Exactly the point - music is music ... and talent sure as hell is talent ... which Pentatonix has in SPADES ... and here I'm thinking as much of the arrangement as the execution. These people bring some genuine soul to an old traditional and give it a seriously new coat of paint.
Not a chance of making me believe again ... but that doesn't change the face that I can admire what it took to put that performance together. Thanks for posting it.
And [wry smile] thinking of the same kind of talent in a different vector ... are you aware of the music of Eric Whitacre?
Yes, I have. He's the one who did the virtual choir; wonderful and unique.
I play a lot of folk and soft rock. I've even written a few songs. When I was young I made a living at it. Fancied myself as the next James Taylor. But then I grew up and came face to face with reality. I still play coffee houses around the Albuquerque area, mostly just for fun. I was trained opera--tenor--and still belt out some of that stuff, just to freak people out. I love all kinds of music except top bop country and rap.
I love music.
If you like a cappella, you should check out the Swingle Singers. They do a fantastic job with modern rock, classical music and so much more. It is unbelievable to think that there are no instruments. When you hear the 1812 overture, you would swear that they snuck in instruments. . I agree with you. Music is music. No matter what the source you like what you like and disregard the rest. As long as you listen and not just miss it out of hand because you do not like a particular shall we say, message.
This is an interesting thread. I am a composer. I am going to plug my Kickstarter project at the end of this post and hope I won't be admonished for that!
I love so much music—classical (old and "new music") and all forms of popular. I love music by theists and atheists alike. On of my favorite pop/folk singer-songwriters is Sufjan Stevens. I often find his lyrics to be Christian-creepy, but his music is so gorgeous, his voice interesting, his delivery deeply felt, that there is a strong truthiness to his music. I feel only a little guilty for being a Steven's fan.
In terms of art-making and appreciation, there seems to be lots of tendency (at least that I observed) to lay on the supernatural woo pretty thickly. "God is speaking through him," for example. Or in general, just New-Agey jargon. That's one issue, and I wonder if there's a way to talk about art in a meaningful way without resorting to proclamations of nonsense.
The other issue with music is that so much of it stems from religious history, both classical and pop. Sometimes theists, making this point, assert the truth of religious beliefs in the sense that because we would not have all this wonderful art and music without the church, we owe religion (and god) our allegiance. I think acknowledgement of certain religious institutions is in order, but if belief systems are to be praised for the music that grows from them, what about music that came from slavery, or from the Nazi concentration camps?
I love music and they have a good version of the song. Would it make me believe again? Hell no! What is all this crap about a "drummer boy" and what did he have to do with any of it? When I was in my teens I just accepted it. Today it is silly.
This is all the same thing with Jesus and the manger crap that they feed you this time of year. "He was king of the world and he was born with animals. Boo hoo hoo." (Well, so were you.) Then one gospel has him being found in a house, but enter the Christian apologists to say "oh, that was a later time."
They make it up! All of it. They just make it up and change it as they go, then they laugh at science saying that is what scientists do, but the word of god never changes. Yeah, right.