The Silence That Words Come From is well underway. The Wednesday morning group had its fourth session yesterday and […]
Music has always moved and inspired me to write. I often use music as a stimulus in the workshops, but this year I wondered how having a live artist play for the writing groups would work. I invited Eriel to join us for 30 mins and asked her to prepare two short pieces.
For the first piece (Massenet’s Meditation) , I asked the group to just listen and pay attention to not only what they heard but also what they saw. From the moment Eriel played the first note, we were moved. I felt my heart burn with emotion, and the room filled with a deep, quiet listening. She carried us on a journey of notes – clean, wistful, sad, joyous – each strung together to share a story and evoke something in each of us.
After the piece, I asked the group to write about only what they saw – to be as descriptive as possible about what they saw, and to put aside what they heard for the moment.
Then Eriel, played her second piece (Lucio Dalla’s Caruso), and this time I asked the group to allow the music to move them and simply write as she was playing.
I was struck by just how much music can move us. Eriel played with such honesty, tenderness and complete open-heartedness that we could only be drawn in. She played honestly, with such deep emotion and vulnerability, and in doing so sharing not only the stories of the pieces she played but also her own story. One of the writers, Emily Robertson, described it as “alchemy” – the ability to take these seemingly separate simple objects – a piece of wood and strings, and human fingers – and transform it into something magical.
Writer Mavis Smallberg encapsulated it so well with the closing line of a poem she wrote inspired by Eriel’s playing:
“How can fingers and bow and strings
So grab the throat?”
Thank you, Eriel, for the gift of your music and yourself.
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