Thursday, August 5, 2010
This Jesus is dope!
Music is great, I love music. I've played piano, like many Mormons, for many years and took years of lessons (unlike many Mormons who start but stop). In fact, this is one thing that I owe to the church on some level. What inspired me to ask to learn piano was a missionary playing a solo at church, for a baptism I think, and it was amazing and I told my parents I wanted to learn.
So I learned piano, among other things, but I didn't get into collecting music till junior high, I think a lot of people are like this though. Since then I've spent a fair amount of money on music. Sheet music, soundtracks, cds, itunes, ipods, etc.... Music is great.
And I still find religious music to be inviting. Hallelujah, by Jeff Buckley (out of many versions) is a great rendition. Has some religious overtones but I love the minor chord progression. I actually got the piano music for it and have embellished my own version. Done this with hymns too. I've been told I can put across emotion real well. To make my personal version of the hymns more bitter-sweet and heart wrenching I just think about all the people who have wasted their lives away in religion and its lies.
I don't know what made me want to talk about music. On itunes i have weeks worth of music, and I basically have it running non-stop. I may need a new stereo system. One of the speakers in my car has the bass blown out so it 'buzzes', annoying the hell out of me. Music is an integral part of my life. And with Christopher Hitchens, surprisingly, I believe religion has given us at least one good thing (as in some of the amazing religious tunes and ideas in music).
On the other hand though, and for this blog I arrive at my coda, religion has also brought us some of the most horrible pieces of musical work ever. Some hymns are the sh**iest things I have ever seen (since I've almost always played hymns I don't relate well to singing hymns). Being at Lutheran and Catholic worship with their little 10-second hymn diddies seem strange. Listening to priest, listening to priest, oop, sing a line, organ blasts for 5 seconds, back to listening to priest. Me = what the hell just happened? how did everyone know what to say? am i still wearing my clothes?
Some Mormon hymns should never have been written. And I mean words for some, music for others. I'm sure when the church was putting together hymnbooks and revamping them later, that people were like, ''hey, we need more hymns," and someone was like "oh hey, let me just write one up right now." Sure would explain things.
Though some hymns are good, Be Still My Soul is a nice piece of work, Praise to the Man is upbeat, and I still really enjoy The Spirit of God as long as the fricken piano player plays it fast. Which, since I haven't gone to church in months I don't see how this matters much anymore. Some have interesting words, like Hie to Kolob, for obvious reasons. Or Eliza Roxy Snows hymns. I think I still have a crush on her historical figure.
But hymns like 'God Moves in Mysterious Ways?" I mean, it just sounds like it's gonna suck.
"My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require." - Edward Elgar