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The power of peaceful protest, the physical demonstration of the people’s will, when represented by a large enough number, can be a devastatingly effective tool. It is something we have seen recently in the most unexpected quarters as people have silently and symbolically taken to the streets armed only with a blank sheet of paper to stand up against, historically, one of the most draconian governments. It is a movement that worked; even the most rigid rule of law has to bend before such numbers, lest it breaks altogether. We have seen such movements spark across the world and on behalf of many causes -health, gender, race, and much more.
And it is the idea of peaceful protest, that the will of the people can be exercised as a powerful tool just through sheer numbers, that those of us at the bottom of the hierarchy can collectively sway the policy of the powers that be, even in parts of the world not always known for liberty and freedom of the people, which lies at the heart of “Realm”, the latest single from Clay Joule.
One of the great things about Clay’s music is that there is always a point to it. I mean that there is always something going on beyond mere entertainment. Music is, to some degree, entertainment, but some is smart enough to be informative, point-making, provoke thought, and present the listener with new ideas, points of view, or new ways of looking at or thinking about the world around them. Realm is one of those songs. Clay Joule is just such an artist.
And if the point he makes is quickly garnered from the song’s poetic lyrics, the same sentiment is found in the music. Around a central core of martial bagpipes and rigid drums, he wraps delicate and soothing sounds. Pianos chime, strings ebb and flow, vocals are lulling and lovely, and all of this gently washes at the harder sounds, tempering them and turning them into something smoother and more pleasing. This reflects the change he is talking about, as the gentle power of the peaceful people’s protest can influence and even undermine the powers that be.
And that is the power of song, at least the power of song in the right hands. Thankfully, Clay Joule is precisely the right pair of hands and Realm is a song that becomes more powerful and poignant, more important and necessary, more well-timed and creatively astute the deeper you look into it. And if you are looking to be entertained, it does that too. Clever, huh?
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