“Some people have to walk a rougher path for reasons they cannot explain. / It’s not like they choose to, it’s just that they get used to not having an umbrella when they’re standing in the rain. / For some people, it’s been raining for a long time. / But the Lord will guide you and carry you home. Live for the Lord and live on faith alone. / But there is always an outstretched umbrella.”
Sometimes this umbrella of hope comes in the form of music.
Adam Van Der Stoep, a Northwestern senior, is releasing an album, which he has choosen to leave untitled, of 11 songs as a fundraiser for his upcoming trip to Israel through the NWC study abroad program, but the album is more than just a way to fund his trip.
It is an album filled with songs about life, faith and the combination of the two.
“There are some things that might make you laugh or cry, some things that are pretty light-hearted and things that are a little more serious,” Van Der Stoep said. “Either way, I hope they’re things people can connect and relate to.”
While Van Der Stoep’s new recording might help to change his financial situation, it also has the potential to change those who listen to it.
The music is inspired by the people and experiences surrounding Van Der Stoep. His songs and genres vary in character just as the people in his world do. The wide variety of music on his CD helps make it relatable.
“There is a song that I wrote and sang at my brother’s wedding,” Van Der Stoep said. “There are a few tracks about faith, and there is even one that is only acoustic, so hopefully there is something on the CD that everyone will enjoy.”
Van Der Stoep is a self-taught guitarist. He sais he learned how play in his sophomore year of high school and has been “addicted” ever since.
As for singing, “I practiced singing in my car when nobody was around,” he said. “I was in high school choir, but I held back because I didn’t want to sound stupid. But I really cut loose flying down the highways with the windows down.”
Neither Van Der Stoep’s need for funds nor confidence were what spurred him into finally making this CD. Rather, it was the dogged persistence of the people who inspire his songs in the first place.
“My friends and family have been hounding me to do this for quite a few years now,” Van Der Stoep said. “The timing just seemed right. What is unknown will always be unknown unless you jump out in faith.”
Van Der Stoep is traveling to Israel. He will be surrounded by history and stories about the faith of Christians who served with everything they had. Israel is an unknown for Van Der Stoep. Releasing an album is equally unknown. He is taking a leap of faith in both.
This CD might enrapture you. It might tickle your funny bone or tug at your heartstrings. It might make you think or help you believe. But no matter what, it will help a fellow Northwestern student travel to another country to experience wonderful and exciting new things.
At the very least, it will provide you some good music and the opportunity to gain some of that road-trip-inspired courage to belt out the lyrics while you fly down the highway.
Van Der Stoep will have his CDs available at 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, in the Hub. CDs will sell for $10, and they can be shipped for $11.