Artistic – Worshipful – Accessible

These three words describe the Shaw Music catalog: Artistic – Worshipful – Accessible. Here’s what they mean to me…

I work hard to make sure my music is Artistic. I’ve studied counterpoint, harmony, and form extensively, and those years of study shape how I write. But I want my music to be more than merely “correct” in an academic sense. I want it to be compelling, to offer a unique perspective on a familiar tune, to make the listener want to listen even more closely, to bring smiles to the performers’ faces (or, at times, tears to their eyes).

By God’s grace, my music is Worshipful. This word can mean many things, of course. But I hope my music, ultimately, directs peoples’ attention to God, not to the performer(s) or the composer. And I hope my music, in some way, points to the shared salvation experience of God’s people. When my music enhances or deepens the song of God’s people, I know it is worshipful.

I am glad my music is Accessible. My music is not necessarily easy, nor is it simplistic. Where there are challenging passages that require additional practice, I want them to be rewarding. Where there are simple passages, I want them to be strikingly beautiful. The harmonies and rhythms I employ might stretch the listeners’ sensibilities, but I never want listeners to lose interest in or feel overwhelmed by what they’re hearing.

—Timothy Shaw

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