I adore human beings. At our core, it has been my experience that we are basically good. That I can see and say that after having spent the bulk of my educational and professional life in my MSW years working with and in some of the harshest and hardest environments we humans create with each other on this planet, means that the statement is not made lightly. No, I have not been to a declared war zone, but after years of doing therapy, advocacy and ethnographic research in battered women’s shelters, with the chronically mentally ill, in the housing projects and slums in areas of Chicago that I dearly love, there is not much I have not seen while connecting with my fellow human beings.
One of the most powerful mediums I have found to aid in our connection as humans on this planet is music. Yes, I am rooting for human beings on this planet finally learning to live together peacefully here, but I am definitely doing it as the band plays on!
It is music’s ability to share an emotional state without using words which provides a powerful platform for a shared connection. It gets us to the root of feeling without the interference or potential confusion of words. A scene from a movie that I love, Immortal Beloved, beautifully summarizes this dynamic:
We cannot escape the emotional impact of the intent of the composer or fail to experience the state of the people playing it. It is for this reason that I often will include a little musical attachment or interlude here with some of my blog post; sharing without words.
I was just able to attend a concert at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum in Copenhagen. It was held in this incredibly beautiful space:
It was music featured from an all but forgotten to the world Danish composer N.W. Gade, played in a summer concert series at one of my favorite museums in the world.** The musicians played with their whole hearts & bodies in motion…really enjoying what they were doing with the music. It was magic.
Another aspect of the importance of music that I offer for your consideration is the phenomenon of cymatics.
That sound waves in liquid (or also with matter, you can see the same using sound and substances like salt) can create such organized shapes always makes me think about what is happening in and to my water and bones when music hits me as well. It is easy to begin to contemplate the fact that there might just be real “magic” saying abracadabra, a mantra, chanting or singing something special. Also that symbols and shapes have a sacred geometry that is created with real power behind them might not just be hookas pokas pseudo new age BS.
So at the event that marks my final exit as I move on to the next adventure (ie my death and the please note P-A-R-T-Y I would like held to celebrate the lives of those still living), I have a specific request for the piece that I would like played:
It is the music for me that most clearly describes the possibility of taking the shit we experience here and still despite it all finding joy. (Sorry about the curse word Dad, but much of what is done to us and what we do to others in our pain is just that). Word on the street as well is that when the musicians get this piece just right, in cymatic study the sounds make a shape that is like the star of David rising (as it starts at 5:15 in the video clip). Not a bad way to celebrate humans and a life well lived.
** I love the Glyptoteck because of the attention to detail that they give to the whole experience. The building itself is as amazing as the art. My stepsister and I shared a wonderful lunch with tea in their atrium cafe. If I ever build a house, even the public restrooms at this museum will heavily influence the design choices I would make!
N.W. Gade is the composer of the music used for the first dance that Danish couples traditionally share on their wedding day. The people attending the reception slowly move in and around into sort of a group hug in celebration and connection with the couple. I think it is a beautiful tradition. For hard core blog followers, I offer the flowing to enjoy: