Welcome All Wonders: A Composer's Journey
Welcome All Wonders is a revealing look at what it is like to grow up in the embrace of one of the most powerful religions in America and what it is like to leave it. It is the intriguing story of Redford's development as a composer, and how music and art spoke to one man's heart and changed him forever.

Notable Comments

Welcome All Wonders is a book about one man’s life, difficulties, faith, religion, mid-life crisis, family, as well as his struggles and joys in the entertainment business. It is about having the courage to respond to the truth and go through a major life change.” (Christopher Parkening, Classical Guitarist/Recording Artist)

“It is thrilling to read the story of a man who has pursued, recognized, and created excellence in his life as an artist. I wish it weren't a cliché to say ‘I laughed, I cried,’ because this book deserves better, but the cliché fits. It's a marvelous story.” (Stephanie Edwards, Television Interviewer/Commentator)

Welcome All Wonders: A Composer’s Journey is a book about journeys, the wilderness wanderings of faith, of family, of real life trips around the world, of excursions through the inscapes of music.” (Michael Card, Singer/Songwriter/Author)

“J.A.C.’s personal, professional, and spiritual journey through life is an honest, caring and often gut wrenching look at one man’s struggle to find the truth. Everyone who reads this will be encouraged and stretched to grow as a person.” (Ross O. deRoche, Score Supervisor/Contractor/Music Preparation)
Excerpts from the book:

“The phone rings. My agent is on the line with word of a new job opportunity. Could I send a tape with samples of my work for the producers and director to listen to? The cues should be somehow related to their picture. It’s a comedy about a bunch of misfit kids who find self-esteem; or a drama about a woman in jeopardy; or a gritty parable of street life; or a story about someone with a devastating disease. Whatever the subject is, it sounds awfully familiar – but it’s just different enough that none of the music I’ve already written for another picture quite seems to fit. “When do they need it?” I ask.
“Yesterday!” my agent laughs, a tad too heartily.
“I’ll get on it right away.” . . .
I make . . . the tape and rush to the post office to mail it just before closing time. . . .
After a few more days my agent calls once more. I didn’t get the job. Joe Blow of Some Obscure Rock ‘n’ Roll Band got it. He will improvise the score on his guitar. Oops. Rewind. That was the last time – or the last five times. Start again. This time I get the job. Cheers and huzzahs! Jigs on the kitchen floor. The next day I clear the decks of any extraneous activity or unfinished business – like sleeping – and say goodbye to my family. I’ll be quarantined downstairs now for the next few weeks, more or less, depending on the size of the project. There will be little time for anything other than offerings to the film god. Except, of course, for the work that remains from the last job that went over schedule.”

“while music is a wonderful gift, it makes a very poor god. It can sing of redemption, but it can’t provide it.”

“Suddenly we heard the sound of singing, coming from behind us. We looked up and saw a group of perhaps 120 young men, marching, six abreast arm in arm, down the steps from the Jewish Quarter. They were singing with a fierce joy and as they drew nearer, their march seemed more like a dance. They danced and sang their way through the square and down a ramp leading to a large space before the Wall where they began to pray. The sound washed over us like waves. The voices of several cantors rose above the sea of prayers, soaring and intertwining with cacophonous abandon. There were swallows overhead, wheeling in ovals and diving headlong into niches between the stones of the temple wall where their nests were crammed. The swallows were singing too, their voices like flutes above the cantors, whose voices were trumpets above the violas and ‘celli of the prayers. It was a symphony, brave and clean and strong. The stones themselves may well have been crying out. And I knew myself to be in the presence of a God who is so much greater and older and stronger than my categories, whose love runs deeper and longer than my imagination can ever embrace.”