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Moods: Type: Instrumental Spiritual: Inspirational Spiritual: Instrumental Gospel Spiritual: Praise & Worship Easy Listening: Background Music

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Norm Hastings

From the composer:

I have been wondering on and off, for a very long time, what I'm doing here. That question has been extremely prominent over the last few weeks. And tonight, after all these years, it hit me.

Here's my story. I started to play piano at the age of 8. For years, I've heard people talk about my talents, about my piano playing, and I've heared people call my playing "anointed". In other words, people were saying that God's presence was in my music. I've had many people tell me that..probably the most memorable one was a pastor from South Africa.

I guess you can say I composed my first piece when I was 13. It was only a few bars. Fast forward about 10 years. When I went to WCU, I majored in music composition and performace, using synthesizer as my main instrument. I composed a lot of pieces, but most of them were assignments and just songs I composed using my brain, rather than my heart. There were a couple, like "Shadow Of A Memory", that was from the heart. But mainly the pieces were for school. I also did an album called "Cascades" A girl I knew at WCU named Kendra wrote the lyrics to the mojority of the songs and I wrote the music. One song really stood out for me, and that was called "glory". It took me a week to finish, and I remember that I had the entire composition in my head, and all these ideas just pouring into me. I remember after I finished it, I could just feel God's presence in it. It was like He was literally giving me the music. People who listened to it were stunned. . I gave a few copies of the album away. But I was really busy at the time in college and didn't think much more of it.

2003 rolls around, and I did another album, this time called "Eye Of The Storm" I did this album in the midst of a tough time in my life. The album was really like a pslam..starting off with songs that were cries for help and ending with songs that were joyful. It was theraputic to me. I mainly did some hymns, and I wrote a couple songs and put them on there as well. "Rest Easy" was one of those songs that just came to me effortlessly. People who have heard it have told me many things, how the song just brings peace to them and speaks to them in a supernatural way.

So fast forward to now. I've been in Mobile for 7 years, playing music for a living. I've had alot of people ask me over there years here and there when I was going to compose again, and I kinda brushed it off. In my mind, I thought it would just be a waste of time because no one would like my music or want to hear it.

A few weeks ago, I heard a sermon that dealt with leaving a legacy behind. And the pastor said "Imagine that you are at your funeral. What do you want people to say about you? What would they say about your life? What would they say about the difference you made?" Things like that. That message really resonated with me, as I thought about my current situation.

I play in a professional band. I entertain thousands of people every year. I lead worship at a small church. But I keep thinking to myself "There is something more." I would sit at home and just start playing msuic on the piano, off the top of my head, and I realized that this was a special gift that I had..a very special gift. One that had not been used much...but one that I had that God had a purpose for.

A couple of days ago, my friend Jana introduced me to a child painter on the internet. Not literally, but she showed me her website. At the age of four, God gave her a vision and she began to paint these amazing pictures. She had no formal training. Her paintings are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars..and when you look at them, you can sense that there is something so much deeper inside of them. They are absolutely amazing. When I saw those paintings, that's when I felt God tell me that he had gifted my music with the same thing...with His presence.

I have had people literally stop what they were doing when I would just start playing. Once at a piano bar, a hardened bartender stopped what he was doing to just listen to me. He commented on how beautiful my playing was..a hardened bartender. I've had other people tell me the same thing...people that normally wouldn't say something like that about piano music.

I think the best way I can describe it is God's presence is in my music. God uses it to speak to people. He uses it to bring comfort, to bring peace. I've known this all along, but I just never really "got it" until now.

Just last week, I was doing a sound check with the band before a gig, and I started to play these 3 chords. I was just playing, and Raul started to solo over it. Something in me clicked and I said "I need to remember these 3 chords" So I get home and record them into the computer, and then i switched to a string sound..and the melody just came to me without effort. "Glimmer Of Hope" was then created.

I have had comments on that song, and those comments were amazing to me. Just blown away by how God was using that song to inspire, to bring peace..all those things. So I feel that my purpose is to compose music. I truly feel that in this type of composing, it's completely God led. I won't have to think too much, I'll just feel it inside. I just know that I want to make a difference. i don't want my gifts to be buried anymore. So I'm going to do like that child painter and use it to the fullest of my abilities, and let God do the rest.