Sounds exist all around us, raw and unrefined like short splatterings of color against a gray canvas. As a painter masterfully combines and organizes color into a work of visual art, so does a musician string and sustain sounds into a coherent, melodious piece. It is the voice of God, I believe. It surrounds us in waves, and penetrates our ears into our thoughts and into our very souls.
“The artist, his function is the mythologization of the environment and the world, people particularly gifted, whose ears are open to the song of the universe.” -Joseph Campbell
One of my favorite attributes of a song is atmosphere. I’ve long realized that the general public subconsciously shows little regard for carefully crafted lyrics, placing a greater emphasis on how a song makes them feel, with quality lyrics as a secondary (albeit still important) characteristic. This is evidenced by the public prevalence of pop fodder with a dance backbeat and gibberish for lyrics, not without help from corporate record labels. But when a song can exhibit great atmosphere and lyrical sensibilities, it becomes something more than a simple song. It elevates itself in both our bodies and minds. It becomes an experience.
In no particular order:
and my favorite song of all time…