Music is Fifty Percent Listening

angel_musicMany of you know me as a musician. Some of you know that I am an entrepreneur and creative director. Some of you know that I am a workaholic and very passionate about what I am doing. But barely anyone knows what the world is like inside of my mind and my heart. No matter how acutely we listen to the intricacies of each others words and thoughts, there is so much that we do not know about each other. It is easy to make us stories and sing songs, but often the hardest part about connecting with the world is listening. Learning to truly listen to every subtle vibration.

I studied Thomas Merton and St. Anthony and I learned the secrets of the silence. I sat in silent circles listening and waiting for god to breathe through us. One of my most profound musical influences was a man named Max who lived in Mount Shasta. He taught me how to play the gongs and the prayer bowls, how to use them to “communicate with the angels”. He said that the angels love music because it makes them feel almost as if they are alive, as if they have skin and bones and breath and sensation like us.

He told me, that when I am channeling music, I am creating a conduit to the angels so that they can come and listen to what real human emotions sound like. He said that through my music they will understand love and pain, triumph and defeat, struggle and resolution. “But,” he said, and this was the most crucial part, “you must never fill the whole conduit with your sounds. Only fill half of it and leave the other half empty. In the 50% of silence, listen for the angels and you will hear them singing back to you.” When he told me that, it was like an LSD epiphany that tickled my DNA and reminded me of what I already knew.

Music is about fifty percent listening.

I spent years cultivating the stillness to listen to even the most subtle frequencies. Sometimes, I sing one song and then just wait and listen. When I am quiet enough, I can hear the angels singing all the time. In my heart, I am always holding space for the angels, I am listening to the earth and the birds. The earth is always singing. The challenge is to be quiet enough so that we can really listen to each other as if we were each other’s angels.

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