Wednesday, December 10, 2008

page 32

Because, like Lytoard, Symphony X knew that there was more to making a point than simply writing it. Lyotard used complex language to illustrate his point and Symphony X used length to illustrate theirs. They did not stop there though. The vocalist, Russell Allen, uses his voice to convey Odysseus’s (the narrator of both the book and this song) emotion on his journey home. You can feel the joy in his voice when he returns triumphantly to his wife and you can hear the anger and passion when he and his men stab out the great eye of the giant Cyclops. The lyrics flow like poetry and are as meaningful and powerful as the music behind the voice. This is where technology is used to the greatest extent in the song. The Odyssey utilizes symphony as well as the bands usual ensemble (guitar, bass, drums, vocals, keyboard) to help paint the picture of exactly what is happening. They use the guitar, symphony, and keyboard to not only create a feel for what’s happening, but to bring it to life. They use these instruments for more than just music. They use them to help tell the story. Because music is only sound, we cannot usually ‘see’ anything that’s going on. Sure the words paint a picture sometimes, but nothing is like The Odyssey. Symphony X uses their music to almost literally paint the picture of what is happening in your head. It starts off nice and slow because that’s what is happening in the beginning of the book. Whether there are waves smashing the ship or monsters attacking the men, the music reflects it all. Much like the Disney movie “Fantasia,” they use their knowledge and tools to paint a mental picture. The lyrics provide the structural chassis while the music brings it to life. What are bones without flesh and blood? Written stories are mere skeletons in comparison to this form.
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