Saturday, October 12, 2013

Reflection and Recording of Subway Chant

There's a delightful young man who attends Parables named Baxton.  For nearly two months he quit his job so that he could focus all his energy on creating beauty and sharing it directly with the world.  One of the main way he would do this would be to stand alone at 7am and softly sing Gregorian chant to busy New York commuters. As the Parables community focuses its energy on bringing beauty, connection, and love to places of anger, despair, and rejection in our neighborhoods, we were instantly struck by the poignancy of Baxton's daily practice.  So we decided we would join him. When my alarm when off at 5am to get ready, I cursed the idea and wondered if anyone would actually showed up.  But by the time I arrived at the 14th Street L tunnel by adrenaline had gotten me fully awake and I was pleasantly surprised when four other Parablers stepped out of the crowd of commuters to stand alongside the wall. IMG_20130920_074301 (1) Baxton led us in a call and response of chanting traditional latin prayers.  And though we began with trepidation, soon singing the simple melodies and ancient words together brought us a peace unexpected for performing in the middle of Manhattan rush hour.  And though the crowds would rush back and forth in front of us, from time to time people would stop and take pictures, or recordings, or just smile at the sight five twenty somethings singing ancient prayers in a concrete tunnel before dawn.  And just maybe, they felt blessed as they began their day.  I know I did. You can read Baxton's explanation of what we did here, and listen to a recording at:  

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