Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Fifth Note by Susan L.

  My uncle is a tenor in a barbershop quartet. I've only heard him sing once at a church luncheon. As his group was performing, the blend of voices created an indescribable sound. I could feel the music pressing in on my eardrums. It became something more than simple exquisite, four part harmony.
  I spoke to him afterwards about it. He said barbershoppers call it the fifth note, a sound produced when everyone is in perfect pitch, balance and harmony. It's as though a fifth person was singing with them.
  Years ago while I was living with friends my journey with the piano began. They had a baby grand situated in a living room with a cathedral ceiling. The instrument and the acoustics were superb. The simple song "Chopsticks" even sounded extra special.
  It was where I began to develop an emotional connection to the music I was playing. While technically skilled, somehow I had never been able to feel what was being played.  Changes in volume, or expression, were only put in where my music teacher told me to. I now know the disconnect was because of the blanket of low grade depression or dysthymia that had wrapped my soul for most of my life. Thank God it is no longer there.
  As I sat before the polished baby grand, freedom inspired by something inside/outside myself began to grow. I began to experiment with the melodies, to add flourishes and counter melodies. It became something more than notes on a page. My heart's song began to unfold.
  A friend lent me the movie "August Rush". It's not one I had ever heard of before even though Robin Williams has a role. It's about an orphan child, a musical protégée, who has the ability to hear the music in all of creation. Man made city chaos becomes a symphony of sound and staccato rhythms. Blowing wheat in a field becomes an ethereal chorus of strings and flutes. The moon and the stars add their own sweet, sweet sound.
  It is an incredibly poignant and beautiful movie that stirred my heart and mind. More than anything it drove home my gratitude for the people who came before me; for those who gave me the opportunity to hear God's voice in the music. I want more. I want to hear the song He hears. I want to hear the sound of creation groaning.
  And God whispers, "Selah".
  "Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day." Ps 96:1-2

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