28 October 2016

Music Day - I Can See

I have been playing the crap out of this song lately. The other day I found out about the Steve Green cover of this song (which is fairly true to the original, and also it's apparently fairly well-known -- you know how sometimes the cover eclipses the original even if the original is better? This looks like one of those times), and I've been playing the original (which I already owned) ever since.

I really want to do a ballet solo to this. The orchestration is perfect for it. Now that I think about it, this song -- the album closer -- was really a departure from the album that preceded it. This was probably David Meece's most rocking album (which is still pretty mellow), and then at the very end comes this lovely quiet tender piano piece with a string orchestra and a very heartfelt (rather than energetic) vocal performance. David Meece is one of those performers who bleeds into his songs -- they're not just his way of making money (theoretically), these songs are a part of him. They come from his very soul and he means every word he sings. And it's not just the lyrics that are heartfelt -- the fact that he was practically born playing piano means he has that elusive ability to speak through the piano. The piano is an extension of his thoughts. This kind of intimacy with an instrument or tool only comes with long practice so it's quite rare (though less so among classical musicians, which David is), but it's so incredible to hear. There's a person at our church who plays cello and she's the same way -- she's so intimately acquainted with her instrument that the bow is an extension of her arm and she knows exactly how to make it say what she wants. (I hope to be able to dance like that one day -- that I will be able to know exactly how to shade what I do to speak without words. The sad thing is most dancers age out before they attain that level of thoroughness in their experience.) Photographers can do this too -- the camera is so much a part of them it's like the pen with which they write. They know the camera and the camera knows them. Taking a picture is a conversation between the photographer and her camera. But I digress...

This is a Don Francisco-style lyric (for his take on the same Biblical account, check out his song The Traveler/Joy), but David's voice is not quite as harsh as Don's and so blends better with the fragile flowing violins he chooses for his arrangement. I was first introduced to this song on vinyl (courtesy my dad), and that's a special treat. The warmer sound of vinyl adds just a little bit extra to the experience (although if your record has a lot of surface noise -- like ours does -- it's much harder to hear the actual song because the song is so quiet to begin with). If you get the chance to listen on vinyl, take it. But even listening in a digital format can be a moving experience.

Title: I Can See
Artist: David Meece
Album: 7
Year: 1985
Label: Myrrh Records
iTunes here; YouTube here.

All at once he walked beside me
Like he'd been there all along
Not a stranger -- but a father
Who can sense when something's wrong...

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