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By Michael Miller

Dave Wilton’s goal is to minister to others to help them make beautiful music.

The fact that he’s able to make his own beautiful music to the Lord is a bonus.

Dave runs Coalesce Audio in Lafayette, Colorado, where he lives with his wife, Ally, and their three children. For several years, he has produced, recorded, mastered, and mixed albums by a variety of indie artists like Josh Garrels, Latifah Phillips (Page CXVI, The Autumn Film, Moda Spira), and Jason Upton.

“Everything involved in the making of a record, I love to have hands on,” Dave says.

He also has recorded his own music in the form of the groups Loud Harp (with Asher Seevinck) and A Boy and His Kite.

Dave’s production work isn’t simply a business venture, though. In line with many other musicians in the Boulder, Colorado, area, Dave’s aim is to make sonic art, whether his own or someone else’s. As a Christian, he also tries to minister to the artists and their families to make the process itself a witness to his faith. That’s why he has made Coalesce Audio, which is in his own back yard, a family friendly place. It not only allows him to be closer to his own family, but is a comfortable space for artists’ families to be during the recording process.

“There aren’t too many studios—I don’t really know of any—that are family friendly,” Dave says in a phone interview while waiting to be served at a Colorado DMV facility. “A musician already will be out of town touring to promote and to make a living for their family, and they’re gone a lot. When it comes time to make a record, they leave their family again and go to the studio and they’re away. It’s very difficult for marriages to grow and for family relationships to mature and to grow as a musician. So what we wanted to do as a family is to offer a space where artists like Josh Garrels could bring his wife and children, where we could do good creative work but also have family there.

“The ministry I’m excited about is providing an atmosphere of faith, family, and art.”

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Helping people connect to God through music

By Michael Miller

loudharpalbumYou probably won’t hear Loud Harp’s music in the mix of the praise-and-worship part of your service this Sunday. It’s not really meant for that.

“The songs that we write, we never think about other people singing them in churches,” says Dave Wilton, one half of the group.

That’s because of how most of Loud Harp’s songs were conceived spontaneously by Dave and bandmate Asher Seevinck, also of Seafinch.

“We really want to make sure (the songs come) from our hearts to our Savior,” Dave says. “Most of the worship music used is written by a team of writers, like 10 writers, and that feels a little disingenuous to me.”

That doesn’t mean Loud Harp’s songs aren’t performed in churches occasionally.

“We get emails weekly about worship pastors playing, sharing our songs with their community,” he says. “More than that, we hear about people who are in the midst of life, people who are struggling. There is a need for lamentation in worship. Eighty percent of our songs are lamentation, and most churches’ services are just wonderful celebrations and praise music, and I really love that. However, there is something beautiful about giving God our honest thoughts and prayers like the psalmists did.

“People who have never been able to connect with God through normal worship music, our songs are a little bit more geared toward how the psalmists wrote. People go through rough times. Using our songs is a way of worshipping God through the questioning, through the mourning, through the difficulty.”

Such songs include “Hold Me Together” (“I cry out to the one/The one that holds me/Holds me together”) and “Hide Me Away” (“Hide me away, Father/In You I have no fear/I’m safe in Your arms”).

Dan Wilton describes his brother’s music as “speaking to the Lord’s beauty.”

“There’s a lot of melody and countermelody and rhythm that lifts the soul,” he says. “I think Dave’s heart was always to make music that would cause theological reflection. It doesn’t have to be a tried-and-true praise-and-worship song to do that.”

He called Dave’s music “a big, sonic landscape filled with beautiful reverb and echoes and delay.”

“I’m a fan.”

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Why SMI-

Dave and Ally Wilton watched Dave’s sister, Marci Gilliom, and her husband, Ben, be blessed by Samaritan Ministries members for more than 10 years.

When their health insurance dried up a couple years ago, the Wiltons decided it was time they joined.

“We had had a decade of watching their family be blessed through your ministry,” Dave says. “We thought, ‘Man, this seems like a perfect fit for us, to send our money to people in need.’

“Thankfully, we haven’t had any needs since we’ve been with Samaritan Ministries. If that time comes, our trust is in the Lord, that if we ever have a need, that we’ll be taken care of, that through your ministry the word will get out and our bills will be shared.”

He’s excited about the impact of Samaritan’s 2017 national sponsorship of Winter Jam, Christian music’s largest national tour.

“I think the main people who are going to Winter Jam are younger families and youth groups,” Dave says. “What I get excited about is you guys are offering a way for people to meet each other’s needs personally, without a middle man or corporation that has their own bottom line. What I love is Winter Jam’s going to bring you guys exposure to people just going into the work force, people who are just learning about what it’s like being independent apart from their families.

“Reaching the younger ones, I’m excited about that, because, man, it’s needed.” 

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The Doorpost: Keeping quiet can be sinful

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Keeping quiet may not be loving. It can be sinful. When we are silently hoping for bad things to happen to someone because of what they have done or what they are doing, we are hating them. We should speak to them to save them from harm.

In Ezekiel 3:16-21, the Lord told the prophet that if he failed to deliver His warning to the people, the guilt for their disobedience would fall on him. Hebrews 3:13 tells us to “exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Ephesians 4:15 says to speak the truth in love.

James 5:19-20 encourages us, “if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”

Do you need to “speak frankly” with someone?

Heavenly Father, please give each of us the love and courage to not sin by remaining silent.

For the Kingdom,

Ray King

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I am shown, once again, that God takes care of the Sparrow—and so, also, He cares for me. I have battled fear of being alone, and the fear that I am unable to care for large needs—such as health care and finance. The Lord has shown me care and provision thru all of the shares your all have sent our way, which has completely taken care of me. My fear has been replaced with gratitude.

I am thankful for His provision to us and feel warmly secured by His care.

Pamela, Clayton, NM

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