This morning, I accepted an invitation to participate in another collection of essays on music and theology. I can’t assume it’ll count toward my REF contribution, so I can’t afford to devote much time to mastering an oeuvre with which I’m not already thoroughly conversant. Now I have to figure out which artists’ work I know well enough, and have something to say about that’s adequately theologically-illuminating, for me to decide on a topic.
6 thoughts on “Choice Among Delights”
The Mountain Goats?
Well, I’d love to, of course, but since I wrote a Mountain Goats essay for Biblical Interpretation, I feel as though I ought to branch out a little.
Right now I’m leaning toward something about the un-dramatic Christianity of the Proclaimers and Belle and Sebastian (especially since, after all, I live in Scotland) — but I have the feeling there’s a Belle and Sebastian article out there somewhere already.
Have you ever listened to the Danielson Famile? or Sufjan Stevens?
I’m underfamiliar with the Danielsons (some time ago, while my eMusic account was still viable, I started looking into them/him, but my attention wandered). Sufjan — yes, of course, though he’s so prominent it might be hard to say something that isn’t commonplace.
Your suggestion of Sufjan, though, makes me think about my friend Vito Aiuto, and his work with the Welcome Wagon, which makes me wonder whether there’s an article to be written about alt-[Christian] music, old-timey-ness, and “authenticity.” Compare, for instance, the Stones’ performances of gospel-blues numbers. Hmmm. Or I could take up my ruminations about why the (“demonic”) Stones could play gospel, but the (“angelic”) Beatles couldn’t/wouldn’t. (I except “Let It Be,” as not “gospel” in the sense of genre.)
I only mentioned Sufjan because of the Danielson connection; and after posting, I realized how ubiquitous Sufjan’s had become–as you said. People’s focus is often on his Seven Swans project and perhaps not much it written regarding the Ages of Adz or All Delighted People.
The Stone/Beatles discussion sounds interesting. As does the Welcome Wagon idea.
Perhaps the hermeneutics of music? or the music of hermeneutics?
I’m beginning to think about something along the lines of “Primitivism, Authenticity, and New Old-Timey Gospel.” But I don’t have to commit myself to anything for a while yet, so if anyone has a better idea for me, that would be welcome. That Stones/Beatles piece would be easier, after all, since I know the relevant oeuvres inside out.