Imagine a time before radio, TV, planes, or automobiles; all
celebrated noisemakers that surround us constantly
In truth most of
us have not lived a life without being bombarded by constant sound. In the rush
of our lives we have had to tune out the ever present tension of having to cope
with and process so much noise.
Now let's take deep breath and let all that
tension melt away. We are going on a voyage, and travel back three hundred years,
to a time when life was simpler. The only sound we hear now is that of nature:
the wind in the trees, birds, horses on cobble stones, and silence. A vast, boundless
snow-covered plain of silence.
Off in the distance we can see the steeple
of a church and hear distant strains of something that is compelling, that draws
us closer. As we draw nearer the sound gets louder and we can recognize qualities
of joy, elation, devotion, majesty. We are at the entrance to the church now and
quietly we enter as the music inside engulfs us. There, sitting at the organ with
both feet flying and hands racing across the keyboard is Bach deeply absorbed
in an improvisation he is creating. We stand there, not daring to move, lest we
disturb him, and bathe in the musical feast that is pouring out of the instrument.
More than any other composer Bach, was able to take existing forms of music,
unify them and bring them to their highest form of expression. Dedicating all
of his works "Soli Deo Gloria" (for the glory of God alone), Bach was
aware that his music was not something that he thought up, but rather that he
was the channel for a higher power. It is his profound love and faith which permeates
his music, as well as his ability to capture the infinite shades and feelings
of the human condition, that touches us so deeply. Hear Sleepers Awake, Jesu
Joy of Mans desiring, Air on a G string, and you will know to the core
what is difficult at best to express in words.
Like an experience of coming
home, his music invites us in and makes changes by degrees, repeating phrases
that catch the ear and through repetition and slight variations welcome and bring
you to new shades of sonic splendor.
This is similar to witnessing a rainbow
on a crisp autumn day. Take a walk and witness the ephemeral beauty of nature
that is ever changing and can be missed in an instance when we look away. When
we turn back we discover a new hue has been added, something illuminated, more
brilliant, remarkable and stunning in light of our simple existence. How can such
a thing like that exist and yet there it is before us. It cannot be denied. This
is the world we live in where the inexplicable is an everyday event. Nature, the
spirit world and our existence mix and it is so mystifying; so many feelings rise
up in us as we try to make sense of it all. Bach was an enormous channel and reservoir
of creative energy which was able to express those mysteries so eloquently and
in such detail through the medium of music. Through studying his music and experiencing
it in every area of your life, you too can explore and discover the possibilities
of your own creative potential.
Cook, dance, speak, sing, relate, run to
his music and let it light the spark of your imagination to try your hand at one
of our greatest gifts: the ability to express ourselves through the creative mediums
and add our unique vision of the world to inspire and share with ourselves and
Elements of this highly interactive course:
an overview of Bachs extensive musical outpouring, from his sacred works
to the secular.
- Work with movement, poetry and visual arts to experience
music in new ways.
- Listen to sound and silence in nature.
yourself in Bachs music to foster your own creative exploration and development.
performances of Bachs music by instructors and guest artists, on a variety
- Learn about the history, social conditions and environment
that gave birth to the Bach family.
- Experience elements of surprise (we
cant tell you in advance, because then it wouldnt be a surprise!)
Is This Course For
- Anyone who loves music!
- Anyone open to a
- People with no musical experience who love music
with an interest in music as a hobby, who want to increase their musical ability
- Professional musicians who want to gain more insight
into performance and interpretation of Bachs music
- Anyone interested
in experiencing music with your thoughts, feelings and body integrated as one