Music and Spirituality in Her Singing

The following is an e-terview between my childhood soulmate and a woman of voice about Music and Spirituality:

Do you feel there is a connection between your spirituality and your singing. What do you feel when you sing; do you feel within yourself, outside yourself. Or when you listen to the music you listen to, what occurs in you. Does your mind stop thinking, do you feel you start to live in the present, do you learn from music (even instrumental pieces without words). The answers may not come immediately.

I am wondering if what you feel when you sing is what I feel when I dance and is what an artist feels when he paints. I believe somehow the way music moves me (for you, your voice, for me my body) has a spiritual dimension that is also tied to my other passions. I want to write about this one day.

When I sing sometimes I find that my mind goes very blank, as if I’m meditating. For that reason it’s actually the most serene state for me. But what I love about singing most of all is that I’m not just talking and telling a story – I’m communicating ideas and feelings in extra-verbal ways: through the emotions that the different notes (and their relationships to one another) impart on me, through the way I manipulate them, etc.  In that way, it has the ability to express different levels of consciousness that even other people (besides myself and the musicians I sing with) can understand, even when one doesn’t understand the language (I don’t understand the languages of most songs I sing in, although I always use a translation). Remember when we were talking about intuition? Well singing for me, and I’m sure dancing for you, is totally dependent on intuitive abilities and awareness of different levels of consciousness rather than just technical knowledge.

Can you explain this:

In that way, it has the ability to express different levels of consciousness that even other people (besides myself and the musicians I sing with) can understand.

I think what I’m trying to say is that it enables an altered state of mind and level of awareness (almost like a trance state), not only because of the particular order of the notes and rhythms, but because of the physicality of the sounds.  That is, it represents a moment when the body is entrained with the mind – they both exist in the same space-time in which the music occurs. For instance, if I were to just play a single note for you, it might not have much meaning (to draw the comparison to language again, it would be like just saying the letter “a” all by itself). But once I surround it with a few other notes, and I arrange them according to a certain rhythm, it has much more significance – all of a sudden you want to get up and dance or sing along. That’s because the music has affected you at a physical – as well as emotional – level. You can feel the beats in concert with your heartbeat, and the sounds might remind you of other very emotional states of being, like praying, or crying, or laughing. And so for the duration of the song, you exist in the frame that the music has created.


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