Holding hands


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South Africa (EFT)
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In a global environment where spirituality is still dominated by paternalistic religions, the question of what it is to be spiritual is often obscured.

My own quest in this brought me to an understanding that it is basically about a connectedness, flowing from inner experience. In terms of the "three dimensional conceptual" analysis of reality, spiritual awareness is a result of relating wholeness (subjective-Subjective) with the creative freedom of an artistic view of the world (objective-Subjective), resulting in the sense of the inner worlds of all that is, a sense that by its very nature, connects it all.

"Holding Hands" brings together music that reflects something of this connective spirit (or breath), which is not as open and minimal as "From the Mists," neither as expressive and sharply focused as "Blue Petals." It finds a certain harmony, a home-coming to what is inside, to what makes everything "alive."

Sometimes it soars into heaven, but sometimes it grounds us into the earth too. A male spirituality wants to define and "picture" the divine, whereas the male-female marriage forces us to remain open in whatever we imagine the divine to be. Definition brings exclusiveness, whereas the "relative-Subjective" potentially feels All that is, both high and low, both breathing in and breathing out.

In this experience, even a stone has a soul.

track nr Title description Duration
01 Cathedral Cave Live outdoor recording, starting in a sacred vein with organ, recorder and voice. Whistling enters, becoming more effervescent and fast-moving, then returning to the sacred space. 5:17
02 holy beauty Pad improvisation with voice from 2002. A holy moment. 02:10
03 enter Cello improvisation from "Cello Prayers." Music with supplicating humbleness. 4:54
04 Chicago Rail A solemn piece to a poem about a Chicago railway worker who died on his first day back to work, after surviving the battle fields of the second world war 3:09
05 awareness Strings are droning a sustained major chord to provide a bed of eternity to the cello which rediscovers each elongated note it plays, in renewed awareness 04:47
06 helderbergmagic A magic incantation of night sounds in the shadow of the Helderberg in the Western Cape, recorded live during an outdoor performance, 2001 01:30
07 Soft Smooth One of my early sound favourites: "soft pad" on a Roland XP10 synthesizer. Improvisation upon improvisation often brought new harmonic moments for the cello to dance with, full of delicate emotion 4:03
08 Soft One of the earliest explorations with "soft pad" during an intense time of financial struggle and lost love, yet soaring above the clouds. 7:11
09 hamlet loose theme From a soundtrack for a students' production of Shakespeare's "Hamlet." Here the main character is taking a stroll.. 2:38
10 awakening Improvisation with soprano Marina Coetzee, recorded in one morning in Pretoria East 03:46
11 gemoedsrus verlange A flute flies above a hovering bed of padded sounds in an optimistic mood, just as if it has found spots of clear sky after heavy rains ("inner peace, a longing") 04:02
12 heaven A suspended feel of peace. Cello playing flowing lines over an opalescent sea. 02:02
13 soft morning prayer Like an opening up towards something new.. soft pad sounds lifting the spirit gently 01:29
14 ode aan die stilte Live recording during a performance. An "ode to silence" with pad and voice 3:16
15 trumpet and cello rest A moment from "Yearning to be free" - a multi-media production about Chicago immigrants. Trumpet improvisation by Peter Bartels (in my mind, one of those many unknown musical geniuses in the world) 1:07
16 lament Another "cello prayer" - falling phrases symbolising humbleness and reservedness 2:30
17 Mountain Top One of my all-time favourite recordings, capturing something of the spirituality of the South African earth. A moment that came during a spontaneous outdoor recording session, with a dear friend listening 5:06