Jazz Vespers and a Shift in Our Soul
|01/31/2018||Posted by Jane under bits and pieces|
Bare winter branches were silhouetted by the full moon as we walked to Duke’s Jazz Vespers. Dwarfed by the massive chapel, the moon did its part to bring magic.
Inside the cavernous concrete chapel was quiet. Our whispers, and our footsteps, echoed.
One by one musicians took their place … adjusted their stands. They took sips of water. Their golden horns gleamed in the spotlights.
Intricately carved wooden figures looked on from above with stirring warmth and decades of wisdom.
The saxophonist stood, flipped his bright white shirt collar up and tied a golden tie around his thick neck. A tie, a collar, a neck, aspects of the instrument he would offer.
Jazz Vespers brings together the prayers, readings, and poetry of Christian vespers, with the deep spiritual traditions of jazz.
The first song brought a smile, and a few tears as it transformed the stone sanctuary into a music box. The magic of a tiny, delicate, porcelain ballerina … twirling on invisible gears.
Next was a welcome. On the night of the State of the Union, the speaker invited us to be present, and to sit with the State of Our Soul. And so we did.
As the evening unfolded, the music deepened.
A soft and gentle keyboard. Muted bass notes coming in. Words. Gentle. Powerful. Drums brushing … barely audible. Then the horns began to float in. The creamiest, buttery cake batter imaginable. Floating, melting, integrating into itself until one fold is indistinguishable from the one before. Each exquisite ingredient finding its place in the universe, echoing off of the chapel walls and down the isle … affecting each heartbeat, each soul in presence.
There is magic in the world. Magic beyond the trick of the eye. Magic that causes ones soul to stir. Magic that nudges one to ask for prayer … to step forward and light an altar candle for those who suffer.
There is magic. May we each be on the lookout. May we each have the courage to stand with it. Let it in. Let it shift the beating of your heart and the state of your soul.