“Ubi Caritas” is an old hymn. Fifth century old. Though the setting is newer, when sung by a children’s choir, it feels like “church music”.
When you put the two together, the music and the building, some of us end up in tears. The music is full of spaces, silences. The room is full of spaces, resonance. Each silence in the music draws music from the building.
The two are perfectly built for each other.
Other pieces don’t work in this room. Pieces that pour piano notes into the space cause them to pile up, colliding with each other. Pieces with long smooth melodies seem to weave together and trip and get muddled.
When we create content, whether in writing or in speaking or in conversation or in powerpoint decks, we are wise to think of the space which will receive what we make. The physical space, yes, but the space in hearts and ears and thoughts and noise.
If there will be much mental noise, then short, loud, striking, simple.
If there will be interaction, then winding, provacative, reflective.
If there will be hurting hearts, then soothing, healing.
If there will be newly aware or thoughtfully seeking, then clear unassuming explanation.
Composers, at times, write for kinds of space.
Shouldn’t, couldn’t we?