TOPAZ Issue 2 / 2001
Welcome
The World Mosaic of Sound
A Template Seminar Centre
Design for an Animal Sanctuary
The Science of Intelligence
A curious examination in physics... or evidence of spiritual intelligence?
Film Review - Chocolat
Immunity boosters
Desiderius Erasmus
The Refuge Garden

World Mosaic of Sound

Sound and music have a vital importance for every one of us. This is apparent where speech is concerned, for with the gift of speech linked to our ears and mind, we are able to communicate meaning and feeling and share the consciousness that makes us uniquely human. You may be even hearing the sounds of what you are reading inside yourself at this very moment. For many, sound tuned to pitch, rhythm and harmony - the fabric of music - is also a necessity of living. Music can be the inspiration and invigoration of youth, the link to treasured times and memories, the invoker of feelings beyond the capacity of words to express, or a solace or sanctuary from the stress of living.

It is the enigma and causes of all this that has stirred an international endeavour. The World Mosaic of Sound is a young network of musicians from all parts of the world who have all been pursuing for many years the big question: what is music? And further, where does it come from and what are its purposes and uses? We have diverse backgrounds in musical training, careers and styles, ranging from professional musicians to those simply with great love and enthusiasm.

Before people made instruments there was the first instrument - the person themselves and their natural gifts of thought, feeling, knowing and response. Within this capability of human response, there is sound. And within the potential of sound there is the possibility to give expression to the passion and awe of life. For Plato and Pythagoras there was the "music of the spheres" and the sound of celestial harmony. For religion there is the music that connects by ritual, ceremony or communion to shared belief and sustenance, and offers tribute to the gods or God and causes of life. Each country has its traditional music that connects to its heritage, shared values and the nature of the land from which it springs. For young people there is the anthem, style or songs that give identity to that generation.

In all of these instances there is one central fact - music as a means of connection to some core property or essence - that cannot always be described or explained by words alone, but which can be experienced and felt within the music.

Music can also cause much in its listening. We have all experienced music that lifts us up or makes us feel well, and there are more intriguing examples also, such as the use of music in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, as witnessed within Oliver Stone's film 'The Awakening' or in recent research where it has been shown that the choice of music can enhance mental agility in school children.

Our researches have led us to the realisation that there is a whole new template for music to be discovered, exploring not only new music but also what music can do.

The Human Musical Instrument

It has been said of many great musicians, whether great conductors, soloists or contemporary artists, that the essence of music lives with them. Jacqueline du Pre was reported to improve the quality of music being played, simply by her presence and what that presence carried and conveyed to others. It has also been said by composers, including for example Paul McCartney in a 1991 interview, that music somehow "comes out of the blue".

The threads of this enigma have led the World Mosaic of Sound to focus on the inner conditions we make in ourselves a most fascinating research. This inner 'ecology' creates the environment, the home and conduit through which music can happen - from its unheard origins into sound itself.

More than skill or technique, it is the internal place we are coming out from, why we do what we do and what else we bring to it that is all important. It is this, after all, that makes an inspired performance. When music "happens" there is a natural empathy and harmony, not just in the sound but in the three-note chord made between the cause of the music, the musicians themselves and the resulting sound.

Samplings of new approaches to making music...

In the following, we try to give short insights into some of the ways the World Mosaic of Sound works.

Tuning

One of the new approaches we have developed relates to tuning. All musicians tune their instruments but what about the tuning of the musician him- or herself or tuning to what it is they are attempting to play, or tuning to be in harmony with other players?

This simple concept has profound implications, in appreciation of the fact that as humans we can tune the instrument of our faculty to an incredible variety of frequencies, feelings and qualities, from the rich template of human possibility.

This has opened for us new possibilities in music, for example:

  • Music that represents the natural rhythms and frequencies of the different parts of the human design, such as the bones, the blood and nervous systems.
  • Music tuned to the nature and frequencies of the colour spectrum.
  • Music specifically composed to convey specific natural qualities, such as balance, peace, kindness, order.

The freedom and choice to find, select and give expression and value to specific essences from the rich field of possibilities that the diverse nature of life represents.

Combinations and Permutations

Music, language, colour, astronomy - all these facets of life have fundamental and natural mathematical laws.

The division of octaves into seven in sympathy with the spectrum of colour, the division of the alphabet into three sets of seven consonants and five vowels, the five-fold pentatonic scale in relation to Chinese healing, the modes of the ancient Greeks…
Drawing upon these extraordinary correlations, we have developed new compositional approaches to enable, for example, the translation of words into music, as a starter aid to new music.

Call and Response

This is an approach that aims to draw more on the instinct and intuition, to draw musical response from the semi-conscious and unconscious human faculties.

Call and response is fundamental to what we observe in life, as seen in the response of birds to the nearing of dawn, or the haunting call of the whale. Exploring this area of instinctive response to an initial call leads to new and inspirational ways to compose melody, harmony and musical patterns.

So, these discoveries have really opened up some of the meaning and uses of music in a very inspiring and pioneering way.

"The Release of Brilliance"

The origination of the pieces on our new CD began in September 2000 and represents a sampling from over 43 recordings made over the course of 6 weeks, with musicians working in live and intensive response to the central theme of "the release of brilliance", which is to do with the release of skill, art and qualities in a person.

The music on the CD encompasses many flavours, drawing on classical, traditional and modern instrumentation and voices - and for the most part the recordings are 'first takes' aiming to capture the original spirit and essence of the music.
This CD was released in July 2001, together with a new release from the World Mosaic of Sound in Denmark entitled "In the light of the Blue Emerald".
The World Mosaic of Sound holds concerts and conducts workshops on a range of themes including The Template Appreciation of Classical Music and New Approaches to the Experience and Appreciation of Music.
Members of the World Mosaic of Sound are also active in assisting and working with other Template Network projects, including children's education, counselling and stress management.

Nick Woodeson, England
on behalf of the World Mosaic of Sound.

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