“My Hands” – Fairfax, VA, a cappella ending.
So, what exactly is this thing we call Music…this unseen energy, this enigmatic force that can entertain, energize, soothe, heal and even awaken the soul?
Music is art– a performing art, a fine art and an auditory art.
Music is one of our most experienced disciplines of art. Music plays a large part in making our lives infinitely rich.
Music is subjective, and means something different to every single person on earth.
Music stimulates different parts of our brains and can make us chortle in glee or inflame us to rebellion, with the potential to experience the total array of human emotions.
Music is part of our everyday lives. In lobbies, elevators, cars, restaurants, our homes, our workplaces, stores, sporting events, meetings, places of worship, websites and the list goes on and on, we have music. Music is fundamental to the overall message where ever we hear it—music underscores and brings home the emotion of the moment.
Music is broken down into elements. Wait, this isn’t boring, really it isn’t – it is the combination of these elements that makes David’s sound his SOUND. There is pitch–which manages melody and harmony, rhythm with its sibling concepts of tempo, meter, and articulation, dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. (I never realized before the complexity of what goes into music.)
Timbre (and David’s is unique) to highlight, is the quality of the tone or the color of the music. It is the resonance by which the ear recognizes and identifies a sound. Timbre is how we identify the source of a note, the singer, when it is at the same pitch and loudness. (Smoky, husky, velvety, wailing tenor – what are other adjectives you’ve heard?)
The timbre of a sound, in scientific lingo, depends on its wave form. The timbre of a singing voice is modified by constricting or opening various parts of the vocal tract, such as the lips, tongue, vocal chords, or throat. This makes each singing voice unique. (hmmm…ever wonder about the impact of that paralyzed vocal chord?)
Performance is the physical expression of music. A musical work will be performed once its structure and instrumentation are pleasing to it’s author. As it gets performed, however, it can be altered and totally transform the musical experience.
A performance can either be rehearsed or improvised. Improvisation is a musical idea created without contemplation, while rehearsal is dynamic repetition of the work until it has obtained a state of routine consistency. Some musicians will improvise a well-rehearsed song on the fly there by creating an unparalleled performance. (Live David concerts are the best–full of improvisations!)
And, so, let’s take these two concepts above and apply them to what our senses absorb when actively listening and/or observing David Archuleta’s music:
The timbre of David’s voice is unique. The sound waves his voice creates periodically is best described as Power Music. Power Music is a term that refers to music that stands apart, evokes a significant experience, that transforms, that humanizes, that enables us to feel more alive.
When David sings, his voice resonates or “speaks” to us with its unique tonal sound or color, and harmoniously relates to our own personal frequencies (what we hear) attuned to that unique timbre. In effect, he is “singing our song” or “striking the right chord” when we hear him sing.
There have been whole songs that David has sung that are Power Music. One song that was Power Music from start to last for me was the AI performance of “Love Me Tender.”
There are always pieces and parts of each performance of David’s freshman album songs and live performances that contain the Power Music element.
David’s performance skills are evolving right before our eyes. It is a unique privilege to see this part of his musical artistry unfold and grow. Through his vocal performance he interprets each song a little differently, and improvises with what appears to be minimal effort.
However, he makes this appear effortless because he is able to master the music by repeated rehearsal and total focus on relentless execution in addition to his prodigious musical talent. His current feelings and mood, his now–if you will–as he is gestalt, are also translated into his music adding a distinctively unique dimension to each performance creating moments in the song of Power Music.
Adding the physical moves, the improvisation of melody, harmonies and textures, and, the ever evolving command of the stage, his art is constantly renewed and refreshed, creating deeper meanings with each performance.
See the Power of Performance in “Zero Gravity” at Fairfax, VA:
Final Thoughts ~
We are just beginning to comprehend the artistry, the gift of the music of David Archuleta. And, we are just beginning to grasp the dedication, commitment, risk taking and long hours of work a musical artist of David’s caliber puts in to create the qualities of song and performance that is Power Music.
David’s music does resonate deeply with some already. He has had multiple full performances that are Power Music, from the first note to the last. As he develops his music, his own lyrics and use of the supporting instruments to his voice, he pierces the layers of the human experience with every song, deep into the human soul as no singer has done in the past.
What is your Power Music?