Music and Restoration

Playing with mud
June 19, 2017
Arthur Nooren
Arthur Nooren – An introduction
June 22, 2017

Music and Restoration

There is a cliché I grew up with – music soothes the savage beast. It is actually a misquote. Here is the original, with a few following lines.

‘‘Music has Charms to soothe a savage Breast, To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak. I’ve read, that things inanimate have mov’d, And, as with living Souls, have been inform’d.”

It comes from a play, The Mourning Bride, by William Congreve.

One of my parents and a number of cousins were or are musicians. I was not, until several years ago when I learned how to play autoharp. Beautiful, simple to play, underappreciated instrument.

And the restoration connection is? I can only speak for myself…

Ecosystem restoration and the accompanying radical turnabout in paradigm is demanding. Its rewards are innumerable, and it is demanding at all levels of my known existence. For this great change that begins within me, I need resources to replenish, redirect, and teach me. Music is a key component for all the above.

My repertoire is primarily gospel, bluegrass, old timey, Appalachian, and folk. Stories and melodies reach past my intellect and into deeper levels. Music can draw a response of praise to our Creator. It can call me to repentance (turning), or help me express grief. It can put steel in my backbone to face down my demons. It can connect me to those different from me, dissolving any sense of “other.”

There are some songs that do not resonate with me at all, some that engender an outlook that is unhealthy. I won’t sing them. Some songs I play and sing on behalf of others, whose stories need to be heard.

For those who might be interested in a sample of songs that help me move toward ecosystem restoration work, or keep me going as I learn and stumble and pick myself up:

Love This World by Ben Eppard
What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
The Great Correction by Eliza Gilkyson
Let the Lower Lights Be Burning by Philip P. Bliss
One of These Days by Earl Montgomery
Bruised Orange, and Paradise, both by John Prine
Well, Well, Well by Bob Dylan and Danny O’Keefe

By Raye Hodgson

Related forum: What songs do you want to listen to?

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