Twice in 2010 I have had the opportunity to hear the band Gungor. The first introduction was by Randy Elrod at his Recreate Conference and the second this past Sunday night at Grace Chapel in Leipers Fork, Tennessee. If you were like me before that first experience you had never heard of Gungor. Now I have heard them and am a fan.
Both experiences were much more than a concert but not just an evening of contemporary praise and worship. Really both times the music led the audience on a journey, a very creative journey, through the story of God. The evening of music was divided into three movements titled by the group. First the music revealed the characteristics of God which lead to the reality of a God who continues to search for us, wants a relationship with us and a God whose very presence provides healing. The music then led us to a time of thanksgiving for his acts of salvation and healing and finally reminded us of the reality and promise of living forever in the presence of Christ.
In a day of simplistic chord progressions, monotonous melodies and predictable instrumentation, Gungor offered the opposite of each. Throughout the evening the group of quality musicians (violin, viola, cello, keyboards, 3 guitars, drums, auxiliary keys, bass and vocalists) delivered professional polished performances of well written melodies and arrangements of a wide variety of music styles (classical, jazz, blues and rock.)
The music was some of the most creative I have heard come out of the Contemporary Christian industry in many years. Throughout the evening there was also creative and effective use of multi-media: lights and video. These elements enhanced the message and in no way detracted from it.
My only negative observation would be that the text was often repetitive and not very deep in content. Developing the poetry in their text offering deeper thoughts would give Gungor’s music an even better chance to impact its listeners.
Spending money on the music of Gungor is a worthy expense and listening can help encourage a conversation of worship with Almighty God.