20 April 2013

Music And Dance And Art And Nuance


This is why I hate the current CCM movement. This is why 95% of the music I own is pre-1995. This is why I wind up liking all the bands that had pretty much quit before I was even born. This is why I will love Daniel Amos, White Heart, and Prodigal to my dying day. Because each musician (and vocalist) in those bands takes his job seriously and does it well. The producer and the mixer take their jobs seriously. Their music isn't just the same screaming-loud recording-software-default mix with every instrument track at exactly the same volume that assaults your eardrums until you start taking out your rage on the traffic around you, because you know however innately that music life has got to be better than the tripe that spews out of your radio.

I open up my eyes and scream
It's not the way it's s'posed to be...
(Prodigal, 1985)

Music -- real, actual music -- is supposed to be nuanced and textured and beautiful and sweeping and imaginative and you should be able to listen to the same song for twenty years and still find new, breathtaking things hidden in the mix. Modern music (especially modern Christian music) is anything but.

Figure without shape
Shadow without nuance
Impotent power, the empty men
Movement without action...
(Daniel Amos, 1983)

And this is why I love how the dances for songs like Climb The Hill, Unchain, The Double, Early In The Morning, and Speechless turned out. Because the music had nuances and motifs and therefore so did the choreography. I could exploit the very distinct rhythms and moods of the bass guitar and the drums and the keyboards and the strings and so on with the quality of the movements of the dancers themselves. With songs like that, the music itself is a sonic dance, a carefully choreographed symphony created by skilled and creative people all working together for one goal -- a wonderful song.

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