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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WD’s WhyTunes, Vol. 1: Welcome To The Welcome Wagon

August 3, 2009

But it all began as a way just for Monique and I to sing to God, and to sing to each other.

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens

In the face of the commercialization of music, there is something powerful about a project such as The Welcome Wagon.  At its core, it is the husband and wife team of Vito and Monique Aiuto.  Vito is a Presbyterian minister and pastor of Resurrection Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, and Monique is a designer and visual artist.  Needless to say, they didn’t start out with the idea of making an album.  In fact, neither one of them were all that musical.  What they loved, however, was the way that songs allowed them to express their faith in God together.

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