Now on to music...
I'm going to throw you a curveball. I landed on an artist - who is actually a modern composer - this weekend who I am very intrigued by. His name is Arvo Pärt and he is Estonian and let's be honest, I'm not 100% where that is (somewhere among the "stans" in the former USSR I'm sure)....
I subscribe to Paste Magazine, which is absolutely fantastic and it reviews all manner of music, books, video games, film and culture. I curled up with my new issue on the couch this Saturday after a nice long bike ride, and read the music reviews.
When it got to my new BFF Arvo, it said,
Clearly, this is not your average fresh-outta-Nashville-overproduced-Christian music. It sounded like it could be beautiful.
- Pärt continues his sacred investigations with homegrown choir and orchestra...
- Pärt’s music fulfills a deep human need that has nothing to do with fashion…
- His later works imbued minimalism with religious fervor…
- Pärt’s gaze penetrates the crease between earth and the heavens…
So I hunted around on the web and found this on last.fm:
Pärt is often identified with the school of minimalism and more specifically, that of “holy minimalism” or “sacred minimalism”. He is considered a pioneer of this style, along with contemporaries Henryk Gorecki and John Tavener.Um, I have no idea what "sacred minimalism" is, but I wanted to find out.
So I went to these websites. The music really resonated with me:
Pärt has said that his music "is similar to light going through a prism: the music may have a slightly different meaning for each listener, thus creating a spectrum of musical experience, similar to the rainbow of light."
This is not "cleaning-your-house" music or something to have on in the background while you file stuff on your desk... this is music intended to be listened to through good headphones in a comfortable chair. It has so many layers and textures and harmonies and threads... I ordered a CD rather than a download because I want to make sure to get the liner notes and understand as much as I can about what is being played and sung. His latest album has five compositions about the Book of John, and he often dedicates music (requiems, mostly) to those killed through political injustice.
On a lighter note... here are some other artists I like the sound of - the free sample CDs from Paste have songs of theirs on them.
- Kate York
- Loney Dear (I love the Swedish music scene right now - Jens Lekman is a favorite)
- Jeremy Messersmith
- Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
- Okkervil River
- Michael Franti & Spearhead
- Rosie Thomas