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Description
‘Amen. Amen.’ is the preacher's affirmation and the congregation's response at the close of a prayer of commitment and an evangelistic address. The composition is based on repetition. The phrase 'Amen. Amen' is conceived of as a single copy (an echo) of one word, which phrase is also copied and reiterated throughout the length of the piece. ‘Amen. Amen.’ is treated as an object and its reflection too. The principle of mirroring is explored by reversing (or inverting) both the phrase and several of the preacher’s expressions of confidence. Curiously, ‘amen’ played backwards sounds like ‘shut up’ (evoking the whisper of an indignant evil spirit railing against the light). The phenomenon is an auditory illusion (apophenia) perceived by the listener within patterns of unfamiliar sounds.

Lyric
Luis Palau: Thank you my God.

Congregation: Thank you my God.

LP: I know I have eternal life.

C: I know I have eternal life.

LP: Because Christ lives in me.

C: Because Christ lives in me.

LP: In his name I thank you.

C: In his name I thank you.

LP: Amen.

C: Amen.

Demon: Shut up! Shut up! ... [repeated throughout]

LP: [reverse utterance]

C: Thank you for Jesus Christ.

LP: [reverse utterance]

C: Thank you for dying on a cross.

LP: [reverse utterance]

C: Thank you for Jesus Christ.

LP: [reverse utterance]

C: Thank you for dying on a cross.

LP: [reverse utterance] Because Christ lives in me.

C: Because Christ lives in me.

LP: [reverse utterance]

C: In his name I thank you, God.

Amen

LP: [reverse utterance]


​Personnel: Luis Palau, congregation, ‘demon’, and John Harvey.

Instrumentation: Adobe Audition 3.0, Apple MacBook Pro OS X 10.8, and Sony Microcassette-corder M-627V.

Source: Sample derived from a recording of a mission meeting led by the Argentinean evangelist Luis Palau, held at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth, May 16, 1988.

credits

from The Bible in Translation (disc 2) [album], released September 1, 2016

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about

John Harvey Ceredigion, UK

I’m a practitioner and historian of sound art and visual art, and Emeritus Professor of Art at the School of Art, Aberystwyth University, UK. My research field is the sonic and visual culture of religion. I explore the sonic articulations of the Christian religion by engaging visual, textual, and audible sources, theological and cultural ideas, and systemic and audiovisualogical processes. ... more

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