How the (Bridge) Singing Started


The history of Bridge Songs starts right here, with Bridge Songs ONE.

We are in a living room playing music for each other. 8 of us or so. Each time I hear one of these friends play a song, I get a peek into their heart. I see something–hear something–I didn't know was there.

We meet for weeks like this, sharing new songs and with them a part of our souls. We cry. We heal. We come together because we are all attending the same small church of 40 or 50 people and looking for a way to sing songs that don't belong in a church service. We are making music together and making connections, and we want to share all of this with the rest of our community.

The idea is called Bridge Songs. It will be a collection of songs from Urban Bridge Church.

These songs show a side of us that many have not seen. We are writing songs that dance around the edges of the sacred and songs that wade right through it. We are questioning and shouting with our songs. We are writing share-worthy sing-a-longs, with no one to sing them with us.

With summer of 2007 right around the corner, we plan a concert at King's University College (our church has no building). We invite visual artists to the party. Jacob and Lily, a folk duo we know, is willing to headline the show and even lend us some songs for our first ever Bridge Songs album.

Yep. We're going to record an album, too. Not that we know how.

The album is a way to give these songs life after the one-night event. A way to get them out into the community. Some of us are getting songs recorded for the first time. Tim LaRiviere, the soundman at the venue where our church meets, gets on board to do our recording. He'll put in a lot of unpaid hours over the next several years.

This first Bridge Songs has no theme. We are throwing this whole thing together as best we can in just a few months (as I remember it).

There's another living room night I hold in my memory.

It's likely the week before the performance. We gather around my coffee table with a pile of recordable CDs and a pile of paper bags. We take a bag and stamp it with a custom made Bridge Songs ONE stamp. We stuff a CD inside–a CD we've burned ourselves–and move on to the next one. We do this, I think, 100 times.

Caleb Friesen and Karla Adolphe of Jacob and Lily are introduced by Darrell Muth, pastor of Urban Bridge Church, who trusted us with this crazy idea.

Caleb Friesen and Karla Adolphe of Jacob and Lily are introduced by Darrell Muth, pastor of Urban Bridge Church, who trusted us with this crazy idea.

These nights stay in my memory because they embody the heartbeat of Bridge Songs. We've remained a community of creatives, in way over our heads, learning as we go to make something beautiful.

Who knew we'd stay this young and foolish for ten years?

You can download Bridge Songs ONE for free here.

Buy your ticket for Bridge Songs TEN here, where I'll sing Miracle, my contribution to Bridge Songs ONE.

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