Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Episode 33—Structure and Freedom in Music and in Christ—Mark Christopher Brandt

By Catholic Culture Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Mar 26, 2019 | In The Catholic Culture Podcast

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The quest for freedom in structure is fundamental to Catholic spiritual life (particularly during this season of Lent). It’s also fundamental to musical improvisation.

How can you be free and spontaneous without giving way to anarchy and sin, which lead to death? How can you be organized and disciplined without succumbing to the living death of rigidity? How can you make new music in the moment, with no predetermined composition, that nonetheless has order and beauty? And how can you do all this without taking yourself too seriously?

Only the Holy Spirit makes these things possible.

My friend Mark Christopher Brandt—improvising pianist, composer and spiritual writer—has spent his life pursuing these paradoxes in the confluence of life as a musician and life in Christ. We discuss his ongoing series of fully improvised albums, most recently the DVD Structure and Freedom, as well as his books of meditations for the Stations of the Cross and the Rosary.


Mark’s website

Structure and Freedom DVD

Sunflowers and Roses (soundtrack album to Structure and Freedom)

Essay related to Structure and Freedom

Mark’s Way of the Cross and Rosary books

2017 interview about Mark’s album The Nightingale

Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus. Download the Catholic Culture Podcast soundtrack.

Thomas V. Mirus is Director of Podcasts for, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

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