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

By Thomas V. Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Mar 26, 2019

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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 http://www.markchristopherbrandt.com

Structure and Freedom DVD https://markchristopherbrandt.com/structure-and-freedom-dvd.html

Sunflowers and Roses (soundtrack album to Structure and Freedom) https://markchristopherbrandt.com/sunflowers-and-roses-album.html

Essay related to Structure and Freedom https://markchristopherbrandt.com/structure-and-freedom-essay.html

Mark’s Way of the Cross and Rosary books https://markchristopherbrandt.com/spiritual-books.html

The Conduit, Mark’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA0Qk_D2aaELp23GYb9xocg

2017 interview about Mark’s album The Nightingale https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otc.cfm?id=1492

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All podcast music by Thomas V. Mirus unless otherwise stated.

Thomas V. Mirus is a pianist, composer, and occasional amateur comedian living in New York City. He produces and hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast. See full bio.

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