Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet

I remember I heard this piece for the first time in church. I don't remember why it was part of the sermon, but I do remember that it touched me significantly. This is an example of Musique Concrete, if I'm not mistaken. Taken from the real city sounds, the voice of a lone homeless man singing Jesus Blood Never Failed Me, has been extricated from the noise of the concrete jungle. It's simple, repetitive, but beautiful. For some reason, this old man somehow able to express so much with so little.
Jesus Blood Never Failed Yet
Jesus Blood Never Failed Yet
Jesus Blood Never Failed Yet
This one thing I know
For he taught* me so

(*I think that's what he says)

Gavin Bryars does an excellent job of arranging a string and orchestral accompaniment to the simple melody. Delicately he surrounds the singer with a quiet harmony, using a string quartet, low strings, and eventually a full orchestra and another bass soloist. I love how he took music that already existed, and made it even more amazing. This piece is excrutiating long, but incredibly peaceful, and meaningful.

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