It is good to give thanks to the Lord,Psalm 92.1-4
to sing praises to your name, O most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
There is something about the act of making a drawing, a painting, a sculpture, a garden – any tangible piece of art or craft – that can focus our attention totally and lift us out of ourselves and our surroundings. It can absorb us in a creative process for hours at a time.
Music, like drama, is also an act of making but, unlike a painting, a performance only exists in time and sound, shared in the moment. Only if it has been recorded can it be experienced again exactly as before. Each fresh performance will be expressed differently: here a bit slower or faster, there a bit louder or quieter, and perhaps a beautiful phrase shaped in quite a new way, in endless creative possibilities.
The last year has been a time of isolation, anxiety and loss for many, but being able to switch off from that for a while to make or listen to music can be an act of refreshment, hope, and imagination that reconnects us creatively with our Creator. Joyce has recorded one of Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words for piano to share with us.
who made the heavens and the earth
and saw that they were good,
guide us in times of change,
comfort and inspire us
secure in your steadfast love in the morning
and your faithfulness by night.
One of Mendelssohn’s ‘Song Without Words’ performed by Joyce
Reflection written by Marian Needham