Music has always been intimately connected with the numinous

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.

~ James MacMillan on "Silence," Symphony No. 3 with thanks to Frances Kellog

June 2005 (Vol. XVIII, No. 6)

"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"

In the silence we can discover our own unique soul-song of the heart. As we listen to the music of the world's soul-songs, we can begin to feel the quickening and resonance of our own. Silently, we may experience moments filled with light. Be still. Simply BE. And see.

The two wings of the soul

Which of these tow powers, love or music, can elevate us to the sublimest heights? Why separate them? They are the two wings of the soul.

~ by Hector Berlioz

Silence allows the sound to be

Every soul is born out of silence, dies back into silence and during its life span is surrounded by silence. Silence allows the sound to be. It is an intrinsic but unmanifested part of every sound, every musical note, every word. The Unmanifested is present in the world as silence. Thnis is why it has b een said that nothing in this world is so like God as silence.


That which cannot be expressed

That which cannot be expressed otherwise can only be told through music. A thought, which seems common place in its analysis, acquires a depper sense in music.

~ by Rabindranth Tagore

What type of music are you making?

We can think of ourselves as musical instruments that imprint the world in a unique way. Our body is the instrument, our nerves are the strings, and the musician is our spirit. When in a music store, if yuou pluck a string on a guitar, all the other guitars in the room will vibrate to that tone. What type of music are you making?

~ by Terry Lynn Taylor

The notest demanded introspection

The monk made the bamboo come alive, capturing the sounfds of the universe and bringing them into the room. Long, deep, haunting tones vibrated in my chest. The notest demanded introspection. The noise of the rain somehow accentuated the silence between each phrase, adding an inconceivable dimension to the music.

~ from BLOWING ZEN by Ray Brooks

I am in need of music

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips.
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.

Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sun to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow.

~ from "Sonnet" by Elizabeth Bishop

I pondered that usually silent tree now filled with hidden music

As I passed the tall spruce, it suddenly came alive with song. Startled, I stopped to listedn. Deep inside the thickly branched tree the sparrows had been awakened by some inner alarm clock and began heralding tghe dawn with their symphony cheeps, quickly filling the gray day with the sparkle of their voices. I stood there amazed, my heart transformed. A smile came as I pondered that usually silent tree now filled with hidden music.

Don't we all need a tree full of sparrow cheeps to lift our hearts into hope and to remind us of the surprising beauty of life!

~ from OUT OF THE ORDINARY by Joyce Rupp

How many songs I have I cannot tell you

How many songs I have I cannot tell you. I keep no count of such things. There are so manyu occasions in one's life when a joy or a sorrow is felt in suich a way tthat the desire comes to sing; and so I only know that I have many songs. All my being is song, and I sing as I draw breath.... It is just a necfessary for me to sing as it is to breath.

~ Orpingalik, a Netsalik Eskimo
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