Blue’s Canyon Worship song is part of her nature
Fourth of a series featuring the 10 student artists who wrote the songs for Canyon Worship 2021, scheduled to be released in September. Today: Chandler Blue.
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
Songwriters find inspiration in all sorts of places. Chandler Blue’s happy place is the great outdoors.
“Being out in nature is where I feel closest to God,” she said.
There, the serenity helped her create “You Choose Me,” the Grand Canyon University senior’s song on Canyon Worship 2021.
It is built around a concept that has fascinated her for years: Why us? What makes human beings so special when she sees so much more perfection in the stars and the trees and the ocean and everything else God created?
“All the complexities of the earth and creation, none of it sins against Him and it is so beautiful, yet I’m sinful and I’m broken and I, in my terms, am not as beautiful,” she said. “But God still chooses me and still chooses humanity as His most beautiful creation.
“I just don’t recognize the weight of God’s love for me. There’s guilt and shame that comes with that. I don’t understand why You want me and picked me when I am what I am.”
She’d better not be that humble about her songwriting ability. Eric Johnson, Manager of the GCU Recording Studio, has watched her skills grow ever since she entered the Worship Arts program. She even has a Spotify channel.
This is her second Canyon Worship appearance – she collaborated with fellow Carson City, Nevada, native Elaina Marchegger on “Whom Have I” in 2019 – and her first solo impressed Johnson in another way. She collaborated with Ryan Ardelt of the College of Fine Arts and Production to become the first student composer to score an original string accompaniment for an original song.
“It represents excellent growth in her vision for creating a larger-than-life sound,” Johnson said. “The result is a dramatically flowing orchestration reminiscent of an epic movie soundtrack. Gorgeous!”
It is another example of how working with producers Geoff Hunker and Dave Willey has helped grow her talents.
“They’re awesome, both Geoff and Dave,” she said. “They made my first experience with the album really fun and really cool. I didn’t know anything about recording. I just knew nothing. They were really helpful in transitioning me into it, and then it’s cool to see the difference between when I first recorded with them and now.
“Over the last few years, I’ve put out a bunch of songs and done a lot of work in that studio. There’s been a big transition in my music career from then to now.”
Blue’s goal is to continue to use those skills as a recording artist after she graduates in December. She remained focused on that goal through the pandemic.
“It didn’t change that much for me because I’d already adjusted to a low-key lifestyle,” she said. “Definitely, I’ve seen the Lord through every single bit of it. It’s given me a lot more time to spend with people who are close to me.
“It just seems like a very intentional time, this whole pandemic. It’s just slowed down a lot of things in life, but it hasn’t slowed down any of my relationships, which is cool. I wouldn’t change a thing because I think God took me through this thing with intentionality and purpose.”
And He chose to do it right out there in nature. Her happy place is music to her ears.
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or [email protected].
Related content from Canyon Worship 2021:
GCU Today: The music of Canyon Worship is all grown up
Related content from previous Canyon Worship albums:
GCU Today: ‘Amazing’ Canyon Worship album released