This blog is to be used as a listening guide. The steps I have listed below are an example of the type of process I might use when I write about art and music. I have put this method down to specifically be used by a musical discussion group I lead on Wednesday night but I welcome anyone to use and share their insights in the comments.

Hymns and Songs: A Concert of Music by Hildegard von Bingen performed by Ensemble Vocatrix

…you are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 32:7

As you listen: make a list of what do you see and hear? (Here is my partial list. You might notice more and that would be great!)

  • A song circle
  • women’s voices
  • each solos in turn
  • instrumental drone joined by vocal drone
  • concert hall setting with formal dress
  • singing in Latin

What do you wonder about?

  • what is the translation of some of these words?
  • who was Hildegard von Bingen?
  • what are these instruments?
  • I wonder if I can find any information on this group?

As you listen, notice the words that float to your consciousness. Make a list of your top 5 words. My list of words might be:

  • Storytelling
  • Dawn
  • Heart Cry
  • Floating
  • Heavenly

Then journal on each word

  • Storytelling: I think of a group of people sitting around a campfire sharing stories of the past to entertain and encourage each other. We listen as each person takes it in turn to share something precious.
  • Dawn: The beauty and hope of a new day full of possibilities. Freshness and gratitude for the divine mysteries of the circle of life.
  • Heart Cry: Something that is very deeply felt and that is almost inexpressible and yet universally understood.
  • Floating: Freedom and relaxation. A letting go of tension and stress and a lifting upward.
  • Heavenly: A better place, a place of perfection and great beauty.

Now listen to the music again and jot down your personal feelings. What are you impressed with in this music and performance? And what have you learned about yourself and your connection to this music? What are you personally thirsting for in your daily life?

Remember there is no right and wrong, no silly observations or connections, it is what you are feeling and experiencing that is important to share.

Wishing you “God’s Peace” as you continue your journey.

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