Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The Edge and the Sistine Chapel



Recently the guitarist for rock band U2 played what he called the most famous parish hall in the world. David Evans, known as The Edge, played four songs at the Vatican's Sistine Chapel for an audience of physicians and medical researchers. Evans/ Edge, whose father died last month from cancer and whose daughter overcame leukemia, is on the board of foundations working for cancer prevention. He had nice things to say about Pope Francis and quipped “being Irish you learn very early that if you want to be asked to come back it’s very important to thank the local parish priest for the loan of the hall.”

There was a Canadian connection as one of the songs he sang with a backup choir of Irish teens was Leonard Cohen's If It Be Your Will. The video has lousy sound and is fuzzy, but other than that, perfect! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ-1zJ9cnxQ

It is meaningful that he contributed in this way as someone who cares about medical research from a personal standpoint This brief concert was also a reminder that everything changes. The Sistine Chapel is the monumental artistic expression of another era of the Roman Catholic church. The Edge is the first contemporary rock musician to play at the Vatican, although some would argue that U2 is from another era as well.

What do you think about The Edge in the Sistine Chapel? Is this a sacrilege, or a recognition that in every era there are fresh artistic expressions?


3 comments:

Judy McKnight said...

Our oldest son (49 this month) loved U -2 when he was a teen - he stated at one point that he wanted U-2 to sing at his wedding ; his dad and and I were not aware of modern pop/rock singers (I had never heard of U-2) - we were too busy learning and singing classical and sacred music - and thought he meant "you two" (since we were singing duets a lot, of course that was what he meant) - the look on his face when he realized what we were thinking was priceless ! (It was fun watching him squirm out of that one !) But now, having listened to a few of their recordings, I can see why he liked them so much, and I have no problem with them singing in the Vatican - or any other holy space. The words they sing may have a lot more to do what is needed spiritually today than "the usual" repertoire...

roger said...

I don't have a problem with U2 in the Vatican. I just hope they don't invite Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus. Funny story, Judy!

David Mundy said...

Thanks to "you two" for responding!