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Mar
10
2010

The viola da gamba and the human voice.

The Savalls playing Diego Ortiz
Tuesdays have become the days that I walk through the shadows of Vancouver. The best kept secrets are revealed to me on Tuesdays.

Tonight I crossed the water to the North Shore to hear Jordi Savall, a rare and precious appearance by one of the most gifted players of the viola da gamba in the 21st century.

The preview talk literally struck a chord with me as he answered questions about his 1697 handmade 7 string instrument. In the history of musical instruments, the viola da gamba is prized and most admired for  resembling the human voice in all its modulations. Each string is the range of the human voice as it develops from infancy to old age. Jordi Savall further goes to say that the human ear responds to the music of sound before it understands the words that are spoken.

As I settle into the preview talk, fully captivated by the gentle voice of someone I have admired for more than half my life; I review my Tuesday, and all the others I have spent now in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver over the last year.  I marvel at the gift of homeopathy and how it has ever so inconspicuously stirred the vital force towards more ease of being for so many who grew up in the cacophony of anger, chaos, frustration, violence, neglect, abuse, which ultimately led them to find refuge in substance misuse, so far from the harmony of music and the soothing peace it brings even in the most epic crescendos.

Yes, they live with their shadows, they are the keepers of all the secrets we choose to ignore or neglect to acknowledge for fear of creating more pain, and yet, so many times I saw the spark in their eyes, the light which is a true testament to the same spirit that animates the very core of all beings for much greater things. I take from their stories their strength and count my blessings. I am grateful to receive in my space the load of a suitcase carried much too long to lighten the effects of secrets which are the keys to humanity, to the oneness we all share on a vibrational level.

The voices that recount the stories of violence are incongruent with the imagery that comes to mind, strangely like a lullaby of finely tuned instruments, maybe there is regret, resignation, the lull  is a distant echo of a past long too present signing the lives that are for most perhaps 1 hundreth of the human experience.

As with the song of the siren I am enchanted by the acceptance and constant craving to return home.

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