Monday, March 17, 2008

Easter reflections

It has been many years since I have held any brief for the established church construct of religion. Take that as widely as you like, as my experience has consistently been one of a human organisation corrupting wondrous spiritual concepts.

Festivals like Easter tend to make doing business far more stressful than any long weekend break can compensate for, never mind focusing any true meanings. Even my normally leisurely NGO funding submission activities suddenly become crazy rush jobs, obviously limiting my long winded blogging ability.

Still, and perhaps as a reflection of the power of the spiritual over the religious, a post I made over on Ragebot - The minister – rock star goes pallistic - triggered a performance which will carry me through Easter and a busy lead up period.

I was reflecting on Aussie Environment Minister Peter Garrett and his attempt to cut the use of plastic shopping bags. It reminded me of the only Garrett performance I’ve ever seen – modern Rock and Midnight Oil thankfully passed me by.

Peter performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in Sydney some years back and one piece was "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet," by avant-garde composer Gavin Bryars. This is another rendering, one of the originals I believe -

It’s an eerie piece, doubtless a powerful anti religion hymn, but without doubt, powerfully spiritual. The piece, written in 1971, “is based around a recorded loop of an un-named tramp singing a brief stanza; eventually rich harmonies are played by a live ensemble of strings and brass, always increasing in density.” Wikipedia

This is a confronting piece of music, no blond blue eyed Jesus here, no pretty or soaring melodies. Still, for some reason, once it was prompted into my memory it has stuck and will endure for a little while yet as I try to get through this harried week. I don’t ask you to enjoy, but it is worth a listen.

7 comments:

abi said...

my experience has consistently been one of a human organisation corrupting wondrous spiritual concepts.

Damn, wish I had said that. There's an awful lot packed into those few words. Great thought, wonderfully expressed.

Cart said...

abi, you make me blush. But the reality is we have, the vast blog circle, teased out some knotty concepts. I am indebted to you all.

D.K. Raed said...

Religion doesn't hold much attraction for me, except as a study of human myths & legends. I don't recall ever believing, even when forced to attend the sunday rituals as a child. Easter seems macabre, except as a celebration of spring/renewal. Now Christmas is different. I love Christmas!

I had no idea what that Midnight Oil guy was doing now. I always liked his socially conscious songs, so am glad to learn he has expanded his influence. Now, I don't pretend to understand the message behind the vid you posted, but the images were haunting. And I could hear & feel Tom Waits' influence (another true original, I can always listen to his Mule Variations).

Have a care during your busy week. We'll still be around when your schedule settles back down.

Cart said...

D.K. I expect most people have some level of spirituality, it's almost hardwired. Religion is a different issue.

I'm not sure Peter Garrett is a political natural, which isn't a bad thing.

My week is nearly over - well the work bit :)

enigma4ever said...

midnight oil passed you by ???
wouldn't all of us have been better if we could have driven really fast through the eighties...
blasting that music real loud...
( I only remember the Burning Bed song....which was beyond haunting...)


and abi complimented the same phrase that got me...sigh.....

knotty concepts...hmm...I must be in charge of "naughty' concepts...

Cart said...

"blasting that music real loud..." I did, but it wasn't 80s music LOL Now my hearing is so problematic certain frequencies are either lost or drive me insane.
I just give thanks I love classical music, particularly modern classical, so I can still enjoy music - softly :)
I still maintain on the religious that you all have deep spiritual feelings.

enigma4ever said...

hmmmm I am not so spritual...I got soul...okay maybe I am a little spiritual....who knows....

okay I sent you some Miles Davis that is beautiful....soothing...I hope you got it....I will email you....it was a video that I thought was pretty special....