Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Aaron Roche - Etude


Aaron Roche is one of my favorite artists in the music biz. He kills it all the time. Everything he touches is gold. And he is so smart, so intuitive. The songs sound poppy but the lyrics will blow you away if you peel back the the layers...

One of my favorite songs of his on his latest EP is called "Etude." The music is epic with a trio of trumpets, some gong, and steady folksy drums.

The lyrics center around a Galatians passage where Paul is concerned for his children. The lyrics are word for word Galatians 4:19-20 (NIV), " My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!"

The music builds and swells like a woman in labor. It starts and stops alternating lyrics. When the word "childbirth" rings out, the music interlude is longer and has much more dissonance. Heavy distortion from electric guitars and trumpets. Very classical, very modern.

After the dissonance of child-birth, the vocal line is brighter and more melodic. There is a resolve in the synth/strings even though the language is not necessarily positive.

On "you" a contemporary chord progression takes over on a clean electric guitar. The lyrics are still religious in theme but now turn to a poem by Emily Dickenson called, "The Sun and Moon Make their Haste." The line that Roche sings is "But for the zones of Pradise the Lord alone is burned." He repeats this a few times. It is only slightly off from Dickenson's, "For in the Zones..."

One commentator says that this poem is about the marriage of Heaven and Earth on the final day. The Sun and Moon must leave because in this eschaton the Lord is the only light we will need (1). Whether or not this is the meaning that Roche is ascribing to is debatable. It is not entirely implausible. The connection between Christ finally formed in us and being together could gel very well with the notion of consummation in the end where all things are new and restored and right. Where we are all together in the City of God where God alone is burned as our light and we could all be together. When God births new creation.

Roche ends with a middle eastern sounding riff, with a faint eight note driving drum beat and a single tone drone. The lyrics seem to be riffing the Galatians verse above. The drums build for a measure to explosion and the completely cutting out which the end of the song follows shortly.

Great song... buy the rest of the EP "!BlurMyEyes"!





(1) Dorothy Huff Oberhaus, "Emily Dickinson's Fascicles: Method & Meaning" (82).

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