As I wrote on the home page, “The Faith and Doubt Project” is just that “a project,” a project to dedicate a site to my interest in the intersection (the cross-roads) of music and faith/spirituality. Anyone interested in streaming the songs and tracks discussed and released here can do so on Spotify and iTunes under the artist name “The Faith and Doubt Project,” but “The Faith and Doubt Project” is not a band! It is a convenient way to release to discuss and release old and new music of all kinds, including cover songs.
I also hope to use this website as an outlet and interactive platform to discuss old and new music, and also to talk about spiritual poetry, the mystical arrow of life, and more…
A bit of life story, starting in a cemetery…
A long time ago (well, time is relative), in a land far-far-away (at least from the foggy coastline of Northern California), I was blessed to walk alone (and often) in one of the world’s most haunting and beautiful places: the cemetery of Sète in Southern France (photo below).
One of the most memorable soundtrack songs for those ‘night is falling’ walks was: The Cure, Faith. “Faith” (YouTube audio below) is a timeless piece of recording, released in 1981, somewhat before my time.
This cemetery in Sète is a haunting (not haunted, as far as I know) place where every grave has not only a name and dates but more importantly a photo (in faded black and white) of the deceased. In the light of dusk, accompanied by the despairing chant of Robert Smith, facing at a young age the fear of death (“The Funeral Party”) and a sense of the sacred (“The Holy Hour”), something life-changing embraced me and took me by the hand, for “through the madness through the terror we must pass, as if awaiting sunlight that may never come.”
There was something very ‘Byzantine/Gothic/Orthodox” about The Cure at the time, and yet, most Gothic-influenced artists became anything but Christian (think the horrible band Christian Death), embracing rather a nihilistic, if not a madly demonic vision of human existence. In the 1990s, Death to the World best captured the bridge between dark (cold-wave) music by artists like The Cure and Joy Division and the Orthodox Way…
Anyways, I have another page here about influential musicians who have become Orthodox, including Orthodox priests, of which some are quite surprising: Zac Hanson and Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode.
“Faith” became a turning point in my spiritual journey, taking me far and wide and deep, to death-defying horizons of music and hope, including many the songs composed over the past decades. Amazingly, a number of Orthodox Christians, including clergy, have had similar journeys of a faith that conquers over doubt.
As part of this “Faith&Doubt Project,” I have retrieved from my archives a number of old songs (which I composed and recorded over the years!). Some were released under the “Cure is Us” label, but in many cases, I have tried to remaster or re-record them to post there here with discussions of the lyrics in the light of “faith and doubt.”
Why was the name “The Cure is Us” used for these older recordings? No, not because it was supposed to be a cover band (it’s been misunderstood), but to convey the idea that “The Cure” has become a generation, actually two generations of musicians and mystics inspired by the unique sound of Faith, Cold, Disintegration, etc.
This generation actually has produced many faith-inspired musicians and faith leaders! Let’s give some credit to some of those “gothic” or “gloomy” bits of music and poetry that have called for a stronger light to dispel the darkness of “shallow graves and monuments to a ruined age…”