Updated: Jul 4, 2019
I must have been two or three years old when I experienced my first musical memory. I was watching the snow-laden fir trees from a Bay window while the old record player scratched the surface of a used record near where I sat on the floor, trying to keep warm. An extraordinary male voice narrated a story I could not yet understand to the rising and falling tones of an orchestra playing beautiful background music . Now, I know the voice was Norman Rose, a family friend and famous radio personality, telling the story of Cinderella to Tchaikovsky's masterpiece. Even to this day, chills run up my back when I hear it.
I would purposely pretend that I couldn't sleep so my father would sit me on his lap and sing the old Irish tavern numbers his mother had taught him from the Vaudeville days. I would lay my head against his chest and fall asleep to the baritone vibrations. It was my safe haven.
And the day I heard the choir with voices that soared to impossible heights. Its all about the extraordinary power of Sound. Words are sounds with intentions. Every word vibrates with a particular frequency and by stringing them together, we place a thought in a space in time and give it a cause for action; a mental image. When people come together to sing, they form one giant chamber of vibration. An umbrella of sound. If we listen closely, we can hear the pulse of one great heartbeat.
There is something irresistible about the force of nature in the human voice. Sad to say, manipulative leaders know this all too well. Hitler inspired his followers with Wagner and patriotic hymns. Sports fans chant slogans to incite their favorite teams. Hearing a crowd chant for their soccer team can make your hair stand on end and bring tears to your eyes. Its not the team nor the cause, its the vibration of ten thousand people chanting together.
One imagines the first human pounding on a tree trunk with a stick, creating rhythm, or blowing into an animal bone to attract their prey. By going back to the origin of Sound with instruments that reproduce nature's own scales, we can activate the power embedded in our natural world and use it to heal.