Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wine and Wine-skins

As I write this, I am sitting here at my girlfriend’s house listening to a YouTube video of a children’s choir sing a cover of “Fireflies” by Owl parts! Not only is it fun for me to hear so many young voices singing such a sweet tune (in my opinion), but I am a huge fan of the creativity and the opportunity to take a popular song and make an enjoyable choral experience from it. Another one of my favorite choral covers is the song “Africa” by Toto. It’s already a great song, arguably one of my favorites, but the choral cover made it even more enjoyable for me to listen to. I also similarly enjoy the cover of “Africa” by Straight No Chaser, especially their Christmas rendition.
When I think about these things, my mind wanders to the parable in the Synoptic Gospels about the new wine and wine-skins. Jesus explains how no one should put a new wine into old wineskins but that the new wine needs new wineskins and that is how it will be preserved. This is a great metaphor for how our experience is shaped by and continues to shape the frameworks that we use. When a cover song is created, a first instinct seems to be placing the new wine of the performer into the perceived parameters of what can and can’t be done in a musical performance.
Personally, I know I feel like I need to burst out of those parameters and create a new wineskin for the music that I will attempt to create. Whether it’s using different instruments, insertion of interludes, or even a different tempo, the new wineskin of our experience can bring revelation and contextuality to whatever new wine (or old, note that Jesus does not give a parameter for an old wine in new wineskins) we might encounter in our lives.
P.S. Check out the Africa cover I am referencing here:

Perpetuum Jazzile - Africa (live, HQ) from rokelvisar on Vimeo.

Until Next Friday!

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