Category Archives: Music

An unquiet voice challenge

Sorry in advance for a bit of half-hearted musings today. Been a hectic week, and I wanted to get something on e-paper today before it got hecticer. (yes, it’s a word, if I say it is *grin*)

Often in those self-help books and shows, and within a number of philosophical Spiritual-teachings, I have come across the concept of speaking your voice. Take Action. Stand up for what we believe, and all that. For many (most?) of us, I’m sure that sort of thing sounds great on paper and within a daily assertion, but the actual practice of Speaking Up gets pushed to the sidelines among the day to day chores. We don’t like being on stage, sticking out in a crowd, and such.

I’m no exception, but today I wanted to try a little experiment on voice, and would challenge my readers to try this once today, and let me know any thoughts you have after-wards.

Find a quiet space, like your car, or an empty house while showering, or such, and sing along with a song. In my case, it was in my car with the radio on to a local pop-station. Change channels until you gt a song you like, and vaguely know the words to. If you are in the shower or dusting the shelves at home, run a song through your head as you say the lyrics out loud.

For this challenge, I don’t want you to simply mumble along with it. Take a deep breath, sit/stand up straight, and belt out those notes. Doesn’t matter if your voice is scratchy or sounds like a drowning camel, or even Platinum Album material. No one is around, remember?

Ideally, if you are listening to the radio, you should be loud enough to not actually hear the real singer. Overrun the lyrics in your ears with the ones in your lungs. Yell it if you want, at least one verse, if not a whole song. If you are a bit stressed and can’t think of a song, just stick to sounding a Barbaric Yawp (first part of this video).

I mean really try it, as instructed. I’ll wait…

Then, after you are done, take a little internal assessment of yourself. Do you feel silly? Do you feel guilty or worried about the neighbors? Try to ignore that primary feeling and think again.

I’m guessing that even with any ego-ruled emotions bouncing around in your head, you feel just a bit better than you did before this activity. Perhaps not much, but maybe your shoulders slump a smidgeon less for the moment, or that nagging cough feels a little less nagging this particular minute.

Be honest with yourself.

I will readily admit I don’t consistently set aside time each day for healthy things like meditation or involved spiritual musings. Yet, I wonder how much effect it would have if everyone took 1 minute to just yell or sing each day? To sound our barbaric Yawp, and sing a song of yourself.

Catharsis is underrated.

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Filed under Dreams, Faerie, Healing, Music

Another churchy tale

This week at the UU church I [still] attend, was an informal service whereupon members of the congregation had been invited to share a short excerpt from a favorite book, and how it inspired them.

One lady read from Grapes of Wrath, and shared how it changed her outlook on Humanity and Humility, reading of the horrid selfishness of people below their station. She had grown up in a wealthy NewEngland community, and formerly looked down her nose at “poor farmers” until that book made her re-think things.

One man shared a bit from Oral Microbiology and how it changed his view of our communal relationship with ‘the good microbes’.

Yet others shares inspiring sermons, quoted from Martin Luther King, Ghandi, and more traditional “English Literature” such as Flowers for Algernon, and Where the Red Fern Grows.

However, by far my favorite was an older lady who shared “The Hobbit” as her favorite book. She explained briefly that we adults are often told to get our heads out of the clouds, and how this “kids book” showed that even as an older adult, it was “OK to have an imagination”. She also referenced the new movie Avatar, as an example of world-building freedoms and whimsy-wonder.

Instead of reading an excerpt from The Hobbit, however, she admitted that she once submitted music to a “Fanzine” on Middle earth back in the 80s. She had set the first parts of Galadriel’s Song of Eldamar to music, and then launched into a lilting A Cappella song, the lyrics of which are below.

To say the fact I could honestly answer “heard a lady sing in elvish” to the question of What I Did on Sunday, is awesome.

This UU thing may not be entirely spiritually ritualistically filling, but it’s still a fun community to be growing a part of.

(My son also has now expressed interest in going as he misses the other kids. Also, he has learned not to jokingly blow out the small candle I light in the evenings after starting to understand the reasons for lighting a candle “Representing the Love and Mystery that some people call God/dess”)

Galadriel’s Song of Eldamar
I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew:
Of wind I sang, a wind there came and in the branches blew.
Beyond the Sun, beyond the Moon, the foam was on the Sea,
And by the strand of Ilmarin there grew a golden Tree.
Beneath the stars of Ever-eve in Eldamar it shone,
In Eldamar beside the walls of Elven Tirion.
There long the golden leaves have grown upon the branching years,
While here beyond the Sundering Seas now fall the Elven-tears.
O Lórien! The Winter comes, the bare and leafless Day;
The leaves are falling in the stream, the River flows away.
O Lórien! Too long I have dwelt upon this Hither Shore
And in a fading crown have twined the golden elanor.
But if of ships I now should sing, what ship would come to me,
What ship would bear me ever back across so wide a Sea?

Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,
Yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!
Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier
mi oromardi lisse-miruvóreva
Andúnë pella, Vardo tellumar
nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
ómaryo airetári-lírinen.

The melody was vaguely akin to “Spancel Hill” (video link)

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Filed under Church, Esoteric, Faerie, Music, Silly

Blessed Solstice!

As the sun is reborn, I hope the light of your lives shines brightly and strong, wherever and whatever that Light shines with for you.

As a musical interlude here’s three awesome songs. First, one that was performed by a wonderful brother&Sister act in church this past Sunday:
The Christians and the Pagans”

Next, two songs by the band Gaia Consort (whom I love), with the first being more Christmas-y and festive, one I listened to while standing outside under the stars and invoking Awesomeness.

Father xmas.mp3

Gathering.mp3

Enjoy!

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Filed under Church, Druidic, Esoteric, Festivals, Music

BloPoWriMo – day 4 – mix102.5

I agree with the thought to living each day as if it were a celebration. I also like the winter holiday season, with cheery music, decorated trees and all sorts of commercially viable gluttony.

What I do not like is radio stations that switch over to Christmas music 24×7 starting on November 1st.

Case in point? Mix 102.5, the local radio station that played something other than country or hard rock in my area.

At least I still have NPR for news and such, but I’ll have to start downloading more music for my MP3 player to listen too if I want actual eclectic music this month.

*sigh*

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Filed under BlogMemes, Festivals, Music