingsmusic.com .
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© 2007 Bruce E Von Stiers
www.BVSReviews.com
Barry Bowers - Album: Think On These Things

earBuzz.com Review: Barry Bowers has assembled 10 instrumental violin pieces with various accompaniment from vibraphone to harpsichord, piano to strings - all performed by Bowers on various synthesizers. The focus here is on Bowers' violin playing - and to that end uses an electrified instrument that can vary in tone to include the deep warm lines of a viola to the bright and articulate violin. The titles of the tunes indicate an inspiration from his faith in Jesus Christ. Track 2, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus", is a slow paced and melodic journey which includes bell-like percussive chording and the timbre of an english horn. Bowers includes more contemporary pieces, but also gives respect to both classical masters, Bach and Pachelbel. Track 3 is "Jesu, Joy of Mans' Desiring" ... track 7's "Pachelbel Canon". The latter begins with purposeful chording that makes room for Bowers' violin on the top chord line - the melody - and he accents his playing with moderate reverb during his inspired performance. Track 4, "You Are My Hiding Place", is supported by harpsichord and arpeggiating piano lines. Our favorite track is Bowers' rendition of the classic melody in Greensleeves - here his melody approach fits well with the pace and breadth of the composition. The CD is a testament to Bowers' faith and a fine representation of what he's accomplished thus far in his music career. We look forward to more. - earBuzz.com (Mar 15, 2006)

earBuzz.comReview: Barry Bowers montou 10 partes instrumentais do violino com vários acompanhamentos do vibraphone ao harpsichord, piano às cordas - executadas toda por Bowers em vários sintetizadores. O foco aqui é em jogar do violino de Bowers - e para este fim ele usou um instrumento elétrico que pode variar no tom que incluir as linhas profundas da viola ao brilhante e articulado violino. Os títulos das músicas indicam uma inspiração de sua fé em Jesus Cristo. A trilha 2, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” ( Volte seus olhos para Jesus), é uma viagem lenta e melódica lenta que inclue sino como percussão e o timbre de uma trompa. Bowers inclue partes mais contemporaneas, mas dá também o respeito a ambos os mestres clássicos, Bach e Pachelbel.. A trilha 3 é " Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” (Jesus, alegria dos homens)... e a trilha 7 "Pachelbel Canon". Este último começa com um acorde proposital dando espaço para o violino de Bowers' na linha superior da corda - a melodia - e acentua seu tocar com reverbo moderado durante seu desempenho inspirado. A trilha 4, " You Are My Hidding Place” (Tu és meu Refúgio Secreto), é apoiado pelo harpsichord e por linhas arpeggiating do piano. Nossa trilha favorita é a rendição de Bowers' a melodia clássica em Greensleeves - aqui sua melodia combina bem com o ritmo e a extensão da composição. O CD é um testemunho da fé de Bowers e uma representação clara do que ele tem alcançado em sua carreira msical. Esperamos ter mais pela frente.
earBuzz.com (Mar 15, 2006)