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February 8, 2002--

Some reflections after listening to a piece of music:

It is a psychological marvel (to me anyway) that whatever song or version of a piece of music we hear first the likelihood of that version becoming our favorite is overwhelming. Just like when I heard Faure's Requiem for the first time (the singularly most stunning piece of "classical" music I have ever heard, (Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus a close second)) the version I listened to became for me the standard. When I heard other recordings of the performance the effect on me psychologically and spiritually (for the real purpose of music is, in my opinion, to have a moving effect on the soul) they seemed to me to be "incorrect." They were too slow here, too fast here, the wrong tempo there, etc., etc. The mind is an amazing mechanism. It does, of course, happen on occasion that we can overcome such "prejudices" when we hear a piece done differently. And that can be a rewarding accomplishment sometimes.

My vision of music listening may be different than the mainstream. I don't listen to much "background" music, whether it's in the car or at home, though sometimes I do like to blast the roof off of my little Cavalier on the streets of Savannah (not like the silly sub-woofer crowd!), but not often. For me music is a way to connect in a more pure way with the world of the Spirit. I think God has made it that way. A way to hear the voice of God in the same way that seeing beauty is a way God shows us His hand as a painter does. Whether that is in a sunset, in the starshine in a dark sky, or the loveliness in a woman's face. One should be able to take that experience and say, "there is a God."

Listening to some of these pieces of music like the CD Glow by the innocence mission, or Sarah McLaughlin's Surfacing, gives me goosebumps, and that's the spiritual effect of the music weaving its way through the body and mind. It's a majestic thing. Dare I say it's something missed by far too many humans. And maybe many more feel the effect but don't recognize it for what it is, the presence of God.

Sorry to sound like some psycho preachy twerp, which this kind of talk can resemble. But music is that kind of language, it pierces far below the surface of humanity to levels they scarcely realized exist. Especially when one reads or hears the news these days! How mad man has become. But then there are people like the innocence mission and many more, that reform the poet into the saint.

Thus my most recent story about discovering the innocence mission, A Movie Link And Music Beginning

(That version of Faure's Requiem, by the way, as I just knew you would be dying to know, is the one directed by Michel Legrand, with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Ambrosian Singers, on a Teldec CD; soprano: Barbara Bonney; mezzo-soprano: Jennifer Larmore).

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