I’ve had various debates over the years with fellow musicians and artists about the most basic question in any art form: “What should art do?” There are two primary schools of thought… One promotes the idea that art should transcend reality – that it should reach beyond what is, and show the world as it could be. The other schools says that art should reflect reality – that it should show the world the way it is, and comment on it. Current art forms overwhelmingly follow the latter trend. In fact, it seems that any art seeking to transcend is often viewed with suspicion, or even labeled as inauthentic…
As time has gone by, I find myself being continually drawn to the transcendent point of view. If you look back at the greatest artists of the past – people like Bach, Michelangelo, etc… – they weren’t simply trying to comment on what was happening in their world. They were trying to reach beyond it, to alter what was bad by striving to create something better…
People often argue that you have to make people more aware of the bad stuff going on in the world. I would counter that people are pretty aware already of the bad stuff going on around them. We’re bombarded on every night’s newscast with bad news from around the world. What’s missing is hope. The hope that things can be better. The hope that there can actually be a happy ending to the story. Christmas gives us a chance to once again offer that hope, and to point the way towards a Child that transcended the world…

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