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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 90
Sun. April 28, 2013

“God Moving Over the Face of the Waters”


It wouldn’t be a surprise to most Moby fans, that the artist formally known as Richard M. Hall’s favorite song in a movie is “God Moving Over the Face of the Waters” from Heat. Describing the experience of seeing one of his compositions on the silver screen, Moby said, “Yes, I saw Heat in a movie theatre on 19th and Broadway with my friend Damien. It was interesting because Heat was an example of a movie that, when it was released, the critics just didn’t get it. When Heat was released it got really bad reviews and it didn’t do very well, but in the ten years that it’s been out it’s come to be this almost revered iconic movie. So it once again proves to me that I shouldn’t always take critics’ reviews too seriously. But I do remember seeing it at 19th and Broadway with my friend Damien and just thinking that Michael Mann had done a really wonderful job putting the music in there.”

Heat is actually one of my little brother’s favorite movies. I know he loves the action but when we watched it he would ask me about the music. As you now Moby’s “New Dawn Fades” is in Heat as well as U2’s side project with Brian Eno, The Passengers and Dead Can Dance’s Lisa Gerrard are on the soundtrack; but the one thematic song he connected to the most was the electronic instrumental, “God Moving Over the Face of the Waters,” played at the end of Michael Mann’s film. Ironically enough, my brother the devoted Christian loves this song. It brings together two of favorites pastimes, film and faith. Speaking of, when asked what’s the best song he’s ever written Moby replied, “God Moving Over the Face of the Waters.” Moby explained, “Ironically enough it’s a song that doesn’t have any lyrics to it. It’s a song called God Moving Over the Face of the Waters, and it’s an instrumental piece of music that, when I was writing it, I had this vision, like at least according to the Old Testament, the creation story, at one point you know, what is it – the earth was without form and void and God was moving over the face of the waters. And this particular piece of music was written with that in mind.”

It’s ironic that a song that Moby composed honoring his faith would be the climatic piece at the end of a Hollywood film about living and dying in Los Angeles. Moby talked about his goal when composing a song when he said, “From my perspective, the ultimate goal in making any kind of music is to make music that affects the listener. Whether that means playing loud punk rock, playing disco, or using a sampler or live instruments, I don’t really have any allegiance to any style of music. I don’t think I have any allegiance to the way music is made. My allegiance is to the way music can affect me. I’m happy to use any tools that make music that hopefully will be powerful and affective.”

Moby also claimed, telling Billboard magazine he wanted to create a song that felt “like a warm and embrace,” and something rhythmical that was equally beautiful and compelling. Unbeknownst to Moby is that he already accomplished this feat, his homage to the Old Testament is the same piece eloquently used by film director Michael Mann in the final scene of his 1995 film Heat, “God Moving Over the Face of the Waters” is song that reflects both the light and the darkness reflecting deep inside of Moby. This beautifully poignant movie signature piece by the artist formally known as Richard M. Hall is worthy of rediscovering. Put your faith in the rhythms and the movements of “God Moving Over the Face of the Waters;” Open your ears and I guarantee…you will be moved.