Monday, November 21, 2011

(From "Random Reflections") Music to Move the Soul

If any of you dearest readers are anything like me, then you like music. I personally enjoy all kinds of music. I listen to pop when I feel like going insane (or just nodding my head in an Egyptian-like way to a catchy beat). I listen to country (here is where many of my friends groan), and it's fun and easy to play on my guitar. I love Broadway show tunes from musicals like Phantom of the Opera (my favorite) and Les Miserables (my second favorite). I like classical music including titles like "The Prayer," or "Time to Say Goodbye" (and including artists like Josh Groban or Charlotte Church), and also am slowly, thanks to my sister who lately has been listening obsessively to Frank Sinatra, growing to even like oldies. 

Thus it naturally follows that I like going and seeing music performed. I have attended many a concert of my music-playing cousins, and have watched many of their halftime shows for marching band (both high school and college). I have seen my top three favorite musicals performed professionally (you already know my top two favs; number three is Wicked). And, although I have been to few, I love seeing artists in concert. And I recently had the opportunity to see a very special artist in concert, by the name of Eric Genuis.

Eric Genuis
In case you haven't heard of Eric Genuis, he is an enormously talented pianist and composer. He travels the country - indeed, the world - performing many, many concerts a year. He performs anywhere from alongside the Slovak National Symphony to schools, prisons, and parishes, as well as for audiences which have included Hollywood stars, Pope John Paul II, and royalty.

More than his renown, however, is the music that he both plays and composes. He writes music so as to move the soul - that is his goal. On his website he has a quote from the ancient philosopher Plato which really tells what music really is, and what Mr. Genuis strives for in his music. The quote reads: "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order and leads to all that is good, true, and beautiful." 

And believe me - hearing his music truly does move the soul. During his concert, I found myself totally mesmerized, drawn into prayer, and moved to tears. In hearing him, you listen to music like none you have listened to before, and it touches something deep within you. You are shown a glimpse of what true beauty is like.

If you have not heard of Eric Genuis or heard his music, I encourage you to check out his website. Listen to the clips available on the site, and hear some of his uplifting music for yourself. I also encourage you to check out the websites of two of the musicians who performed with him at the concert I attended - violinist Liesl Schoenberger and cellist Shannon Hayden. Both of them are incredibly talented musicians, and so was the vocalist Chelsea Morris (for whom I could not find a website).

In case I don't write another post beforehand, have a Happy Turkey Day! Eat lots of turkey and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie! I for one will also enjoy my glorious week off!

Give thanks!
~Stephanie

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