Byzantine Chant is stark for a reason; it eliminates all the excess in the music and cuts to the core. Constantine Cavarnos has written of its “inner essence…its pureness…its mystical quality, its power of evoking contriction.” One may compare harmonizing chant to colorizing Ansel Adam’s photography. It may add visual richness, but there is a unique beauty found in his black and white photography: starkness, definition, and clarity. There is a contrast between light and shadow, which disappears when the element of color is added. Furthermore, there is a link between Byzantine Chant and Iconography. There is a beauty in holy art beyond aesthetic beauty. The iconographer uses strict conventions to create art that invokes a spiritual experience, not a sensual one. The same is true of the Byzantine hymnographer.
– Stanley Takis
Not only is this idea fascinating, but if it is true, then perhaps the Orthodox world’s widespread return to and growing preference for Byzantine Iconography is the precursor to a similar return in the area of music.
Take note, you parishes who wish to build young converts into your body: young converts want authenticity. That’s why we bothered to convert.