June 2006 (Vol. XIX, No. 6)
"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard? "
WARMEST GREETINGS, beloved friends! Out of the silence come songs of summer as day and night Nature's melded voices offer music when we pause to listen. Our own organ of the heart plays all the rhythms of our lives: from pain, loneliness, grief, sadness . . . to joy, praise, celebration, silence. At every moment we can listen inwardly for the music of our heart, body, and soul. And we can dance, wail, sing, pray, chant to its changing tunes. Just as birds naturally sing their various songs, so we, too, have heart-songs to share with one another and Life! May your own special heart-songs rise up out of the silence.
|June 2006 (Vol. XIX, No. 6)||428.37 KB|
The imagination is one of every thing in the universe as a song of praise ... the world as symphony. If one note in a musical composition is played off-key, the whole composition is off. If a musician decides to go his or her own way in the middle of a symphony in order to express freedom, the free play of the whole is destroyed. On the other hand, musicians find true freedom when their individuality harmonizes with the whole.
My life goes on in endless song
above Earth's lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear its music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul;
How can I keep from singing?
Nothing prepared me for what I saw. I realized that the young voice was coming from 83-year-old Jonas, who was singing the "Sanctus" by Beethoven, with a beauty that could not be explained. It was like the Soul of all life summoning each spirit who listened: Here! Here is the sound of all that is true. Hear the sound of the Love to which you belong. That afternoon I learned that Jonas had been sent to Siberia as a young man because of that voice. Because of the remarkable gift he had been sent to build roads and live in obscurity. Now he was an elderly man, but the voice had never aged. Truly, it existed apart from any space and time.
It's a wonder to behold how human beings feel after making their own music. It's been well-documented throughout history that people really put themselves on a higher spiritual level when they involve themselves in music or any of the allied arts. Our lives are so affected by what we do artistically. But too often we hold back because of our limiting image of success thinking: I don't know how to do this. We need to give ourselves the freedom to create our own sounds of music.
I am one of a new breed, a hospital musician. Last week a doctor who had come out of a difficult eight-hour surgery heard the piano and stopped to rest. He said the aria I was playing from Bach's Goldenberg Variations revived him by reminding him of the larger picture. He said he felt more accepting of the outcome of the operation he'd performed. The man who'd received a new kidney said, "Beethoven's Ninth Symphony reminded me how much I want to live, how much I love life. After listening to the music I was able to pray again."
I am carried by the movement of the sound.
I go with it, listening.
It is a flow of music through the universe,
A flow of music into me.
It is a flow of harmonies,
Vast, beyond me.
Tremendum. A great word, a sound,
The music of life playing in the spheres beyond.
In the Silence, in the Silence.
And we began to sing, "Why should I feel discouraged? Why do the shadows fall? "And Ranola watched Ken rather skeptically for a moment, and then her face began to melt and contort like his, and she went to his side and bent down to lift him up — lifted up this white rag doll, this scarecrow. She held him next to her, draped over and against her like a child while they sang. And it pierced me. I can't image anything but music that could have brought about this alchemy. Maybe it's because music is about as physical as it gets: your heartbeat; your essential sound, the breath. We're walking temples of noise, and when you add tender hearts to this mix, it somehow lets us meet in places we couldn't get to any other way.
A small bird with a red bonnet on its head came and perched on a rock opposite us. It waved its tail, turned its head anxiously in all directions, then glanced directly at us and as it did so, it grew bold and began to whistle softly, tauntingly at first; but soon it threw back its head, swelled its throat, and gazing at the sky, the light, burst into song with abandon. Everything vanished; nothing remained in the world save this bird and God: God, and a beak that was singing.
The songs of whales ring wistful, even melancholy,
to the human ear. Perhaps this tone belongs to all
who plumb the depths.
There is always music amongst the trees in the garden,
but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.
After Silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
For a composer silence is something pregnant with expectation ... the most naturally spiritual medium. The music grows in the spiritual life: the silence of monks, the silence of meditation, the silence of not knowing something, the terrible silence of God when we are confronted with evil in the world. Music has always been intimately connected with the numinous and the immaterial. I increasingly believe that the non-corporeal quality of music can be a direct challenge to the world and its materiality.
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