By Lynda Shadbolt
Pythagoras of Samos (c. 570 – c. 495 BC) was an ancient Ionian Greek philosopher and a master mathematician. I heard Robert Holden, a British psychologist and author of many books, talk about Pythagoras in regards to music.
Pythagoras said “the highest goal of music is to connect one soul to their divine nature.” Music isn’t just about entertainment and notes. It’s about connecting with that part of yourself that is divine.
Pythagoras also said “learn to be silent, let your quiet mind listen and absorb.”
I was thinking about these quotes when I attended the Boreal Concert at The Haliburton Highlands Brewery (HHB) a couple of weeks ago. The concert was put on by the Haliburton County Folk Society (HCFS) and we were outside under a tent. It was the first “event” that I had attended in over a year and I was excited, and also a little nervous. I just haven’t socialized that much in the past year.
Of course, it was all fine and I had a great evening.
Boreal came onto the stage and their emotions were right up front for all of us to see. The last concert they had performed together was here in Haliburton at Winter Folk Camp in 2020 about a week before the province went into lockdown. They were incredibly grateful to back in Haliburton, and also to be singing together again. We the audience just sat back and soaked in their big wide open spacious hearts as they sang.
At one point I, and many of us I’m sure, were teared up. Boreal talked about a project happening in Stratford where someone is collecting COVID Stories and turning them into songs (I hope I am remembering this correctly).
Boreal sang a song about a 90-year-old man whose wife was in a nursing home and his story of not being able to visit at first, and his hope for her to come home for Christmas. It made me think of my own parents and in-laws and the challenges we have had trying to support them from a distance. I listened and thought of the millions of stories that people have from this time in our lives. We will not forget this.
But, I also thought of the power of music to bring us together, to connect us and to tell our stories. Whether you are a performer or an audience member, something is happening that is beyond words, when we listen. In some way we connect to each other, to the music and to something greater than ourselves. Perhaps it is beauty. We all can use as much beauty as we can get these days.
HHFS is continuing to bring great music to the HHB tent this fall. There are Friday evening and Sunday afternoon concerts, and on Saturday, Sept. 18, Kobotown is returning to Haliburton (Drew also performed and taught at Winter Folk Camp). This will be a rocking night of music and laughter and energy. It will fill your soul right up!
For all of the up to date information on the Folk Society concerts you can go to their Facebook page and their website.