Walking in Linford Wood this morning, it was such a joy to hear the blazing chorus of birdsong, and among it all the unmistakable sound of a determined woodpecker tapping in the trees.
Birdsong seems to me the sound of life continuing as usual, the forces of nature and energetic cycles of the universe triumphing over turmoil. And at this time of year, as spring arrives in the forest, there is daily new life, fresh growth and ever-present hope.
Hope. And how precious is that, as we find ourselves embroiled in incessant change and entangled in our transient insecurities?
Just as birdsong can convey hope, connection and continuity in an uncertain world, so too can our music. As we sit to play at the piano, we tap into the song of generations, and there is a sense of connectedness which can be palpable.
Continuity: because whether alone or playing for others, we can explore and keep alive the music of former generations. Their music is a bridge across time and space, allowing communication, empathy and a sense of connection to endure and to thrive.
All music belongs indelibly to the great human narrative, but we are required as players and listeners to step onto that bridge in our imagination, discerning and joining with the voices of the musicians of old, sharing in and recreating their thoughts, experiences and emotions.
New music, whether our own improvisation or the compositions of others, joins humanity’s own Dawn Chorus, fanning the flames of mankind’s song until they grow into a deafening crescendo of hope and lasting connection.
I appeal to readers and all my musician friends: let’s each of us embrace positive intentions as we play the piano, eschewing doubt and keeping vanity at bay, ensuring that our music is empowered by a sense of connection and continuity.
Let’s be the creators and sustainers of hope.