Randy Granger

Randy Granger
In the Chihuahuan Desert near the Organ Mountains, New Mexico

Friday, April 10, 2009

Taizé Service, Meditation and Thoughts

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This time of the year I always find myself in a contemplative and somber mood. It could be the 60mph spring winds, the years of attending a Catholic school and being an altar boy well in to my late teens or the fact that it always gets cloudy on Good Friday. It can’t be coincidence that Christians, Jews, Pagans and ancient Greeks all mark this time of year with some sort of ceremony or service. On some calendars it is the beginning of the New Year. Easter always falls on the Sunday nearest the full Moon following the Vernal equinox. Whatever the significance I find myself combining two areas of my life this season; music and service. I will take part in a Taizé service at a local place of worship. Taizé is a type of service that “emphasizes silence, light, and above all the meditative weaving together of prayer and music.” It was started by a monk, Brother Roger, during WWII in Burgundy, France. He offered refuge to Jews and later German POW’s and began an inclusive ceremony with the other monks. Brother Roger would pray in the woods as to not bother his non-Christian guests. That alone is remarkable.

Taizé services have become popular all over Europe and the US for their simple concept of meditation, silence and the music. Candlelight is the only light used along with some inclusive prayers and chants. Tonight, I will be the music. Going back and forth between Native American flutes, the Hang and singing I will be able to use my tools and talents in a way that is exactly like I had been searching for. I had approached the music director of the church several months ago saying I wanted to have some sort of music and meditation hour where people could come and go and that there would be no applause or performance per se. He forgets that I mentioned that when he, I and the new minister met to discuss this Taizé service. Point is that it seems the consciousness and intent attracted what would be best for everyone, and I’m really grateful. Check my Calendar if you want more information.

Being a professional musician involves so much more than chasing recognition and awards. Making a living means doing commissioned pieces, Busking, getting paid for individual downloads or listens on Rhapsody sometimes .06 at a time. It adds up. I’m learning to expand completely my own idea of what success means and understand that my opportunities are unlimited—something I actually affirm every day. So one week I’m playing a Taizé service (and getting paid), later this month I’m playing the annual meeting of an Industrial Heating Equipment association at a resort in Albuquerque, three days later the Gathering of Nations Powwow and at least three albums worth of music to record, release and promote. But, for tonight, I will gather all the skills and magic that has led up to now and uses my music in the truest way I know to bring comfort, healing and peace.

Happy Easter, Passover, New Year or however you mark this season.

Here is a video of an unrecorded song Hello Daddy. Soon to come....

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