Sunday, October 16

Gospel

I went to church today for the first time.
Atheist is probably too mild a word for me but my friend was having her child blessed and announcing her engagement, and I was curious, so I went.
fascinating experience..I'll try to concentrate on the performance-related aspects..

The whole service was very theatrical - the Pastor was certainly 'performing'.
In the last section a pianist underscored the preaching with music. He was absolutely spot on in how to pitch it, when to get louder, when to hold back. And the emotion which the music added to the text was phenomenal.

When the worship singers were on stage, and especially the lead singer, it was huge - loud, moving, dynamic, dramatic...big hand gestures, walking up and down the stage, expressive face - but it was not exactly a show.. it was for the crowd, but they were not an audience - and the singers, though they were giving the performance of their lives (and with the some of the best voices i've ever heard..), were not showing off...were not even showing.. they were giving. Its hard to explain -- it was worship, pure and true - it was like they took all the energy inside of them and squeezed it out of their mouths and up to the Lord that they were singing for, and to (I presume..). It was totally honest and true - (which I find exceptionally weird to say - from my cynical point of view the whole service was a spectacle) - But these singers seemed to transcend themselves via the music and the absolute belief in what they were saying. The voice came from somewhere deep and natural, it was supported by genuine emotion.

Afterwards there was a sort of engagement party back at the house. Some songs started up kind of spontaneously. I have never heard so many gifted voices in one room. And there was something about singing all together, where my voice was a part of the ensemble, that felt very special. I could not ever hear myself. For the first time in a long time thoughts about performance did not even cross my mind while singing. It was just a celebration. Maybe that is what its all about.