Guitarist and composer Mark Lettieri’s “Spark and Echo” explores God’s role as the one true judge of man. This work is in response to James 4:12 and the theme of destruction:
There is only one lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you-who are you to judge your neighbor?
James 4:12 states, “There is only one lawgiver and judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?” (NIV).
I came across this verse while researching the biblical theme of destruction. I had planned on composing a piece about the literal destruction of something physical. I wanted the song to be dark and maybe even violent (which led me to Revelations first, of course). But when I found this verse, I ended up writing a song about destroying something emotional; ultimately a song about love. What I took from this verse is this: without God, we’re constantly tempted to judge and chastise others, as if we’ve always lived a life free of sin ourselves. This song is about the idea that as Christians, we must destroy that desire to judge, and replace it with a showing of His love instead. The heavy layered rhythm guitars, drums and strings represent the tearing down of this judgmental attitude, with the bright melody representing a reconstructed view built on love and respect.
Mark Lettieri is a guitarist, composer and producer based in Fort Worth, TX. Proficient in a multitude of styles, he records and performs in virtually every genre of popular music with both independent and major-label artists. He also composes and produces original instrumental music under his own name.
Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lettieri came to Texas via Texas Christian University (TCU), studying advertising and public relations, and competing in track and field. A passionate guitarist since middle school, he began his music career in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area upon graduating from TCU.
Playing in the vibrant Metroplex gospel and R&B scene led Lettieri to join jazz/world group Snarky Puppy in 2008. The now two-time GRAMMY Award-winning band tours and records constantly, having performed on all continents except Antarctica.
Aside from Snarky Puppy, Lettieri has spent time on the road with neo-soul icon Erykah Badu, gospel singer/actress Tamela Mann, and American Idol: Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips. He’s also performed with a myriad of other artists, including Anthony Evans, Chrisette Michele, Myron Butler, N’dambi, Bilal, and even Pat Boone.
An in-demand session guitarist, recent work includes David Crosby, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Adam Levine, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Lalah Hathaway, Eric Roberson, Lecrae, Lupe Fiasco, Keyshia Cole, Xzibit, as well as numerous radio and television jingles. Lettieri is also a member of Team SKP, a production collective led by GRAMMY Award-winning producer Symbolyc One (Kanye West, Beyonce).
Since 2010, he has been a member of the house band for the Marcus & Joni Show, a morning talk/variety show broadcast in 200 countries on Daystar, a Christian cable network.
As a composer/bandleader, Lettieri has released three albums, Knows in 2011, Futurefun in 2013, and most recently, Spark and Echo in 2016 (Ropeadope Records). Through tours with Snarky Puppy and social media network shares, these records have created a sizable buzz among fans of instrumental music worldwide. He performs frequently in a trio setting featuring a revolving rhythm section of world-class Dallas musicians, and has begun touring this music in the U.S. and Europe.
This work was curated by Jonathon Roberts.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com