Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hoping to get back to editing soon

I've been pretty busy and need to start looking at starting to edit the next video. I've been busy doing astronomy, going to a couple of concerts locally and involved with family medical issues and errands. Above you can see a photo I took of Gungor in concert locally. This is a 3d cross eyed photo. It was a very interesting concert. It's difficult to describe this group without describing the variety of styles they play. It's like a mix between contemporary Christian Praise music, a movie soundtrack from a modern movie, Rock, and all kinds of other influences. The music is excellent. Most of the songs at the concert were from their Creation Liturgy album. You never know what to expect. There is some short times in some pieces where a critical musician might feel that the songs or even the orchestration fall a little flat, almost going to a simple praise worship set, or perhaps the overuse of xylophones like percussion. But these are very few and brief, and the extra variety of music probably makes it more appealing, than less appealing. I heard a quote by someone who "attended 30 ooncerts" who said this was the best show they ever saw. (Perhaps they were young, as I've attended many more concerts. In rating the concert, for the shear variety and stage setup they get something extra. The light show was pretty good, matching a low budget Petra light show I've seen, pretty cool with the new LCD programmable lights what they can do at these events. The light show was awesome. I arrived a little late and missed part of the first song, so much to do. How would I rate this concert. It's difficult to say because I've been to a lot of great concerts. For a local concert at a hall, not compared with outdoor festival concerts, this has to be way up there in the ratings. I'd have to give it a rating of 9 out of 10. What would be "ten" as far as the pinnacle of Christian concerts. Well I'd say it's a concert that I haven't seen in a long time, I'm not talking a typical Petra concert, because this rates up there perhaps above that. It to me rates as good or as high or higher than the top level concerts I've seen, this would include Amy Grant and Michael W Smith, which have far more equipment and budget than Gungor. I can only recall one local (Metro detroit area) concert that I would rate higher and that would be The 2nd Chapter of Acts. I saw a concert of The 2nd Chapter of Acts, which was near the end of their touring career at U of M Dearborn. That concert was a definate ten out of ten and probably the best concert I've seen. That only slightly edges out the Gungor concert. Why? Well the Second Chapter of Acts created songs that were all praise worship hits, in their own right. They had harmonies and vocals that were unmatched by most and excellent band support with awesome synth lines. They lacked the variety of the Gungor concert however, even with the synths that they had. I believe the Second Chapter of Acts toured with a Fairlight synthesizer during the concert I saw at U of M and I'm really taken back by some of those patches and what they could add to a concert. Gungor is more evolved in some ways than the Second Chapter Of Acts. It's difficult to top Matthew Ward and his sisters or even approach their level of concert performance quality. Gungor actually is in some ways more evolved as they have more instrument variety and fuse different musical styles in a way that can likely keep everyone interested and at times guessing as to what will come next. How would I improve the group? I don't know if I could honestly say there is a way to improve much, because they are doing so much right and to move them in any one direction might not really improve them much. Some of the songs and song writing fall a little flat, but only in spots, they resemble some of the failures of modern praise and worship music, but only in small spots of some songs, not in a sustained fashion that would kill off even one song or cause me to drop it from the play list. There is so much positive with their approach and the way they blend the songs together I can't really think of a way I would approach and suggest a change. When you're hitting mostly home runs out of the ballpark, there is no need to change. The songs have a positive feel to them. They have enough variety to keep the most Attention Deficit Disordered fan, alert and attentive. I also like the way the songs build up and build up. I saw one song that the Farewell drifters sang that was not a typical structured song, but it had a "building and building" as if it was going to soar higher and higher, and it kept rising as the song developed. I really liked that Farewell drifters song. Gungor's songs all have a build up path, they tend to just keep soaring higher and higher. Could a show have songs that were more even and had more slow lower performance levels, giving the "highlights" more contrast. That might be one theoretical argument you could make against the show if you're splitting hairs looking for ways to improve their performance. But actually each song standing alone and having a nice steady buildup, seems very enjoyable, and I really wouldn't change that. I can remember MXPX having many short songs, built for radio play. They were all explosive. They could have tried to craft a song that was longer, but the energy they built in a concert, was sustained and it was really great to keep their shows moving forward. Gungor does the same thing really with their songs, they keep building and building. It's really difficult to put into words the effects of that concert. When I listen to their music it's very exciting. I only bought their Live album. I can't go to sleep listening to that album, it gets me moving and motivated. One evening after a late night astronomy session at the observatory I played the album to relax and go to sleep, it had the opposite effect. I was so inspired and motivated, I took the CD and laptop to the observatory to hook it up and do more observing. I ended up listening to the album over and over again while observing and looking up at the heavens, taking photographs of M42 and Jupiter much of the morning until sunrise. The observatory was my own private cathedral for observing during that time. The background of Gungor added to my observing session and kept me going. Most of the time we don't play music while observing, when others are there we don't want to change their experience of looking up and allow it to be a personal one, not one of a message or style of music being mixed with their observing impressions. But I was alone, so I had the music blaring up while looking up. At times I wondered if this would be the example of a pinnacle of music you might send out into space in a space probe. They sent an album on a space craft hurling out of the solar system, it had some kind of scientific greetings, and samples from the earth. If I was to send out a spacecraft right now, I'd probably prefer to send out the Gungor album to that. If you had a chance to send out a time capsule and say, this is what Christian praise music can be, a representation of the "best praise music to the creator". Gungor would fit the bill. . . . for an evolved music, that is current and represents many current trends of the last 100 years. The Gungor album pretty much says it all. I think I've written enough about this band. I really wish I could have shot a video of them and had the times, equipment and crew to throw together a concert video for them. That venue they were in in Canton was pretty good as well. My biggest criticism of the concert was, it was to short. . . left me wanting more. . .maybe I'll see them next time.

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