Ok so a couple weeks ago I got the chance to see the new Disney movie Frozen. Seriously, such an excellent movie. I wanted to see it another time before writing a post about things I found in it I wanted to talk about and expound on, but having listened to the soundtrack multiple times (and by multiple times I mean literally everyday), I want to at least write one about the music and how it shapes what goes on and brings out the message so much more clearly and what not. Later I’ll write some stuff on the beautiful/amazing themes and messages in the film. Because it truly is beautiful, and should be shared.
Note: This will probably take a couple posts to draw out as much as I want to. Feel free to ignore the next few posts if a study of music doesn’t interest you.
ALSO NOTE: THERE WILL PROBABLY BE SPOILERS. FAIR WARNING. READ NO FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN IT YET. THE OPENING SONG ALONE ABSOLUTELY MUST RETAIN ITS SURPRISE FACTOR.
So here it is, the opening song. Give it a good listen-to.
It seriously gave me chills. No lie.
And I didn’t understand why until I listened to the second song, The Frozen Heart.
What makes the opening song so amazing is it literally sounds like ice! No wait hear me out. You start with that driving lower line that sounds primordial, organic. It’s like the sound of a thick sheet of ice, that sound when you step on it and you hear it creak and groan all across; you can feel that power under your feet rippling out through what seems so ridiculously firm. Then comes the the higher, harmonized parts, just kind of riding on top of it, floating and flowing with its own power, a more chilling and yet beautiful power. It’s like the winter wind, filled with swirling snowflakes.
From the opening song, you get the “beautiful, powerful, dangerous, cold” of ice, that “magic [that] can’t be controlled”. Right away, we are impressed with the power of ice. It can be so wondrous…and yet so harmful.
This song has a very distinctive theme, but it doesn’t come back again until almost the very end, the moment when Else discovers the secret to controlling her power: love.
Of course there are other themes here to look at, but for now focus on the part that starts at about 1:12. There’s that ice in music form again, but this time it’s not on its own; it’s matched perfectly with a beautiful orchestral accompaniment, a sort of musical framework. It channels the music, orders it. This mimics what is happening in the scene: by choosing to love herself and others, as well as to accept their love for her, Else is able to bring her incredible powers under control, to order them towards what is good, and thus freeing the world–and her own hurting heart–from eternal winter.
Real quick before I end this post: Isn’t the storytelling power of music incredible? This, right here, is why I listen more to musicals than to any other kind of music: they take an already amazing story and use the affective power of music to draw the heart of the story out even further, give it a new level of complexity, and raise the beauty of it beyond anything it could have achieved on its own. Music, my friends, nourishes the soul in a way few things on this Earth can, because it has the capacity to hold in just a few moments, a few vibrations of the air, an immense beauty.
So please excuse this trembling troubadour as he geeks out for awhile at the beauty of this most recent geek-obsession of his. Godspeed, brethren!
The power of music, it simply cannot be overestimated. It moves what little else can: the soul. If used well, it can cause the heart to pound and mind to soar.
And it can express something…inexpressible. What it is, I don’t know. Some sort of deep…reality, I guess, some sort of intense substantial thing that just seems to pulse through the veins with every beat of the heart, something unique to you that isn’t exactly you but speaks to who you are. There’s some incredible something that gets stirred up by some music, the kind that speaks to all that has been and laughs at it, cries out with an almost rebellious spirit that there is something incredible, something completely alive that’s been there all along and is just waiting to break free and course through the world with astonishing grace and power.You know the kind–it intoxicates you, makes you want to belt it out with everything you are, because somehow whatever this something in you is needs to get out and shine, take the world by storm. Something just needs to be shared, given, expressed. Something like this:
Did you feel it? Did you feel your soul crying out with Elphaba as she literally flew into the air on the power inside of her?
Glorious, isn’t it, when it hits you that you have something to offer, something that the world should see, something you so want to share?
But it’s not always easy, is it? Letting out what’s inside. Maybe you’ve never seen it in action and you’re scared to see what will happen. Or maybe you’ve let it loose before and it caused you or someone else embarrassment or pain. Or maybe you’ve let it out so often that you don’t know how to hold back, and suddenly you’re not so sure you like it.
How do you both let loose and keep it under control?
No seriously. Think about it. Love is desiring the good of another above your own. It’s doing what it takes for the one(s) loved to be as good and happy as possible at the same time, even if it means sacrifice. And when you love, you desire it above everything else. Fear? Pride? Weakness? Everything is forgotten in the desire to do what is good and right for the beloved.
So what’s the point of this post?
Well, mostly just to share these two amazing songs. And because I like trying to explain things that just don’t really seem to be explained in human language. But it’s nice when things click together and you find something you want to let the world know.
And somehow, y’know, I can’t shut up about love. So this worked out REALLY well.
God is Love. Love rocks our worlds and helps us become who we truly are, letting out all the glorious wonder that we are, all that moans within us to be shared; Love reminds us who we are, our smallness and brokenness, and yet revels in our beauty and awesomeness. So just let it go, and defy gravity while you’re at it. You have it in you; let Love show you.
P.S. If you see a problem with this, please let me know; I always feel a little iffy putting out stuff where I’m just sort of shooting at something I only catch glimpses of. It’s difficult to describe something by its shadow. Please, if someone knows what I’m saying in more eloquent words, let me know; there’s nothing quite so wonderful as being able to put your finger on something you’ve been running through your brain and across your tongue all your life.