A confession: we have have music in some of our meetings for worship when certain Friends are moved to minister either in singing or through instrumental music. It as accepted – welcomed- as a moving, spiritual contribution. And George Fox addressed Quakers at a time of great persecution in these terms: “Sing and rejoice ye children of the day and the light…”
Several Friends who come to Luton Meeting attended an all-day workshop of music-making today at Watford Meeting with the title Song and Silence. In the afternoon, we learned various chants used by the Taizé community in France a religious community dedicated to inter-faith understanding and peace and reconciliation. “All humanity forms a single family and God lives within every human being without exception,” writes Brother Alois in a Letter from Kolkata.
The brilliant Woodbrooke tutor, Mark Russ, who led us in the music, showed us how repetitive meditative chants can be a startlingly intense release into deep spiritual awareness that grows in the following silence.
Image by Jesse Kruger under this creative commons licence
Some of us were lucky enough to attend the multi faith Berakah concert at the Luton Library Theatre (enabled by Luton Grassroots) and enjoyed the uplifting experience. There was a raffle too in support of Luton Fairtrade with local honey from our own Clerk included in the fairtrade product prizes. It was band member Mo’s birthday too and the band were presented with traditional Luton straw hats. I think all who attened were very appreciative of the Berakah Project and their work via the common language of music.
Here’s a flavour of their music albeit from a a few years back and with added percussion.
OK not Quaker specific but certainly Luton specific following our talk today of the sometimes negative view some have of the town. A version of Pharrell Williams recent Happy series of videos only set in and around Luton and featuring the people of Luton.
Can I move like some of these people? Probably not. But happy to try.
Here’s a playlist of chosen tracks from our recent Quaker social. An evening of music where we each chose songs that we love ala desert island discs.
Scroll down the player to see the full list (Spotify required to listen to tracks)
We also heard a non music item in the shape of Paul Temple Intervenes, a BBC drama series from 1942. I’ve included the theme tune in the playlist.