Music is a funny thing. When I’m at home I just play music all day long. (God bless the ipod). But, although we accept that sometimes peace, quiet and solitude is sometimes appropriate, why would people like myself be like that. Music hits an emotional chord, it seems. It’s different for different people. Some people like choral music, for example, and gain inspiration from it. I know quite a few non-believers who will say much the same.
That’s not for me, though. I prefer my music to be visceral, and no-one does it better than Keith Richards. I remember some documentary about the Rolling Stones where someone that I don’t recall said something like “Mick should be pleased that Keith allowed him in his band”. I’m not usually an advocate of Platonic Forms, but Richards conjures some sort of essence of rock’n’roll, and he’s up there with Jefferson and Orwell. It’s something that I’ll never get close to understanding. Anyone who never saw the Stones at their peak is missing out.
Gimme Shelter is perhaps the ultimate rock’n’roll song. Lisa Fischer gets a note that shouldn’t be humanly possible at 3:15. This is one of my two favourite videos, and the next few ditties will feature the mega-bands of the 1970’s, the like of which we won’t see again.
May 10th, 2012 at 16:54
I’m a chorister myself, and I do actually find choral music to be visceral. There is something sublime and even primal about creating beautiful music with other voices, especially when the music itself was inspired by the emotions of the composer.
In fact, if you were to ask me which were my most emotional moments in the last few years, I’d have to say they occurred while I was singing.
May 10th, 2012 at 17:42
Keith, you’re absolutely right. My bad, because I ought to realise that we all react to music on an emotional level, and it’s the same for you as it is for me. In fact, I did originally plan to say as much, but like all these posts they come out differently than first intended.
In no way could I could ever hope to explain how the mind reacts to musical stimuli, even less than that how different types of music produce much the same effect on different people. But it’s no less valuable for all that. I’m pleased to note your appreciation of choral music, and I accept its power to induce a similar response to my own whenever I hear Gimme Shelter.
I apologise if I gave the wrong impression. By the way, my wife (who is a Christian, albeit as much of a churchgoer as I am) has taken up singing in a choir recently. It’s not exactly traditional, but she’s in the following video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KVGIbjJZiU) from our local (Anglican) cathedral, and she loves it.
May 10th, 2012 at 18:28
Thanks for your understanding, I appreciate it.
Great video, by the way. Love the instrumentation on Siyahamba.
My choir has some videos too, if you’re interested 🙂
May 10th, 2012 at 19:10
Awesome. Nice church, too.
May 10th, 2012 at 20:49
That Church video has more time dedicated to the names of the folk involved than the singing – pity !