Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Why I Love The Voice

That moment of yes is just such a great creative moment - as an artist, as a promoter, that moment when things click and you know - that's it - thats' why we do it.

It doesn't take long to know - sometimes it's 3 lines of a poem; 30 seconds of a film.  There's a combination of exhilaration and trust that kicks in simultaneously.  It's okay to relax and be audience - this performer, filmmaker, writer is going to live up to the obligations of his or her art - and they are going to let you enjoy it, maybe even inspire you in yours.

That's what happens on The Voice when chairs turn around, and it's an amazing moment.  Artists steeped in their game, who come there to assess other's potentials, suddenly suspend judgement.  That's what's happening - they are being carried away by a singer - flown over their list of criteria and intellectual agendas into a place where they are being brought to their emotional center by the music.  The right singer and the right song defuses the mental checklist - they relax enough to hear and feel at the same time.

Moreover, turning around means they want to get together with this singer in a way that makes every body better.

This is powerful.  This is what artists do 24/7.  There's a lot of talk about "the war of art," but war is a dangerous analogy for artists.  Warriors are warriors so they don't have to fight.  Artists are warriors - but art isn't the war.  Life is the war.  Art is the playground, the sandbox, the playpen, the kitchen, the dinner table - it's festive and restive at once.  It takes preparedness, strength, action, and readiness, but not violence.

The idea of mentors on this show makes it the antithesis of other contest shows.  Watching the arc of the contestants, the improvement across the board is astonishing.  They are all excellent.  It's about matching singer, song and audience in the right way.  And it's the coaches' jobs to discern this from their knowledge of music and of the singer.  Cee Lo and Adam consistently choose exactly the right song - often out of left field - for their singers to do.  Tony Lucca doing Brittney was genius.  Juliet Simms Roxanne was indelible.

Creativity is about marriage.  About openness and trust.  About willingness and deep collaboration.  The Voice brings this process out into the open.  Cee Lo is the Buddha of music - dang if I don't want him recorded on an alarm clock I wake up to every morning telling me how it's gonna be and how I'm gonna be alright with it.   Blake is so caring and warm with his singers they just blossom into themselves. Adam is so smart about what he's hearing and has this Scooby sense about music.  You can see love between the coaches and singers and you can see how the collaboration is flowing in both directions.

The show is so much about music, and creating full expressive artists.  The atmosphere is respectful and the dance is full of mutual passion for craft.

And it shows.  The singers are better, the numbers are better, and the show is better.

I'm not even sure I wanna find out who wins.

One of my favorite performances from the season:

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