Saturday, August 01, 2009

On Considering Birds, Part 2

Lately this blog has been a sheerly intellectual exercise. It's been a while since I emoted.

Ára Bátur by Sigur Rós could be one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, and I do not say that lightly. A hauntingly simple piano line patiently repeats, only to shift into a full symphonic build. By the time the boys' choir joins in it is breath taking. When the brass and strings climax it's unlike anything I've experienced musically. Watching a storm crash against the cliffs of Point Loma; climbing through the clouds to reach the Sumela monastery, built on the nearly vertical side of a cliff; seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time and feeling so very small: these are the only sensory experiences that fit into the same category.

I'm not a post modern, but I like not knowing what the lyrics mean. It might as well be an opera, as I know about as much Italian as Icelandic. The vocals are reduced to mere instrumentation; no meaningful information is being communicated to me.

But nevertheless, I better understand patience because of this song. In its entirety, the song is 8 minutes and 56 seconds, and every bit is fundamentally necessary. The minimalist intro consumes the lion's shares of the song, but lends such greater significance to the euphoria , which eventually returns to stark simplicity. Robbed of its context it would just be pretty noise.

Ephesians 1:11-12 "In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory."

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