You've probably read the news or seen the videos of a pianist named Davide Martello comforting many after the tragic terrorist attacks on the city of Paris last week. (Read the story here.) A song speaks in a language that ministers and heals. A soothing melody heals. Even better is when the melody is partnered with a lyric that moves us to a higher state. I don't personally agree with every sentiment John Lennon shares in the lyrics of Imagine, but I share his dream for a civilized world. That song was healing for millions of people that day.
There are countless times that a song has reached hearts in this way. There was the "Christmas truce," where Germans, British, and French joining together singing Christmas carols on the battlefield putting the battle on hold. The band continuing to play as the Titanic sunk. Perhaps it was Nearer My God to Thee as the legend goes, but regardless what melody was played, it ministered, soothed, comforted, encouraged...
Amazing Grace, It is Well With My Soul, Lean on Me, You've Got a Friend... All lyrics and melodies that encourage and heal in trying times.
We have a great opportunity as musicians to bring healing. This week of Thanksgiving, look for ways your music can touch another human being and encourage. The songs of Christmas can have a very special way of encouraging. Listen to them. Get in touch with their lyrics and share them with all who will listen. The heart of an artist isn't sales on iTunes, but the people who were touched by their music. Learn from Davide's act of kindness and impact the world with your music.
This month, I am going to post one of my own compositions and performances. I wrote this piece based on the ancient text, St. Patrick's Breastplate. It was orchestrated and recorded in Minneapolis by the Chancellors Quartet. I tried to create tension using the repetitive piano figure on which the piece was created which was then partnered with the driving percussion and orchestral parts. I've enjoyed hearing from people around the world who have been inspired by this text and the music. I hope you enjoy it.