Jacob Crouse – Musician

Jacob is a DC based musician and serves as a music leader at Washington City as well as running projection, audio, and recording. He is also a member at Warrensburg Church of the Brethren in the MO/ARK District. In college, Jacob came up with his own definition of music: 

“Music is the aural expression of emotion with intent”.

Jacob and baby Ayuba jamming at the church!

Please enjoy this list of instruments Jacob plays: Acoustic Guitar – Mandolin – Banjo – Cello – Double Bass – Electric Guitar – Electric Bass – Baritone Guitar – Ukelele – Piano – Drum Set – Baritone Voice – Synthesizer/Computers – Tuba – Trombone – Washtub Bass – Jug – Kazoo/Kazumpet . And Percussion: Tambourine – Concert Drums – Timpani – Marimba – Vibraphone – Congas – Shaker – among others!

CLICK HERE to listen to Jacob’s song, Spirit Fall!

“I wrote that song about a month into the pandemic to fit an episode of the Dunker Punks Podcast that Dana and I put together. It ended up being pretty poignant at the time.” Episode 96: Praying Through a Pandemic

When did you first start creating? 

I started writing my own music in middle school when I really started getting into learning different instruments and musical genres.

How does your spirituality connect with your creative process? 

In college, one of my first classes tasked us with defining music in our own words and I came up with this definition: “music is the aural expression of emotion with intent”. I still think of that as pretty accurate to this day. Music is a language of its own that helps humans express certain feelings and thoughts in phrases that words alone can’t describe. The Spirit moves through us and nature and heaven and connects everything together so for me, my spirituality influences what feelings move me in the moment when I’m creating.

WHY do you create? 

I create for a number of reasons, the most notable being to spread a message I’m passionate about, worship, art for the sake of art, as a source of income, and as a way to journal. I’ve played and written music for bands and in churches that work passionately on subjects like social and environmental justice. One of the important things to those communities is to focus our missions and values in anthems that we can sing together helping us to center ourselves and rejuvenate our passions. Similarly, music in worship allows the congregation to have a shared, participatory experience where we interconnect as the Spirit moves. Worshiping through music creates some of the more beautiful and impactful moments in life. I think the spirituality of music and that feeling of connection to others is why I appreciate “art for the sake of art” or “music for the sake of music”. There’s something about just playing or jamming with other musicians and artists that doesn’t require anything else to make that moment special. It’s one of those rare moments these days where you have to be completely present in the here and now and I cherish those moments. Most people hone their talents and skills until it becomes their occupation and music and sound are my occupations as well. Going to school for music led me to learn about manipulating sound and that led to audio engineering becoming my primary job and so I get to create for a living! The past few years, I’ve also created a lot for just myself. It’s so theraputic for me to work through strong emotional experiences by writing music and lyrics but I also have a certain standard and anxiety (as many artists do) about what I put out into the world. Some day when I’m old and grey, I’m sure I’ll have stacks of hard drives of unpublished music sitting around! If you’d like to check out some of the things I’ve released over the years, you can check out my website I made dedicated to my music. http://www.jacobcrousemusic.com

How has the pandemic (if at all) affected your creative process?

During the pandemic, I’ve created a lot less music. It’s extremely hard to stay motivated and to feel inspired about anything when you have a general aura of existential dullness following you around all the time. I’ve become just a massive consumer of other persons’ content and not produced as much as I’d have liked. Most of my creative projects, including an album with my band, I’m a War. and a motorcycle build, had planned completion dates for mid year last year and I’m still working on them. It helps to take breaks from the projects and go to other things and come back to them but definitely not being out in the world, on the computer all day, and not in close proximity to other humans has had a major impact on my creative process. One thing I’m glad to have done early on was include my two bandmates, Matt and Glenn, in my bubble so we can still get together to write and play music together. It’s a respite from the pandemic whenever we get together for a few hours every week and a half or so. I highly encourage other artists to find someone you can bubble with if it’s safe and logical for you to at least have someone to collaborate and create with.

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