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Some philosophical words about music and man.

I am happy and proud to present myself in this moment, being invited by my friend and colleague Andrew Hodges, whom I came to know through musical happenings and people that once led me to England.

To be personal, as far back as I can remember, music has been my best friend, or one of them, and the stars on the heaven always represented perspective insinuating stability or equilibrium, especially in critical moments of my life. 2 friends, really, that always stay, hooray!

Having worked with music in different ways for quite a while, I have found however, that music is good for being more than ’just’ a friend: it has an incredible ability to reach and influence people, across culture, age, sex, language, opinions, philosophies, religion, even diseases and mental disabilities. I therefore chose to go into therapy work.

If you don’t mean ’music of the spheres’ or ’music in nature’ (like water, wind, etc), it takes a human being to create music, as well as to perform it, bring it on. And what do we use then? Attention, our senses, our feelings, our skills, and not to forget when doing therapy work: intention. It is said that the brain is never as active as when you perform music. Good for the brain, good for us.

We are human musical beings: from our inner bones’ harmonic beauty to the interplay and cooperation of our inner organs, senses, our movements, not to forget the experience of joy this beautiful sound can create in us, again providing good health (endorphins, and so on...). In your daily life, or at work for instance as a teacher, you search for a good rhythm. You act, you have a break - a pause, you act again. And, what is it with the tone of your voice that makes me understand what your words conceil? What is it with music that can give you peace in mind, comfort, energy, tone down an argument or even create bliss and moments of harmony and common understanding in a big crowd of people?

Our language is full of musical metaphors, often different in different languages, sometimes similar: When you say ’Ah, here is a good athmosphere’, we in Norway say ’ what a good tuning here is’. Both languages talk about ’resonance’ when it comes to understanding., or ’it sounds good to my ears’. And it’s interesting that you have the same word for ’playing’ an instrument and ’playing’ like children’ – we don’t, but we have a nice word for ’love’, called ’kjærleik’, meaning ’care-play’ or ’loving-play’.

I am looking forward to exchanging experiences, points of views and perpectives alongside reports and research in this forum, and, who knows, maybe learning to know some of you – human meetings are always valuable.

I have great respect for science and the stringence and reliability it claims. At the same time, experience is never to be underestimated!

To me, music is my life’ exploration, and therefore I also take great joy in improvising, letting go of rules and expectancies that I was taught at the Norwegian Music Conservatory (it’s really in the name...), singing and playing like I am not supposed to, but in a manner that comes from myself. I am really greatful for learning what I learned at the academy, but also daring to ’let it go’. The time sometimes come to unlearning, with the purpose of and in the sense of freeing the creative energy any person has. (At the Conservatory we learned mainly to reproduce.) This letting go can be cricial, also for a professional musician, in order not to stiffen in anxiety for ’wrong notes’.

We are  (in my opinion) all musicians, so let’s not forget how to really play!

Friendly regards from

Kirsten Wiingaard Grønn

in icy Norway

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