Special to The Morning Star
Jon Buller is a local recording artist, performer and pastor of worship and the arts at Vernon Alliance Church.
Q: Why is music so important to you?
JB: “Aldous Huxley said ‘after silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.’ Music is a language that can express truth and beauty in ways nothing else can.”
Q: How many years have you been playing music?
JB: “For as long as I can remember. It flowed out of me in my childhood and I started taking it seriously in my teenage years with piano, guitar and songwriting. Music helped me celebrate something, or make it through a painful season many times.”
Q: Can you tell us about your newest CD Light Up the Sky?
JB: “It was recorded in Vancouver by award winning producer Roy Salmond. I was thrilled to be able to involve musical heroes and friends like Carolyn Arends, rapper Fresh I.E., and Starfield. I wrote much of the music, but also covered some great songs, One Person at a Time by Jonny Lang for example.”
Q: Who is your biggest inspiration (musically or in everyday life?)
JB: “There are two or three people that have mentored me in my life (who are) so inspiring. Musically, I taught myself guitar in my teens because of Van Halen. Others are Martin Sexton, Sting, Lincoln Brewster, Ben Rector, the Bros. Landreth and much of what is considered modern worship.”
Q: What do you do when you aren’t making music?
JB: “I’m a family guy. Any spare time I have, I try to spend with them. The rest of the time, I am pastor of worship and arts at Vernon Alliance Church. Right now, a conference we are planning for March 6 and 7 is the Levite Summit with keynote speaker and worship artist Brian Doerksen, and a concert open to the public.”
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your experiences touring and promoting your music?
JB: “I grew up in Winnipeg, Man., which has a very rich cultural and artistic community. My job before this one was as a full-time touring singer/songwriter and worship leader. In my 20s and 30s I have had the opportunity to travel and share music throughout Canada, the U.S., Eastern Europe, Ecuador, and Turkey.”
Q: How would you describe your style of music?
JB: “It would probably be characterized most accurately as modern worship, but I often write music in a variety of genres, whether it’s country, pop, or rock.”
Q: Do you think that music has the power to change the world? How so?
JB: “Music is an incredible powerful tool of communication. It can in the most profound way connect humanity with their emotions and even their spirituality. Certainly that also means it has the power to influence people, hopefully towards things that are positive.”
Q: What part of performing live do you enjoy the most?
JB: “What I love most is seeing people having an experience, whether that’s being entertained, having tons of fun, or being emotionally impacted by the music. It’s especially meaningful when it’s in a spiritual environment and you know people are connecting with God and their faith.”
Q: How did you come up with the title for the album Light Up the Sky?
JB: “It’s the title track on the CD. It’s about what happens when we point people to Jesus. It’s like on Canada Day when there are fireworks. Everyone likes a great fireworks display. It lights up the sky, and people gather around and they celebrate.”
Q: What can we expect from you musically this year?
JB: “This year, my focus is on the Levite Summit (the two-day conference takes place at Trinity Baptist Church in Kelowna). Along my journey there were times when I needed to be around others and learn from them. Hopefully the Levite Summit can do that for people involved in the arts. At Christmas, I released a single called Gloria that I wrote with Vernonite Raquel Cole. Kiss FM added it to their rotation. In March, I will release another single called Comfort My People. It will be available on iTunes.”
– Aniko Forgo is a recent Kalamalka Secondary School graduate and a music enthusiast.