Monday, September 26, 2011


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but that doesn't mean that beauty cannot be judged subjectively.  Music is the same really and the true test is whether one can judge subjectively despite being blind to the reality behind its face.  I actually understand what I meant by that statement but until you have listened to "Chalcedony" it may not make sense to you.

Today I made a conscious effort to dedicate my efforts to listening to "Chalcedony", if not to learn about the music but to also grab hold of a new genre for me.  According to the Info portion of the associated Facebook page, Chalcedony is "Progressive Rock / Symphonic, Classical Piano so the potential to become lost within the work (the description provided elicited "artsy"music to me).  I can proudly tell you that potential for loss in the music was far from reality.

Chalcedony is a simple one person ensemble (ensemble, with only one) but simple is far from the truth.  When I listened to the music today it felt like a grandiose piece of music and in fact I think that as unlike most "single" performers, this music was reminiscent of "Dream Theater" or "Mannheim Steamroller".  The depth of the performances that I heard were complex, haunting and thought provoking and was on par with the previous two bands I mentioned.

One has to look to the depth of the music to understand that songs like "Butterflies", "The Angel", "Pandora's Box" and "Ben and I" feel as if they are from the souls of the listeners and not just the composer.  How it became possible for the collective thoughts of all the listeners to be channeled into the music is beyond me.  As an example "Butterflies", which is a wonderful instrumental piece, is haunting (you've heard that already right, get used to it, its a theme).

"Butterflies" is a piece of music that is consuming, and it makes you want to become introspective because you know it is completely about the listener.  The song is a masterpiece and at the same time, it feels the song is a "peaceful chaos" with the deep feel of personal pain and through the tempo of the music it has a sense of angst.  During all of that, the song evolves in the ear to have a calming effect and then the calm is broken once again, its brilliant.

"The Angel" has a deep form of apprehension interwoven into a sorrowful vocal (that's a doozy isn't it).  What I meant was that the song feels like acceptance is fleeting and the calm of the piano and the gentle vocals feel afraid and unsure.  Although the previous two statements seem nonsensical but the song is oh so deep.

I could continue to wax poetic about the depth of the music but it would be unfair Chalcedony but I suppose that the music is what great art is, something different to every person that is enjoying it.  Earlier I mentioned that I was afraid that the music would be "artsy" and I guess it is really but does that make it something that the masses would not enjoy?  The real answer is no quite frankly, this is music that anyone can enjoy but the listener must understand that preconceived notions what the music is must be discarded. 

Preconceived notions are terrible in any situation, one should strive to be objective about that which they may not understand.  Chalcedony reminds me of cerebral bands (The Cure for example) but it may hold a hand that Mr. Smith and The Cure doesn't and I think that may actually be that because of bands such as The Cure, Joy Division (and so on) Chalcedony's music is deeper (scary isn't it).  Deeper is a great thing by the way, but this music can take on music to an entirely different level and is fully capable of crossing from the "progressive rock" genre into the darker (and more cerebral) college type of market. 

Chalcedony can be as important as a band as any of the bands I have mentioned but beware of the fact that the music may just stir things up a bit for you (and that's a GREAT thing).  Music that can effectively touch the listener by making them think (while being good) is rare and Chalcedony is definitely a catalyst to make the listener do so.

Take the time to listen to this band and most importantly take the time to understand the incredible music that Chalcedony has created.  Earlier I described "Butterflies" as brilliant, please forgive me because I should have said that Chalcedony is brilliant in and of itself!

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