I’m still glowing from something extraordinary that happened last week.
Every so often, something happens that takes you out of the daily grind and reminds you of your existence within a much larger world. I’m sure you can think of your own experiences of this, and I’d love to hear them. For me, these Somethings have often been related to music. I’m fortunate to enjoy a life filled with music in various incarnations, and to be among what I suspect is a minority of people whose passion and hobby is also their career and livelihood. And while daily exposure to anything is bound to make it feel more routine and perhaps less immediately thrilling, I’m pleased to have been reminded that music can still push all the right buttons!
So, last Thursday I witnessed (and played a small part in) a concert that brought together singers from across the city, internationally known singers and instrumentalists from Europe and Asia, and students from two schools in the city. A melting pot of cultures, colours, backgrounds, personalities...
It was a cracking history lesson – the real story of what happened when European explorers landed in Goa in the 16th century. Far from imposing their music on the natives, there was instead a ‘fusion’ of cultures which created a whole new musical tradition. We could learn a lot from that. It was thrilling not only because the music was so wonderful and so superbly performed, but because of what it stood for. At a time when we’re often more conscious of what separates us from others than of the things that unite us, we’re seriously in need of things that bring us back together. And to see people from every side of the city singing these jubilant songs so enthusiastically was marvellous and moving.
I hate to mention the C-word, but with only six weeks to go we musicians can’t help but think of Christmas. It’s a busy time of year for us – not least because it’s the one time that many people will go near a church or a concert hall to hear all those old-favourite carols and to enjoy a good old sing. Here, again, music brings us together.
It’s a power that, in all our many and varied lives, we’d do well to be open to, whatever our respective musics might be.