Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Friday, July 01, 2005

The Gift of Song and the Human Voice

Of all the music I enjoy, none so delights me as vocal and especially choral music. The human voice is a truly spectacular and amazing instrument. People often ask me if I play any musical instrument and I often say, "Yes, the Voice!" The human voice is God's gift to us, a musical instrument we can use anytime, anywhere. It is amazingly versatile and unique. For this reason, the Church for centuries only allowed the unaccompanied voice to be heard in Church music, as it was a natural instrument, made and given by the Lord! The permission for the organ to accompany the human voice followed the idea that the organ was like the human voice, in that air (from a bellows) pushed through the wind pipes created musical sounds.

Last night, I was very privileged indeed to attend a concert given by the famous and absolutely fantastic 'Swingle Singers' in Grassington. I have long admired their work and as I write this I am listening to one of their CDs in which they render the '1812 Overture' by Tchaikovsky entirely with the human voice! And yes, this includes the sounds of church bells, cannons and musical instruments, all created with the human voice. Absolutely amazing and the concert I attended was probably one of the best I have been to. The music we heard was exhilarating; it made me catch my breath and gave me goosebumps. The show was entertaining and just spell-binding and the singers were obviously enjoying themselves. It made me think that heaven, as described in the book of Revelation, must be much like this - pure harmonic sounds created by human voices in song, truly the most divine instrument given to mankind!

Speaking of CDs and music, I had the task of sorting through my extensive collection yesterday. Before I enter the Novitiate, I resolved to sell a good part of my music collection, and other things I simply do not need. Strangely, since returning from Manila, I have become less attached to these things which has made the parting easier! What a grace from God! The money raised from the sale in Skipton Town Hall today will go towards the San Juan de Macias Education Fund which I helped establish in Dagat-dagatan for poor students of the parish. I hope the good people of Skipton like sacred choral and classical music CDs!!

4 Comments:

Blogger Sprezzatura said...

OY OY save the russian stuff for me!!!

3:52 am  
Blogger Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

Although I sold more than I expected, it seems there are quite a few Philistines in Skipton, so the Russian stuff is intact and also plenty of English church music!

9:17 am  
Blogger Sprezzatura said...

keep those for me!!! especially the pre-deformation ones!!! My Palm Sunday vigil CD got stolen, so I'm hoping to get yours... Any chance of you bringing them back to Sg with you this month?

9:53 am  
Blogger Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

That's assuming I'm parting with it?!!!

1:04 pm  

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