Meditation for Ash Wednesday is my newest piece for solo bass clarinet. You can listen to it here:
Today it is Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent. Lent is a period of fasting before the Christian celebration of Easter.
For many people, the idea of Lent and to fast is to give up something. «What are you giving up for lent?», people might ask. To me, the period of Lent is not about giving up, but about choosing something else. Choosing silence, choosing being mindful of nature, of bird songs and colors, the smell of winter. Sometimes I call Lent a «festival of inner senses.»
Meditation for Ash Wednesday
I made this song just a couple of days ago, while walking around a local pond. As you can see, it was a foggy day winter day. Eeverything seemed grey and indistinct. But then I became aware of the thin layer of snow on the straws, the frozen berries and the small glimpses of colors. As I immersed myself in the tiny, beautiful details I realized how the fog helped me to focus on things I might have overlooked. I shut out something to find something else. This became my Ash Wednesday meditation.
So instead of asking: «What are you giving up for lent?» let us be curious about what we are looking for.
A Small anniversary
While I am writing this, I realize it is five years since I began making music videos. At that time I experienced a writers block that lasted for a very long time. I gave myself an artistic challenge, to write a new song for each Sunday of Lent, make a video and share it. No matter how small the idea or imperfect the video – part of the challenge was to lower my shoulders and seek a more playful attitude to creation. This has resulted in a project I call Soundvisions, where I play with images, found sounds and and composing.
So, as you understand, for me Lent is also a time for artistic renewal, for giving up pretensions and looking for the divine source of play.