Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Life of Song

A lot of people write songs. It might be the first creative act of every child. It was undoubtedly one of the major occupations of our species centuries before pigment ever met cave walls. You can step outside in most populated regions of the Earth and hear any number of birds engaging in the same habit. It is a craft that seems instinctive not only to humanity, but to intelligence, awareness. To instinct itself.

Yet it is a craft. A life spent striving to perfect the impulse that comes instinctively lies behind it. When pure instinct meets hard-earned discernment, we pay respect. And that respect is due to a man who ranks among the greatest living composers, Mr. Martin L. Gore. Today marks his birthday, and it is as good a day as any other to honor the work of this man.

The fact that Mr. Gore needed to be thrust into the responsibility of songwriter before his immense talents could truly flourish seems typical of his personality. That he began working at his craft at such an early age reveals the grip his musical instincts have held on his life. That he took this responsibility so seriously speaks to the discernment he has demonstrated even at the initial undertaking of his life's work. And that he managed, once that work got underway, to startle himself again and again with the truths he uncovered reveals, in itself, another deep truth: instinct and craft are only things we lay at the altar of the Universe, the Voice with a capital V that deigns to speak only to those few favored to hear it.

Mr. Gore is one of those men. Today is his birthday. We ought to honor him.

The universe clearly already has.


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