Thursday, January 28, 2016

Full-throated Mixolydian

Full-throated Mixolydian, 7 x 5", mixed media
The fifth mode (going up the scale in C major) starting on G, is the Mixolydian mode. When I play the Mixolydian scale, I immediately think of ballads and the spinning of tales. It is conducive to self-expression. How appropriate then, that the fifth chakra is the throat chakra. This energy center in the body is focused on expression and communication (which includes listening).
    These aspects of expression, giving voice and listening have been much on my mind. Perhaps these are quite important issues in our world today where there is a lot of vocalizing about not be heard. Is anyone listening?
    At this same time, I am studying to be a bedside musician through the Therapy Harp Training Program, and so appropriate musical expression is part of my learning, along with the modes (and the chakras have come along for the ride.) This is a very creative pursuit requiring intuition to understand what is needed in any situation and then to create the music that can bring comfort. I love this aspect of improvising and helping someone on their journey--a Mixolydian ballad might be just the thing!
    My study has also introduced me to the concept of toning; using the voice to bring healing. The very act of singing is a life giving force. This makes me very happy to know, as I am constantly singing or humming when by myself. Often, when I am out walking, I realize that I am singing a song which deals with some issue that is rattling around in my brain.
     Recently, at my uncle's funeral, there was a slide show of photos from the length of my uncle's life. There were photos from early childhood and photos at least through this past Thanksgiving, where he gave us a final gift of leading us in song. My mother (my uncle's sister) died in 2004, but she showed up in many of the photos. Something that struck me was how happy she appeared in the photos where the siblings were singing. I think this was her greatest expression and, though she struggled with some memory issues and SAD, she was shining whenever she was singing.
    Let's bring healing to the world by allowing people to express themselves and by listening. We can also use our expression to promote healing and harmony in the world.

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