The World of Music, as Love

This site is Integral, and this site is Musical. 

More than that, though, Music, to me, is the way Beings sing of Love. The mystic Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935) wrote this amazing passage, one I would say is fundamentally integral, about the various songs of Love that can be sung. What follows is my slight modification of a translation by Rochi Ebner (1996). I offer it here as a framework for the various musicians and pieces of music that I'll be adding to this section of this website, which it self is Shir El, the Song of God.

There is a one
who sings the song of his soul,
and in his soul he finds it all,
full, complete spiritual satisfaction.

And there is a one
who sings the song of the Nation.
He leaves the sone of his personal soul,
which he doesn't find wide enough,
and not settled in ideal serenity,
and attaches himself with tender love
to the totality of his community/nation
and together with her
he sings her songs
he suffers her pains,
and he takes delight in her hopes;
he ponders high and pure ideas
about her past and her future,
and he investigates with love and the wisdom of the hear
the inner content of her soul.

And there is a one
who widens his soul even further
until it expands and spreads beyond the boundary of the community/nation
to sing the song of humanity;
his soul is continuously enlarged
by the genius of Man
and the glory of his divine image,
he aspires towards Man's universal purpose
and anticipates his higher wholification,
and from this living source
does he draw the entirety of his thoughts and explorations,
his aspirations and his visions.

And there is a one
who rises even further than this in expansion
until he joins himself in unity with all of existence in its totality,
with all creatures
and with all worlds,
and together with all of them he gives forth song;
and this is the one
who "engages daily in a chapter of song"
who is promised that he lives in the emergent world.

And there is a one
who rises with all these songs
together in one unity,
and all fo them send forth their voices
all together they play their melodies,
and each pours vigor and life into the other,
the sound of jubilance and the osund of joy,
the sound of celebration and the osund of exultance,
the sound of rejoicing and the sound of holiness.

The song of the soul,
the song of the Community/Nation,
the song of humankind,
the song of the world,
all flow together within him
all the time, at every moment.

And this completeness, in its fullness,
rises to become the song of holiness:
the song of God,
The song of Community/Nation,
in her mighty glory and beauty,
in her mighty truth and magnificence.

This is the Song of God,
a simple song,
a double song,
a three-fold song,
a four-fold song.

The Song of the Songs of Solomon
to the King to Whom wholeness belongs.

 

 
 
 Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827

Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827

Ludwig van Beethoven

This is no academic exercise. There will be no deep history or psychoanalysis of this guy. To me, he's at the top of the mountain. The selections below illustrate why I think that.

Beethoven's String Quartet, Op. 131, Takács Quartet

 
 John Coltrane, 1926-1967

John Coltrane, 1926-1967

John Coltrane

This guy was a jazz astronaut, going places nobody had gone, simply because they couldn't. His steps were, indeed, Giant.

John Coltrane's Naima, performed live in 1965

 
 Eric Clapton, 1945 - 

Eric Clapton, 1945 - 

 
 
 Imogen Heap, 1977 - 

Imogen Heap, 1977 - 

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton is my favorite guitarist. I'm not going to get involved in comparisons to others, or claims of "the greatest". I'll just say that his approach to the blues, both as a guitarist and vocalist, resonates deeply with me. This resonance dates back to my first recollection of hearing his searing sounds in Cream in the late 1960s. I found the strains of "Sunshine of Your Love" more than unusual -- they were downright unsettling. 

As you'll note from the selections below, I lean toward those songs that seem to most deeply express his suffering in particular and human suffering in general. And therefore my suffering. As Kook wrote, "There is a one who sings the song of his soul, and in his soul he finds it all, full, complete spiritual satisfaction. These are, to my ear, the song of one who sings the song of his soul.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps, The Beatles (feat. Eric Clapton)

 

 

Imogen Heap

I first encountered Immy when she was in Frou Frou, and have followed her devotedly since then. I've always loved musicians who could handle every task facing a musician -- singing, songwriting, instruments, production -- and she is that and much more. She's even worked with engineers at MIT to develop gloves that serve as an interface with her rather musical computers. Immy's web site here.

Just for Now, Imogen Heap (live, a capella, 2006)