Does a song have any meaning if it’s not shared?

October 10, 2009

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Sufjan Stevens is the most interesting musician I know.  To be clear: he is not the best singer, he is not the best lyricist, he is not the best songwriter or composer.  What he has done, up to now, is combine a love for complex, beautiful music, and a deep love for God.   It’s a combination that has fascinated me.

I had the rare privilege of seeing him in concert the other night at a tiny venue in Philadelphia called Johnny Brenda’s. Sufjan had not toured since 2006, and the crowd’s anticipation in the room seemed at times literally breathless — people hardly daring to exhale for fear of spoiling the moment. Is he going to play new stuff? old stuff? weird stuff?  And beneath it all, there lingered the dominant question – will any of his songs move me tonight the way they have moved me before?

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