14 November 2013

Music Day - Royal Command Performance

Finally got Escape From The Fallen Planet. Man, I thought Incandescent was amazing. Holy crap.

Generally speaking, Escape isn't nearly as fast as Incandescent, but it freaking soars. You can fly on this album, and especially this specific song.

Title: Royal Command Performance
Artist: Crumbächer
Album: Escape From The Fallen Planet
Year: 1986
Label: Frontline Records
iTunes here; YouTube here.

It is majestic. It is the best of the eighties sound -- a rich, full-yet-open feel that you almost never hear from a keyboard-based band. It has a killer harmony, and vocal layering that is... indescribable. The song as a whole just swirls around you, open at the top, as if you were in one of those old European cathedrals. The double keyboards fill everything and yet it's anything but claustrophobic. It sweeps you along on a whirlwind ride through space. It soars. This is the song you would listen to while touring the solar system.

Not long ago, I had music theory tutorial and then after that was done I wandered out into the main foyer. Since there's no classes on Fridays, there was nobody in there. Anybody who did show up was just passing through, head down, on their way to somewhere more important. But even these were few and far between... thankfully.

In the week leading up to that, in my choreographic-creation-deprived state, I had been walking through that foyer from one class to another with an intense sense of longing. The space was so big and mostly wide open. And I wanted to dance in there in the worst way. But there were always classes... either my own or others, which meant that even when I was free, there were always other people in there. And choreography is not exactly something that happens in public... so when I walked into that foyer and saw it completely empty, an excitement that was perhaps unprecedented came over me. I marked out an imaginary stage before me, pulled out my iPod, and began to listen -- first to a DA song (and I choreographed the intro, the second chorus and the ending, thank you very much), but then inspiration seemed to run temporarily dry and on a lark, I started playing this song.

People -- when you're sitting on the floor, with your back against the wall, looking across a space larger than most entire neighbourhoods (at least in my part of the world) into the open doors of the (equally large) sanctuary, with no-one around to distract you, and you look up into the high valanced ceiling and listen to this song, and let the dancers in your mind carry it... it is a chilling, beautiful moment.

Crumbächer isn't generally known for deep touching lyrics, but these have been exactly what I've needed for the past few weeks.

One-night gigs are bringing me down
I'm feeling blue (why am I feeling blue?)
Fill my thoughts with the hope of serving You...

Later in the song there's line in a backing vocal: It's such an honour to play for You.

And that's really what it is. Since coming to college, I've been pondering my apparent calling to choreography... how it's pretty much guaranteed that I will never be rich or famous doing it -- heck, I'm probably going to be lucky to have money for food. Realistically speaking, it's almost a given that I'll 'languish' in obscurity, if I get anywhere at all with this. (Of course, none of that takes into account the power and orchestration of God.)

So if I'm basically going to be performing it for no-one (barring an act of God that dictates otherwise), then why do I bother still doing this?

I wasn't sure myself. But sitting there, looking up at the ceiling, listening to Stephen Crumbächer's natural everyman-like voice talk to God about his life (at least in the role of the song's protagonist), and then identify himself as a servant for the King of the universe -- that put it in a different perspective. Regardless of how many people see my work, the fact is that God does. The King and Creator of the universe -- I am essentially performing for Him.

I mean, say you're a carpenter or something, and you get summoned to the grand palace of the King of the freaking universe, and He asks you to build a piece of furniture for His personal quarters. Wouldn't you use the best wood you could find and make certain there are no flaws in it before using it? Wouldn't you measure and cut it with the utmost care and precision? Wouldn't you do everything you could possibly do to make it perfect? Not a lot of people outside of the palace would see it, but you would still do your best, right? Because it's for the king. It's a royal commission.

Well, for now the King has asked me to create dance. May I give it the best that I can... and may I quit complaining that 'only' the King sees it.

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