Sunday, March 6, 2011

Northern Reflections

The Northern Lights, interpreted by the Tlingit of Alaska as the dancing of human spirits, came alive for me in a glorious concert Gem and I attended last evening. We accompanied lovely new friends to a concert given by the Thompson Valley Community Orchestra. Themed 'Northern Reflections', it featured gorgeous music from Norway, Finland and Russia; Jean Sibelius, Edvard Grieg, Gustav Holst, Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov, Peter Tchaikovsky, Alexander Scriabin. The guest pianist was a brilliant, passionate twenty-one year old young man named Clinton Denoni, who last year won the Canadian composer's class at the B.C. Festival of the Performing Arts.

The music, under the direction of the wonderfully talented Norris Berg, came alive in banners of unfurling green light, each note possessing its own geometry of grace. I felt nourished as I listened, my soul fed. I could feel the distinctly Northern reflections of each piece; music seeking the kaleidoscopic transformation of the ever-shifting beauty of mountains, of snow, of liquidity and ice, of dark and light.

It occurred to me as we drove home, that the whole evening was a form of prayer; an intimate dialogue, gathered and given. For just as a dancers pray by dancing, and musicians pray by playing music, we human beings have a continuous, ongoing need for prayer through the rituals of communing.

(Clinton Denoni, wonderful young pianist.)