David Wilcox—sophic, spiritual, folk-tinged singer-songwriter—has just completed a recording project like none other in his career. He and his wife of 13 years, Nance Pettit, dug up devotional poetry from a number faith traditions—including Christianity, Hinduism, Sufi Mysticism, Islam, Jewish Mysticism, and Zen Buddhism—polished the dust off and lovingly breathed new life into them for a new CD, Out Beyond Ideas. It's not what you'd call a "Christian album," though the artists behind it are Christians. Proceeds from album sales go to Partners in Conflict and Partners in Peacebuilding Projects, a conflict resolution initiative with the goal of world peace. In this interview, Wilcox and Pettit weigh in on what's meaningful about their new album, where the inspiration came from, and what it's like to harmonize together in the car.
This is the first recording project that you've undertaken with your wife, correct?
Wilcox She's always writing with me, but this is the first set where we've had equal roles in singing and writing together.
What was it like working with her in this kind of collaboration? You seem to have a strong chemistry and connection.
Wilcox I'm very grateful that we sing together. It takes me out of myself.
Do you both approach things in a similar way stylistically or do you find yourselves each bringing something different to the table?
Pettit We hit a method where we would choose the poems that moved both of us. Usually I would sit with the phrasing of the words and wait for a melody to fall out of the meter of the words, so we could have a starting point. Then David would find a guitar inspiration that went with the melody. We went back and forth, but Dave definitely had more musical inspiration ...1
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Giving Peace a Chance
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