Friday, May 6, 2016

Easter 41 Hum

A little fun thing I've done with performance groups is a vocal experiment. I've never actually ever used this in a performance, but I've always thought it could be really interesting.

It needs to be about 5 people, more is better. I ask us to stand in a small circle and hear a note in their head, but  not vocalize it yet. I instruct everyone to hold onto that note, no matter what they hear from a neighbor. When I give the signal, everyone is to vocalize on their note, not matter how much it clashes with their neighbor. I then signal for them to change notes and volume, conducting a sort of post-modern improvisational choral piece. With enough voices, even the ones that are discordant can simply add a color to the chord that, ultimately, isn't that unpleasant. As the voices move around and crescendo and decrescendo, it can be otherworldly.

Surely I've used this image somewhere in this blog before, but I'm going to use it here.

When Paul speaks of the "spiritual body" of our post-resurrection selves, I imagine those bodies to be something like sound. Sound is a curious thing, not solid in any way and yet able to affect solid things. We've all heard a car rattle from the bass turned up on someone's car stereo. We've all seen the films of a high note hitting a frequency that can shatter crystal. Sound can pass through walls.

Sound is what I think of when I read of the resurrected Jesus appearing within locked rooms or disappearing from sight after being recognized on the way to Emmaus. Solid insofar as he affects solids, but also hard to hold onto.

So I imagine that the full Reign of God (which is here and coming) is something like a bunch of voices, each finding a note and being committed to it so that together they make an otherworldly sound, a chord of unimaginable complexity and beauty, full of tension and release.

I imagine that in the resurrection, together we will hum a great, unimaginable Alleluia.

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