Drs. Bjorck and Thompson combine musical and photographic compositions
One of Dr. Thompson's wildflower photos
Members of the Fuller Seminary faculty are individuals of many talents and interests that often extend well beyond their academic pursuits. Professor of Historical Theology John L. Thompson
and Professor of Psychology Jeffrey P. Bjorck
are two who found a way to combine their respective involvements in the arts: bringing together Dr. Thompson’s photography with Dr. Bjorck’s piano music to create a music video
A series of stunning photographs on the video are those of Dr. Thompson, images he captured of the beautiful spring 2012 wildflowers—primarily native species—in Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains.
The slideshow of Dr. Thompson’s photographs is accompanied by Dr. Bjorck at the piano, performing his original arrangement of Jean Sibelius’s “Be Still My Soul” (also known as “Finlandia”).
“Our intention is to offer viewers a short interlude of peace during their day—to encourage them and help ‘still their soul,’” says Bjorck, whose piano music has also been used to soothe pediatric patients in hospital settings. A longtime composer, Bjorck’s contemporary piano arrangements and compositions have been featured in a number of film, video, and television productions.
Thompson explains that his own interest in wildflowers and photography is a lifelong one, pursued especially while spending summers as a backcountry ranger in the 1970s and 1980s. Only this year, however, did he become “really serious about our local wildflowers.”
“Having begun by photographing just a few old favorites, I quickly discovered that the 30 or so flowers I knew well were only a small fraction of what there was to see and enjoy,” he says. “So I began posting my ongoing discoveries on Facebook, where Jeff saw them and proposed this great collaboration—and a significant deepening of our friendship!”View the seven-minute video here
. (Click on the gear icon to select high-definition viewing and choose “full-screen” if you wish.)
Thompson, who is also the Gaylen and Susan Byker Professor of Reformed Theology, has taught at Fuller since 1989. He has taken an active role in the life of the seminary, providing leadership in the School of Theology by chairing the Theology Division as well as the Academic Affairs Committee. His research and writing interests address gender issues, as well as the question of how the history of interpretation can serve as a resource for the proclamation of the gospel.
Bjorck, a member of the Fuller faculty since 1990, focuses his current research efforts on religious support and religious coping in adolescents and in adults from various ethnocultural and faith backgrounds; he is also investigating the effects of illusory control and unrealistic optimism. Bjorck maintains a local private practice as a psychologist. He has produced several CDs as well as sheet music featuring his piano compositions and arrangements; learn more at purepiano.com