The power of a song

BT and orchestra performing at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

Last Saturday morning I woke to a nagging alarm and a clock that said “4:00am.” So as to not disrupt my work schedule, I went for the flights that took off at hours that only masochists choose. Thus would start an 8 hour journey to Miami, Florida to see just one musical performance by one of my favorite musicians:

BT’s Electronic Opus

I could write thousands of words about just how incredible the performance was, but to describe in text the entirety of what was witnessed would be a disservice to the moment and its beauty. Instead, I’ll focus on just one part of the show.

As a bit of background, BT is one of the most storied and well respected composers of electronic music. He’s not some EDM hack, but rather an incredible musician whose work has influenced many and touched even more. There’s no button mashing here. No spinning of some turntables. Instead, he produces intricately and meticulously arranged compositions with sounds that transcend the machines that are expressing them.

For his grand performance, he wanted to try something bold and new — to blend his more than twenty years of musical work with a live orchestra. Fancy that — an electronic music artist mashing up with the world of classical. Time and time again he was told that it wouldn’t work. And certainly in the few days leading up to the performance, it still seemed like the odds were against him. But the moment the first note was played of his Electronic Opus, the rest was left to fate.

It was the best performance, of any kind, I had ever witnessed.

The single greatest moment of the entire show was when he played his magnum opus, the song that he wrote for his daughter nearly eight years ago, “Good Morning Kaia.” Before the song began, he said to the audience that if there was any work that he would ever want to be remembered by — it was this. That as Kaia grows up (she’s now ten), he knew this song would take on different meanings — at 20, at 30, at 40, and when he was no longer on this Earth with her.

Here’s the song for your listening pleasure.

With the sound of waves over the speakers and a delicate piano part in 10/4 time, the most profound performance these eyes and ears have ever had the pleasure of enjoying began.

kaia,
these words
i am writing to you
these are simple words
from a simple man
to you my
precious, beautiful
daughter

Accompanied by moving pictures of Kaia’s young life, the above words scrolled across the screen that sat behind the orchestra. From that moment on, I felt something all at once that’s still taking me time to process. Pure, unbridled, un-dammed emotion.

As the song swelled to its apex I found myself in tears, shaking right down to my core, and unable to peel away from what was happening.

It was something to behold, something I’ll never have again, and that’s beautiful.

Music is such a powerful thing. It’s there to comfort us in times of sorrow, lift us up higher in times of joy. On that night I felt the power of a song unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It was love. Deep, impassioned love, in the form of an instrumental song, expressing what he feels for his daughter. In those eight minutes the entire audience felt the love that BT has for her. Hardly a dry eye as I looked around. We were there to bear witness to something beautiful — a life’s work in song, a father’s love in musical expression.

While it’s hard to explain everything that I was feeling in that moment, I hope you might get something out of experiencing this song for yourself in the video that showed alongside the performance.


As the show found its closing, BT’s fans swarmed the stage and his face lit up in pure joy. We were all part of something very special that night.