Voices in Harmony

In the past week, I’ve received the gift of diversity in music by listening to a ten-piece brass ensemble, a symphony orchestra, and a chamber choir.  As my ears, my head, and my heart resonate with all the kinds of music I heard I’ve been pondering the connection between these experiences and being a person of faith.  One of the singers said to me, after I complimented her on the great sound her group created, that it is “as much about listening as it is about singing.”  As Dominicans we pay special attention to listening – for that is the root meaning of obedience. I can listen to music mindlessly – it’s simply background noise -- but I can also listen mindfully – trying to hear the different voices of viola, cello, French horn or the altos and tenors amid the sopranos and basses.  When I do that kind of listening, I am awarded with an “aha!” moment when the multiple layers stand out and then blend together, when I realize how rich and deep is the sound because all are working together, separate and united.  How do you and I open ourselves to deep listening?

Priscilla Wood, OP
Dubuque, IA


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