So, Beck is doing something pretty cool with his newest album, Song Reader. In many ways this is the return of an old idea. Rather than putting out a CD–or any of his own performances, actually–Beck has invited anyone to download his song sheets and offer their own interpretation of the music: “Only you can bring Beck Hansen’s Song Reader to life.“
First Things has already blogged about how this is a throwback, and also about the way such a process can serve as a metaphor or lens through which to interpret God’s relationship to his creatures. I want to do something a little different, and rather than talk about the history of sheet music vs. recorded performance, or the idea of Divine authorship and the narrative in which we are all independent characters nevertheless pulled toward a providential conclusion, I simply want to share several renditions of one of the songs, “Don’t act like your heart isn’t hard.” Enjoy.