“Eatock Daily” is a classical music blog – and I claim no real knowledge of any other kind of music. As for pop music, I haven’t paid much attention to it since 1979, so I’d never heard of MΛX before Tuesday. But a little Googling revealed that he’s an American musician and actor whose star is on the rise.
His song, “Lights Down Low,” is astonishing for a couple of reasons. First, there’s the instrumentation: a pop song with no guitars, no drums, no keyboards – just a voice and harp. Moreover, the harp arrangement is remarkable for its delicacy, variety, transparency and refreshing lack of clichés. Then there’s the intimate and sophisticated intensity of MΛX’s singing. I can’t help thinking that this performance channels Giulio Caccini – who died exactly 400 years ago – in its heart-on-sleeve, affective power. (Yes, I know there are no recordings of Caccini, but use your imagination.)
If more classical musicians nowadays could perform with even half the conviction of Max Schneider, maybe classical music wouldn’t be in the frustrating, culturally constricted situation it seems to be perennially stuck in.
Have a listen, if you don’t believe me.
© Colin Eatock 2018