Monday, June 25, 2007

Ken Medema

Yesterday was my new church's 125th anniversary celebration, and for it they invited the incomparable Ken Medema to help lead worship in the morning and then to perform in concert in the afternoon.

Amazing. Simply amazing.

I had seen a couple of different videos of Ken, but it really just doesn't compare to seeing him live. The man can play and sing literally ANY kind of music--he can make a piano and a synthesizer sound like a full band or orchestra--he can be given random words and notes and make up entire songs on the spot using those themes--he can hear people's lifestories and immediately compose and perform a song based on what they just told him.

And he's blind.

Here's an example. Yesterday, during the concert, he asked for three random words. Someone said "love," another person said "cabbage," and I threw out one of my favorite words: "gazebo."

He then asked for three notes. He was given A, Db, and B. I think he found that too easy, so he asked for a fourth.

He was given F.

B to F is a tritone--"the devil's interval," according to composers. In the following clip, listen for the A, Db, B, F progression--Ken makes a big deal of letting us hear it, and the way he uses it is pretty humorous.

So, without further ado, a song composed yesterday, probably never to be heard again--Ken Medema's Ode to Love, Cabbage, and Gazebos.



Husker Teacher said...

I'll second your opinion. I was amazed at his talent, humor, and words. We were blessed to be able to see him!

RuthRE said...

I have to say I heard him at Cruzando and wasn't that into him.....but wow....I'll have to rethink that....wicked fuN!

Susan said...

Were you there at the National high school convention in St. Louis in 2000 when he rappelled off the ceiling of the football dome? We also had him for a LYON conference and he composed stuff on the fly then, too. What a cool guy. Thanks for sharing!