Mystery of Difference
BLUES PRIEST John R Finch is not only a singer song writer, he really is a very cool Roman Catholic priest based at Sacred Heart Church, Leigh, Lancashire, England. Father John is also an ordinary guy with a special gift for making songs that don't push religion, but are in touch with ordinary people's spirituality. This man is intellect with raw emotion that's in touch with common humanity. Father John was born in Wigan. He has has been playing guitar since the age of 12. His musical influences are Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. John started writing songs as a way of communicating his very personal spirituality and compassion for people. Never preaching, but songs with a message-that's his recipe for success and perhaps why his music appeals to people of all ages, young and old. John says: 'The songs reflect in different ways sparks of my life and love, spirituality and passion and open-ended philosophy. It is our music, and I call it 'funkabilly'. John's ideas are influenced by mysticism and he says: 'The name Fünklein is borrowed from Meister Eckhart, a 13th century Rhineland mystic, who uses the term: Seelenfünklein ('spark of the soul'). At one level, Fünklein (from funk, connoting an emission of sparks or rays of light) identifies that part of the soul in which mystical apprehension, or union with God, occurs. On a personal level, it reflects my Polish roots on my father's side of the family (our family name was changed from 'Funk' to 'Finch' when I was 13). Listen to these songs with your heart and you will be touched in some special way by something personal for you.This is music of the heart and soul. John says: The first song, 'Elected Silence' is inspired by a poem of the same name by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Hopkins was a brilliant poet and this doesn't do his work justice-I hope he doesn't mind me borrowing a line from his poem-by the way, there is also a line borrowed from the 'Desiderata'- listen for: ' Go quietly amid the noise and haste...' 'Midnight Tears' seems almost like a tribute to Hank Williams or Roy Orbison but really it is based on John's reading of an 18th century Polish love poem that he found in one of his Dad's poetry books! It will have you crying in your beer, or vodka, as the case may be! 'Daffodil Island' was inspired by a real place: Hope Island roundabout in Skelmersdale, Lancashire- and if you look at the montage in the CD cover you might find the steel daffodil referred to in the song! By the way, on this track you just get John playing guitar (open tuning) and of course singing. 'Give Us Lord' is 'traditional' based on an English poem called 'Gradely Prayer' I think it was written by a Victorian poet named Clarke. 'What's the Matter' deals with the human condition, and asks what are we doing to this planet? 'Practice Letting Go' is about spiritual detachment. The latter was inspired by a quotation from German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke - but John can't remember where it is from exactly. 'Wanderlust River' is on an environmental theme. 'Sea Story' is also developed from an idea from a poem Song by an English poet William Allingham (1824-1889) but it is also based on a real-life experience from Duncan's student-days when he encouraged someone out of the sea, on the Welsh Coast. The guitar solos by Duncan are great. 'Mystery of Difference' was inspired and reflects not only my ideas on spiritual-seeking and inter-religious dialogue, but also the importance of dialogue for everyone. 'Late have I loved you', is John's interpretation of an idea borrowed from St Augustine of Hippo's 'Confessions'. Finally, 'Thank you for the Moment' is a modern-take on the idea of the sacrament of the present moment. May God bless you through this music. Peace! John.