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The Sound of Life’s Unspeakable Beauty: Reading Group

Thu 09.07.23 @ 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM CDT

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In The Sound of Life’s Unspeakable Beauty, master luthier Martin Schleske describes each phase of handcrafting a violin, from selecting the wood to stringing the instrument, while artfully interweaving observation of God’s power, gentleness, and love. Scripture, life experience, and craft open windows into the resonant character of the Master Maker. This remarkable book won the 2021 Christianity Today Book Award in Culture and the Arts—for good reason.

Violinist Kangwon Kim and Upper House’s Cam Anderson will co-facilitate the four discussion sessions. Kangwon’s deep familiarity with stringed instruments and her extensive performance repertoire will elevate the particulars of Schleske’s personal narrative and biblical thinking. Each session will also feature a real-time musicial performance or a demonstration of the violinmaking process. (See Schedule below.) This promises to be a unique and powerful reading group.

“In the final analysis, music is prayer cast into sound.”  Join us as we learn what this means. 



Upper House


September 7

  • Reading: chapters 1-4, pages 1-85
  • Experience: A solo performance by violinist Kangwon Kim

September 21

  • Reading: chapters 5-8, pages 87-231
  • Experience: Nathan Giglierano demonstrates the violinmaking process

October 12

  • Reading: chapters 9-12, pages 233-325
  • Experience: Kangwon Kim discusses J. S. Bach’s Chaconne and demonstrates characteristics of baroque and modern violins

October 26

  • Reading: chapters 13-15, pages 327-366
  • Experience: Kangwon Kim, violist Micah Behr, and cellist Mark Bridges play selections from J. S. Bach, Goldberg Variations

Attendees will need to purchase and read their own copy of Martin Schleske’s book, The Sound of Life’s Unspeakable Beauty (Eerdmans, 2020), from their preferred book vendor.


Dr. Kangwon Lee Kim

Dr. Kangwon Lee Kim, Madison Bach Musicians Concertmaster and Assistant Artistic Director, is a versatile violinist whose repertoire ranges from the 17th to 21st-century. Using both baroque and modern violins, she has performed throughout the US and internationally. She has collaborated with world-renowned musicians, including Menahem Pressler and Laurence Lesser, and recorded for the Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and CRI labels. Live recordings of her recitals have been featured on NPR, WFLN in Philadelphia, and Wisconsin Public Radio. As a baroque violinist, Ms. Kim has performed with numerous early music ensembles and lectured on “Performance Practice” at universities in Korea and the US.  Ms. Kim earned her DMA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 2021, she has served as Music Director of Love in Music, a nonprofit organization that reaches out to underserved communities in the LA area. During the summer, she teaches at Credo Summer Chamber Music Festival at Oberlin College and is the Director of MBM’s Summer Chamber Music Workshop.

Cameron Anderson

Cam Anderson, Associate Director of Upper House, is an artist and writer. At Upper House you will often find him hosting reading groups and programs in the arts, as well as serving as an instructor in the Upper House Fellows Program. With Walter Hansen, Cam co-edited God in the Modern Wing: Viewing Art Through the Eyes of Faith, a 2021 volume in IVP Academic’s prestigious Studies in Theology and the Arts (STA) series. His 2016 book, The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts, is part of the same series. Cam holds an MFA in Painting and Drawing from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and has completed post-graduate coursework in Art History and Aesthetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.



Thu 09.07.23
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM CDT
Event Categories:


Cam Anderson


Upper House
365 East Campus Mall, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53715 United States
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