I’m performing a recital on Wednesday. How do I best serve the audience? My life is a search for that answer.
At first I focused on trying to fulfill the wants and desires of parents, teachers, and audiences. Approaching the task from the outside-in, I lost myself in the tangles of their expectations. It wasn’t until I began to turn within and “face the music” of my life that I found my answer.
People listen to music for many different reasons: to travel to places they wouldn’t normally think of going, to access unexpressed emotions and intellectual processes. For a boost in their energy or uplifted emotions. For release. For wholeness.
I wanted to leave people better. Not merely feeling better, but better. More energetic. More uplifted. More inspired.
I had to find the underlying element.
My quest began.
I grew frustrated with musical situations that I didn’t feel were completely in tune with this goal. I left the world of music, moved to a spiritual community and for 12 years conducted a choir of meditators.
I learned how to use music and meditation to give people a deeper experience of themselves.
The first secret I had to learn was how to give ME a deeper experience of MYSELF. This I did through meditation. Through chanting. Through prayer. Through service to others in non-musical ways. I began to feel a greater flow of energy and spiritual presence. Just like an instrument or a voice can become more resonant, I found my own resonance increasing. It felt GOOD.
But how does my deeper experience of myself help you, the listener?
Sound carries the vibration of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. During my recital on Wednesday, I aim to:
- invite and hold the space for the audience to have a deeper experience of themselves, without controlling or expecting what that might be.
- relate from my center to the center of the other musicians for better ensemble, connection and performance.
- resonate the inspiration that I feel within me into every bit of my concentration, sound, and presence.
Every performance teaches me something new in how to balance the preparation of both my music and consciousness. It’s not easy by any means, but it’s my dharma.