[MEDIA=3]Video mix of “Imagine” at Ford Day. Footage: canada0422, PatriciaErin, ladyvette826
I’ve always thought that a great vocal performance was like a great sculpture. The added magic of a live performance is that you can watch the artist at work. Much has been made of late about David’s role as a kind of connection agent, one who has a facilility for channeling the infinite into people’s hearts and minds. But as our friend the music teacher said to him backstage one night, part of this is a gift and part of it is enormous work and dedication.
This performance of Imagine is a prime example of what constitutes true art: a heart connection embodied in remarkable craftsmanship. Careful but not studied; powerful yet subtle; flourishes of virtuosity that remain within the bounds of impeccable taste. It’s this last attribute that I think contributes so effectively, from the standpoint of craft, to allowing the audience to feel. It’s similar to when an actor has the intelligence not to convey the entire emotion, but to only suggest it, unambiguously, but without playing it fully. That’s what allows to audience to fill in the rest with their own emotional imagination.
There is an enormous amount of intelligence in David’s work, emotional, musical, and otherwise. And yet, the performance feels not the least bit fabricated. The greatest sculptors leave research, sweat, pain, and everything extraneous on the studio floor, and roll out a thing of beauty that lives in the world as if it had sprung from the ether and landed in front of us like a perfectly natural phenomenon. Imagine that.
And Another Thing…
Will someone please give these two their own show, already?!