Words may help you understand something. Experience allows you to know. Yet there are some things you cannot experience. So I have given you other tools of knowing. These are called feelings. Hidden in your deepest feelings is your highest truth. Feelings are the language of the soul." - Conversations with God, Book I
Language is a fascinating, funny thing. Kind of like the multiple sharp or flat key signatures in a brand new piece of music: daunting, complex, mysterious even frightening. But decipher the code, break through the mental barrier and pretty soon, those menacing symbols arent half as cryptic as they first seemed. Language is much the same thing. So you might assume that sharing ideas in multiple dialects wouldnt be the easiest way to get your message across, right? Ah, but this isnt conversation as we have to come to know it - this is a unique and magical process. This is the realm of music.
Throughout my life, the sheer power of the simplest words put to melody have struck me. When even the silliest spoken nonsense can take on a surprising new dimension sung within the framework of a pop song, a powerful lyrical message is perhaps unequalled in its ability to provoke a passionate, emotional and even intellectual response within the listener. But more surprisingly, these same words, when sung in languages we wouldnt be able to readily discern in their spoken form, create time and again a very real and appropriate response even though we cant consciously explain why this is so. Again, the wonder of music.
With this in mind, and after exploration in our earlier work of liturgical Latin themes, Anael and I sought out several new ways to heighten this form of communication. Her first choice was the Hebrew language, the perfect language, as it has been called, to deliver a key theme on Language of the Soul, "The Tower of Babel." This biblical tale of the ambitious but foolish Hebrew people tells how they attempted to construct an altar to the heavens in order to greet their God. Unfortunately, the latter wanted no part of this scheme, and confounded the tongues of His people, causing each to speak what sounded to the others like utter gibberish. Without proper communication, there could be no unity, and ultimately, the Tower would never be completed. This event is considered, by Biblical standards, to be the origin of all the languages we now speak today. Anael delivers the song in English, interspersed throughout with Hebrew prayers. The intro sings: Here are the heavens where reside our Fathers. An interesting turn of events is proposed in the last verse, which suggests that the tower of Babel was in fact a spaceship... a hypothesis I actually find quite plausible.
Come Raggio di Soleil is actually a mixture of 3 languages, and derived from a famous Italian aria written by Antonio Caldara (1670-1763). This adaptation uses some of his original text, substitutes soleil (sun) for the original sol, and then completes each phrase with two words in English. A complete translation would read As the rays of the sun, soft and serene, deep within. Performed with mantra like stylings, the piece unravels with the greatest of ease, the flowing Italian prose bringing that sun into our hearts, painted with all the majesty of a Michelango fresco. Hearing Anael sing this melody continues to stir me deeply, and when the harmony kicks in in the 2nd verse, the effect is total bliss.
Throughout LotS, there are references to different periods over the past two thousand years, and each in its context reveals aspects of humanitys perceived connection to the Source. Different periods of our history have of course spawned varied perspectives on this marriage with the divine, but taken objectively, there is a a common and binding thread of hope, trust and blind faith in a greater and all-encompassing force. And still today, with all this history behind us, can we honestly say that were any closer to a precise explanation of this divine connection? And is it even in our best interest to have that information at this stage of our evolution? Theres one thing I know for certain. The journey is often more interesting than the ultimate destination, and something tells me that this particular voyage is one that we simply must take, perhaps many times! I like the idea that theres some things we just cant explain. Its healthy to trust in something far greater than ourselves. You could call it the essential humbling.
One of my favorite lyrical approaches is to create a conflict and subsequent resolution that circulates back and forth throughout the song. Even when the plight of the poet seems to portray desperation and loss, there will inevitably be an overcoming, a triumph or a decision. This is a natural extension of my own personal philosophy, but is also a direct mirror to the resiliency of the human spirit. Without trials and tribulation, there can be no overcoming, just as without darkness, we would know nothing of light. Often, the simple act of creation itself can steer a song in another direction. Take A Kindred Light. It begins with the protagonist bemoaning her fate, questioning her very purpose and in general, not very well at all. But something magical happens. As the music rises in the chorus, she sings Alleluia - alleluia - meet me in the rain - show me what I crave... The very sound of these words lifts her spirit, and soon, she looks to other quandaries, other challenges, forgetting her own small miseries, and remembering the greater scope of things...
A few of you may know that Anael is of Francophone origin, born and raised in Northern Quebec. (although youd never know it hearing her sing!) Several of the songs we recorded for Light of Refinement were actually written in French by Anael many years ago, but re-written with different lyrical perspectives when we began collaborating together. One which simply could not be changed is her haunting ballad for peace entitled Hymne a la Paix, and presented here as Anaels first recording in her maternal tongue. With striking simplicity, it outlines and welcomes a dawning age of newfound integrity on earth.
The second piece performed in Hebrew is Chir Haschirim, (Song of Solomon) from the Bible. As often happens with ancient literary texts, (especially when Mathematical formulas are involved, as is the case here) the English translation of this famous work just didnt seem to do the original justice. Thus, we decided to print only the Hebrew version in the booklet, allowing the listener to hear the true vibrations and energy of the sounds, uninfluenced by discernable words. Written as a love song between the Hebrew people and their God, it has been referred to as a lullaby for adults, and the challenging intonations of the language simply melt away with Anaels honey-like delivery, rendering it instantly accessible to even the most casual listener.
As mentioned earlier, the Language of the Soul is feeling. In spite of the irrefutable power of words, there will arise situations when they just dont suffice. Even the greatest poets have been left grasping for words on occasion, and as well, we cant forget that much of our environment speaks to us in a language uniquely its own, far from verbal and often quite obscure. Mimes have called - arcanely rhythmic... in Who Made Thee Flesh refers to these forces of nature. Every abstract concept - time, truth, rhyme - each demands a greater awareness, a higher state of consciousness to make their acquaintance. And behind each, a door leading to an intimate recognition of the Ultimate Creator, the fountain of gold...
These spirits of ours have been scattered far too long - throngs have stirred and lent renewal to our birth...
Change is now. Change is instantaneous. Change doesnt procrastinate and wont put things off. We are in a special age. Never in the history of mankind has the level of goodwill among fellow humans been so high. Never before have we reached such a significant global vibration. We are being reborn into a new beginning. We have learned from past errors. We have glimpsed at our ultimate destinies. We are turning inward and outward at the same time. We are knocking at the gate.
- Bradfield, February 2000
©2000 Nurtured Spontaneity Publishing