by Allen Hackworth
After the Roger Williams Concert, Loni said, "There are not words to describe how that music made my body feel. "
I replied, "But you wish you could find the right words."
"Yes I do."
"I know how you feel; I feel the same way."
I have always been moved by music, and I have always felt a kinship with musicians. I too would like to find the words to describe how the music made me feel. Yet I know this can never be done. Written and spoken words, as wonderful as they are, can never be a substitute for the universal language of music.
One factor that enters any highly powered, quality, musical performance is genius. The genius of the composer, the performer, and the listener combine to titillate the sensual ear. A thrilling climax is sustained for the duration of the musical magic, leaving one moved, possibly to tears, but certainly to awe and joy.
Music, being sensual, being received by the ear, also stimulates the imaginary eye and skin. Music becomes creamy, tart, delicious, smooth. It caresses the body. Music's magical fingers touch the back of one's neck, or the music floats inside the brain, coloring tissue. Music commands the soul, "Be thou animated; gyrate to the living pulse of the music. Feel the metamorphose as I change you into a bird, a flower, an electron, a kiss."
The metaphor of water has been used to try to describe music. We say, "The music flows." It does, and it cascades, ripples, crashes, pelts, rains, and rushes. It can evaporates and becomes as thin as vapor.
Music transports me from a mundane world to a location of beauty and truth. Does some great music rank as high on creation’s ladder as a bear, an elk, a robin, a frog, a butterfly, a mosquito? Perhaps men and women show their divine kinship to God in great musical creations and performances. If so, participation in uplifting music as a composer, performer, or listener becomes a spiritual as well as a physical activity.