Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Power of Music

As part of a speech on the occasion of a lifetime achievement award yesterday, Bono used the following words:

"The head can’t rule the heart… a feeling is so much stronger than a thought…

‘A feeling is so much stronger than a thought.’

That’s really been the modus operandi of this band, and that’s something you wouldn’t have to explain to Dr Nordoff and Mr Robbins.

They’ve always known it.

Using music as a tool for education, not really lyrics, music - because music communicates at the deepest level."

I've been thinking a lot lately about the power of music. Some of my most powerful emotional and spiritual experiences recently have been at concerts. My iPod has allowed me to bring my musical therapy everywhere with me.

My brother loves to raz me because I like Clay Aiken. I do. I like the guy. He's doing great things with the fame he's got. He's shown a strength of faith most of us can only hope for. He's got a great voice. His concerts are a lot of fun and I've met many great friends through the fandom (though I've also met some true whack jobs).

Then I went to two concerts this spring.

The first was Mercy Me. Yeah, there were others who played before them, but for me all that was forgotten when they started. While their CDs are great, live they take things to a whole other level. Bart lays out the rough and raw emotion of life and the power of God in the lives of the band members. The technical aspect of the music took a back seat to the power of the passion of the music.

The second was U2. This was my first U2 concert. I had been warned that it would be incredible, but I was not prepared for the real thing. The power of the music itself. The power of Bono's charisma ambush. The feeling of being one with 20,000 other people as you all sing the same lyrics that have been important in each of your lives. Again, for all the technical musical abilities, it was the passion of performance that made that night what it was.

Ever since, I've been struggling to both of these concerts into some sort of a rational context. I guess I should leave them to stand on the emotion they created and how they helped me understand the pure power of music. The power of raw honest emotion communicated in such a pure, yet complex way.


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