Music doesn’t have to be lyrical to express its intentions. Some of the best music (in my always-humble opinion) uses a lack of lyrics to its advantage.
Post-rock can be that kind of music. It can be at once violent, celebratory, peaceful, overwhelming, and subtle.
I’d like to see some of that in our church music. I mean, not every week. But sometimes. Let the music speak in its own voice, instead of simply as a vehicle for those singing in the congregation.
Playing post-rock and listening to it are very similar experiences. It’s easy to get lost in the sound, even when you’re the one making the sound.
There’s something meditative and exploratory about certain bits of post-rock. In Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s “Static”, there’s a wonderful swell out of static into a minor-key 3/3/2 pattern on the guitar and violin (if I recall correctly, that is). It sounds to me like observing the universe being created. Suddenly from nothing there is something. The random becomes purposeful.
It’s almost monastic. In a church context it would be like practising purposeful silence. Shutting up, suddenly. Instead of always talking about how we want to worship, how we’re here to worship, how we will worship… we could just worship.
I know, it sounds like something ripped from the pages of our latest bugaboo, the
liberals emergent church, but bear with me.
We could perhaps discover some of the artistry we’ve lost in transitioning out of the Roman Catholic Church. We could maybe, every once in a while, do something different and new and unusual.
It might be nice. Or it might not be, depending.