29th March

Joyce Morris

“I have found playing the piano very helpful during lock down. I can concentrate on and be thankful for the beauty of the music.”

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
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.

Psalm 92.1-4

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.

Creator God
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

This piece has a gentle song-like melody and the lower parts are the accompaniment.
I have chosen this piece because it doesn’t have a title and the listener can imagine for themselves what it describes.
I like the way that it has a section that rises higher and higher, giving a sense of hope, and then falls away to a quiet feeling of peace at the end.

Reflection written by Marian Needham