Last Friday evening, I was a guest musician at Betsy Rose’s Womansong (women’s sing along circle) at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley (see Betsyrosemusic.org). We began the evening with a calling song on the didgeridoo. Then Betsy sang to us in her inimitable style, songs that she as well as others wrote. We joined her for many of the songs. Early on, I played a meditative drone that began with a metta piece during which we asked everyone to send love to herself: may I be happy, may I be safe; may I be healthy, may I be at ease. We were creating a healing field.
More beautiful singing, rounds included. Listening is such a big part of singing together. I played on some of the songs and others I sang with everyone else. As the evening neared its conclusion, I played a drone and asked that everyone tone along with it. This is one of my favorite things to do as people’s voices sound better with the didge—the drone provides a throne for the voice (says Silvia Nakach, Director of the Sound, Voice and Music program at CIIS), holds it and brings out harmonies through its overtones. We dedicated the healing energy we created (or more accurately, which flowed through us) to whomever needed it. I also asked that in honor of the Aboriginal people from whom the didgeridoo comes, that we sing to rocks and trees and the land itself, a custom that used to be routine when they lived on their lands.
The room quickly filled with sacred sounds coming from deep within each of the women there. The healing energy, lifted our spirits and, I believe, lifted the energies of the planet as our vibrations tumbled out from the room and into the earth’s atmosphere.
Much gratitude to Betsy and to all the women who were there that evening.