32 | Coming Home Through Music

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

— Berthold Auerbach

Music brings us home. In time, within ourselves, and in connection with other people. It gives rise to voice, dance, and healing. As Leonard Bernstein said, it can “name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.”

In this episode of The Gentle Rebel Podcast, I want to share some reflections after our special Haven PopUp Kota last weekend.

I sat behind my piano and played some songs on Zoom. Tracks that emerged from different times, places, and approaches. I wanted to dive into music as a home beyond language and thought.

Coming home through music

One of the things about writing, recording, and performing music is the more familiar you become with a song, the further you drift from that point of creation. So it’s nice to occasionally return to its heart and reconnect with where it came from. I guess, come home to IT in a sense.

I loved having the opportunity to think about my songs in this way. It reminded me how much music is part of the deep processing that comes from sensory sensitivity. It’s how I move with and through the noise of life and allow the noise of thoughts and feelings to flow through and beyond.

Music Brings Us Home in Time

“Music can heal the wounds which medicine cannot touch.”

― Debasish Mridha

Music brings the past into the present and anchors this moment in future memory and meaning. It can evoke a bittersweet nostalgia and instantly rekindle the dwindling flame of a fading memory.

Music Brings Us Home in Ourselves

“Music is an outburst of the soul.”

― Frederick Delius

Music helps us process and proceed, giving us a foundation to express ourselves. It allows us to dance and sing. Its rhythms show us how we got here and where to go next.

“I’ve found that no matter what life throws at me, music softens the blow.”

― Bryce W. Anderson

When I sit at the piano, I allow the wastewater to flow through the pipes. It’s raw and unfiltered. It need not be repeated. Like tears of laughter, sadness, or loss, there is a sense of release once the flow ends. Relief. Renewal.

Music Brings Us Home in Community

“Musicians want to be the loud voice for so many quiet hearts.”

— Billy Joel

The personal experience of music is a point of universal connection. Music speaks the language of the heart and puts into sound what we feel but can’t articulate.

No one has a monopoly on meaning. We are all collaborators as we put music into practice in our lives.

Hearing how my music resonates with other people brings me great joy. I’ve received touching stories from people who have listened to my songs during challenging times like illness, grief and significant life changes.

It’s beautiful to know that the music I’ve created has travelled with other people. One person told me they were crossing a bridge, and the lyrics of one of my songs connected at precisely the right time, inspiring the clarity they needed to solve a problem they had been grappling with for months.

The Stage is a Forest – The Magical Realm

I share this reflection at the end of the episode…

Trees are microphones reaching above the fog. Cables are the overground roots and shoots connecting the ecosystems of creative potential. The magnificent curves and contours of instruments. Few straight lines and clinical edges. The light bounces, glistens, and reflects. Twinkling in the trees. Calling to me. Inviting. Wooden casings and the dark mesh on a wall of amplifiers absorb some of the glare.

I’m at home here. In stillness, expectancy, possibility…waiting, wondering, anticipating. What will happen?

I walk to the drum kit and pick up my sticks. Something comes to life as the wooden baton connects with the centre of the head. I feel it in the depth of my being. It makes my stomach ripple with fearsome wonder. The most terrifying and awesome instrument. What a sound. What a feeling. To externalise the rhythm I feel within. To turn outwards, the ball of energy that wants to find a way to escape, express, envelope.

I’m home.

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