Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Duets.... Do it.

There is something dubious about the visceral calm of a good harmony. The Irish have it down. Damian Rice blowed my ears off. Glen Hansard and Marketa in Once. "Falling Slowly" cuts through air and seeps into your ribcage, reshaping and winding it's way. Like a cartoon visual articulation of scent or animated ghosts, the song can surround and conquer your heart.It will haunt you weeks after. I suspect even years....

Joshua Radin is another one. When I hear: "Star Mile" I am transported to some celestial highway with a soul mate or two in the passenger seat ( everyone needs a back up if you are going to meet your day in fantasy land). Words cant even work with me when I think about the Soundstage live duet of Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham of "Say Goodbye". The pain, the human connection, the history. Link:

Perhaps it is exactly that. A connection. If a voice in song, for the sake of argument, is one experience interpreting notes, octaves and lyrical layers. Then it becomes an inspired, planned, spontaneous encounter when you add in someone else's voice.

Hearing this happen, one goes into heighten-alert, your skin reacts when they hit notes together. Sometimes ( like in Once) its even more powerful when her voice slips in, lingers and fades out, as if she is just leaving a drip of her thoughts. Consciously, not wanting to be over-bearing. You can hear her being gentle. That is a dance in sound, in intention. We hear it. We can't quite put a finger on it, but it speaks (read: sings) volumes in a sometimes emotionally-barren music world of sampling, and perky lyrics.

Harmonizing somehow can internalize a lyric, leave a footprint. Like as if to say: "here me now, I am bringing all my shite to the door, and he is bringing all his shite to the door and we are going to work it out here. Cross paths and leave a little something in the exchange." It could go a million different directions in that moment. That is living. That is the realm of possibility in duets.

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