Music of the Heart

23 09 2014

I always tell musicians, whenever you perform for a large body of people, you must hear the real grand fundamental tone that comes from the people. You have to arrive there and go into a nice little area where you plant yourself and you try to hear that big sound, that harmony that everybody’s making- the way they’re talking, the laughter. I get the fundamental tone of all of that. Once you get that tone, all the things are going to fall into place because all of the people are just the harmonics.

What I do is I try to internalize that sound, and say ‘what does that feel like to me.’ If I feel it’s a positive sound, then I say ‘this thing could take me someplace else.’ I can give them a much greater whatever-they-need if I do this or I do that. If I feel hurt from there, what I do is change that around. The thing is this- somebody would say ‘everybody’s not going to respond to this.’ But if you can get a large segment of people in there just to be thinking very positive, then the person next to them is going to feel that! You try to get harmony in there. People always want to be in a surrounding where they feel people are positive. If you people are smiling, feeling great comfort, not intimidated, they can relax and feel no stress. So everybody helps each other out.

But you as an artist… What I’m talking about is an artist has to be really together. Spirit-wise, body-wise, mind-wise. You have to be in the best condition that you can be in. Or else you’re no good to anybody. It’s like a medical doctor telling you ‘I can take care of your cold’ and he’s sneezing and coughing all over the place.


Milford Graves



see also



patience, peace and purity

23 03 2011


Not mad rush, but undisturbed calmness brings wisdom.

44. God travels at a snail’s pace Those who want to do good are not selfish, they are not in a hurry, they know that to impregnate people with good requires a long time. –IHR, 2I.

45. Having flung aside the sword, there is nothing except the cup of love which I can offer to those who oppose me. It is by offering that cup that I expect to draw them close to me. I cannot think of permanent enmity between man and man and believing as I do in the theory of rebirth, I live in the hope that, if not in this birth, in some other birth, I shall be able to hug all humanity in friendly embrace. –YI, 2-4-3I, 54.

46.This is the path of ahimsa. It may entail continuous suffering and the cultivating of endless patience. Thus step by step we learn how to make friends with all the world; we realize the greatness of God-or Truth. Our peace of mind increases in spite of suffering; we become braver and more enterprising; we understand more clearly the difference between what is everlasting and what is not; we learn how to distinguish between what is our duty and what is not. Our pride melts away, and we become humble. Our worldly attachments diminish, and so does the evil within us diminish from day to day. –YM, I0.


47. Fearlessness connotes freedom from all external fear-fear of disease, bodily injury and death, of dispossession, of losing one’s nearest and dearest, of losing reputation or giving offence, and so on. –YM, 4I.

48. We must give up all external fears. But the internal foes we must always fear. We are rightly afraid of animal passion, anger, and the like. External fears cease of their own accord, when once we have conquered these traitors within the camp. All such fears revolve round the body as the centre, and will, therefore, disappear as soon as one gets rid of attachment for the body. ‘We thus find that all external fear is the baseless fabric of our own vision. Fear has no place in our hearts, when we have shaken off the attachment for wealth, for family and for the body. Nothing whatever in the world is ours. Even we ourselves are His. When we cease to be masters, and reduce ourselves to the rank of servants, humbler than the very dust under our feet, all fears will roll away like must; we shall attain ineffable peace, and see Satyanarayana (the God of Truth) face to face. –YM, 43.

49. The pursuit of Truth is true bhakti (devotion). It is the path that leads to God, and, therefore, there is no place in it for cowardice, no place for defeat. It is the talisman by which death itself becomes the portal to life eternal. –YM,. 5

50. just as one must learn the art of killing in the training for violence, so one must learn the art of dying in the training for nonviolence. Violence does not mean emancipation from fear, but discovering the means of combating the cause of fear. Nonviolence, on the other hand, has no cause for fear. The votary of nonviolence has to cultivate the capacity for sacrifice of the highest type in order to be free from fear. He recks not if he should lose his land, his wealth, his life. He who has not overcome all fear cannot practice ahimsa to perfection. The votary of ahimsa has only one fear, that is of God. He who seeks refuge in God ought to have a glimpse of the Atman that transcends the body; and the moment one has a glimpse of the Imperishable Atman one sheds the love of the perishable body. Training in nonviolence is thus diametrically opposed to training in violence. Violence is needed for the protection of things external, nonviolence is needed for the protection of the Atman, for the protection of one’s honour.—H, I-9-40, 268.


51. If we are to be non-violent, we must then not wish for anything on this earth which the meanest or the lowest of human beings cannot have.—Ceylon, 132.

52. Possession implies provision for the future. A seeker after Truth, a follower of the law of Love cannot hold anything against tomorrow. God never stores for the morrow; He never creates more than what is strictly needed for the moment. If, therefore, we repose faith in His providence, we should rest assured that He will give us every day our daily bread, meaning everything that we require. Perfect fulfillment of the ideal of Non-possession requires that man should, like the birds, have no roof over his head, no clothing and no stock of food for the morrow. He will indeed need his daily bread, but it will be God’s business, and not his, to provide for it .-YM, 34.

mahatma ghandi


technique or technology cannot replace emotions

20 03 2011

“If we study life today – in spite of the great progress of science, radio, telephone, phonograph, and all the wonders of this age – we find that the psychological aspect of music, poetry and art does not seem to develop as it should. On the contrary, it is going backward. And if we ask what is the reason, the answer will be that the whole progress of humanity today is in the first place a mechanical progress. This hinders in a way the progress of individualism.


It seems that we are restricted by uniformity, that there is no scope, you will find the same thing in the mechanical and scientific worlds. But in art especially, where the greatest freedom is necessary, one is restricted by uniformity, painters and musicians cannot get their work recognized. They must follow the crowd instead of following the great souls. All that is general is ordinary […] what is called uniformity has become a hindrance to individual development.” (p.98)


” When music has become commercial, its beauty is lost; it has lost much of its value.

There was a time in the East when every effort was made by the aristocracy of India to keep the art of music from being commercialised […] The musician was not restricted by his programme. He was left to feel by his intuition what the people wanted. He had to decide at the moment he saw them, and as he went on playing or singing he knew more. The chemical effect of the minds of the listeners told him what they wanted. So at the end it was a spiritual treat.

The secret of all magnetism, whether expressed through personality or through music, is life. It is life which charms, which is attractive. What we are always seeking for is life, and it is the lack of life which may be called lack of magnetism. If musical teaching is given on this principle it will be most successful in bringing about psychological results. It is on the health of the physical body, on thought, on imagination, and on the heart –which is often cold and frozen!– that the psychological power of music depends. It is this life which the musician puts through his fingertips when playing the violin, or through his voice when singing.

What the world is seeking, what human souls yearn for, is that life – whether it comes through music, colour and line, or through words. It is that life which everyone desires. It is life which is the real source of healing. Music can heal, if life is put into it. There is no great secret about it, if a person is able to understand the truth in its simplicity. When a person plays mechanically, the fingers running about the piano or violin almost automatically, it may create a temporary effect, but it soon passes.” (p. 100)




Hazrat Inayat Khan.

“The mysticism of sound and music”. London: 1996, Shambala Dragon Editions