Tuesday, November 27, 2007

There but for the grace of music

On any given day, I verge on the side of atheism. But this past Sunday, I found myself flipping the radio dial on an old Emerson that we own.
See, if I don't time it right, there's a few crucial moments/minutes between the time I tell myself I'm leaving the house--so, I shut down itunes--and the time that I actually leave the house. So, in one of those too oft moments recently, there I am, rolling the Emerson dial, looking for something to listen to while I do those last few things: tying my shoes, trying on a lighter coat cuz it just that second got sunny, making sure I have all my keys, and all the projects I'm bringing back and forth to the studio....anyway....as I'm rolling the dial, I come across the most fabulous gospel mass in the upper 150's FM.

I'm transfixed.

It feels like an incredible Broadway show--all feel good, with tragic lyrics but an uplifting score. That's real live piano playing I'm listening to! This isn't pre-recoded, dressed up, hairsprayed, "jesus-puff" types. This is passion. True, blood-warming passion coming over the airwaves. And it's the kind of audience I can really relate to: yelling out, "aaaaiiiights" and "you TELL it!" It's a group of people that can't help but clap along.

The introduction of each "selection" is said with so much conviction. Each word, stressed at just the right places. I know I can't literally see them (and that makes is all the stronger in this moment) but I can hear them smiling and closing their eyes while the're swaying to the music. Shit, now I'm sittin here swinging along with them. Up, up and away.

(i recorded a couple songs and part of the mass, but i don't have the little thingie that hooks up my camera to my computer, so i'll have to post them later...but they're great)


Ellen said...

You'll never meet a more committed atheiest than me, but I, too, find this music compelling. True, deep faith in anything is passionate; even if you don't share a belief in the source, it's possible to appreciate the passion.

comfies said...

ha! love this post.