CD Reviews > Faith and the Muse

Faith and the Muse - :ankoku butoh: DVD Review
The Mercyground

A stunningly beautiful illustrated art-book accompanies the :ankoku butoh: CD & DVD digipak. This review focuses on the DVD portion of the presentation. The DVD cinematic menus exhibit intelligence of forethought in layout, function, and artistry.

The concert footage reflects Faith & The Muse performances in May 2007 during the Convergence XIII cultural music festival, occurring during that year only in Portland, Oregon. Within seconds of launching the concert footage, it becomes apparent that the viewer has the very best seat in the house, as said viewer is able to enjoy each and every aspect of the performance in ways which none of the actual attendees could have experienced during the concert itself. Of course, those who did attend may re-live the entire experience with the added knowledge and memories afforded by his or her own unique perspective from within the audience, moving within the vibe of the crowd and the music itself. All may discover in rich detail the endless series of close-up camera shots on each performing musician, and the many additional close-ups on various members of the audience, many of whom very clearly sing along, perfectly in sync with the lyrics of the music.

This DVD reflects the planning and execution of focusing the audience's attention upon the stage effectively in an arena designed to accomplish just that very singular purpose. Kudos to the 13th Annual Convergence festival organizers for their choice in venue. This DVD captures exceptionally well the skill of Faith & the Muse musicians. Viewers will grasp and experience in full measure the musical artistry and expertise of Faith & the Muse musicians via each of the twelve songs performed within the :ankoku butoh: concert DVD footage. Each song performance may be accessed separately or in a continuous PLAY ALL stream.

Paul Mercer on violin takes a solo midway through the dozen+ song performances. Full credits for musicians performing each song displayed lovingly within the CREDITS category accessible via the MAIN MENU. All aspects of the DVD reflect artistic transitions between any given point and the next option selected from within the MENU network.

Digitally enhanced and illustrated additional concert footage from alternate performances of some of the same songs from earlier periods in the band's history filmed in other regions of the globe may be accessed within the RARIETIES & EXTRAS category. Accessing these alternate song performances will give the viewer a perspective into the evolution and transformations of the song presentations and especially presentations the musicians themselves; different band line-up, plus alternate hair styles, theatrical make-up, decorative costuming attire, and background atmospheric choices.

For Faith & the Muse, this would not be the band's first acceptance to attend and perform at a Convergence music festival. The attending audience reflects in no small part members who have seen every Faith & The Muse visiting performance to the historic Convergence music festival spanning cities and venues throughout the United States and Canada for nearly two decades to-date. Faith & the Muse reflect one of the recurring favorite music guests. Each year, a different committee of locals and sometimes seasoned veterans from previous Convergence festival committees gather in a selected city (varies from year to year by the popular vote of registered Convergence attendees from previous years' events) to decide which musical guests will be invited based upon a theme applicable to the winning city's proposed format for the coming year's Convergence cultural music festival.

Almost invariably, these Convergence music festivals focus in actual practice upon the social interests of the attendees who convene in online forums to discuss shared interests and, indeed, the next upcoming Convergence events. The music, however fabulous, often takes a backseat to the pressures of socializing with long-distance friends who have convened from all points across the globe for just a few days and nights of reunion before once again going separate ways.

~Jett Black