I talked to my daughter on the phone last night.  It was her first day at her school skiing trip and I noticed something in her voice during our conversation.  It was a voice replete with worry, sadness, boredom.  I asked her if anything was wrong but she, of course, replied, no, nothing’s wrong.  I knew there was but let it go, deciding it would be better to talk when she comes back.

The power of human voice (and dragon voice;-)

Our conversation once again reminded me of the power of the human voice. I believe that there is no other organ that can reveal as much about a person as their voice.  You can tell whether a person is ill or healthy, whether they are elated or depressed, whether they are energetic or tired just by their voice.  It can thrust us into the cosmos or plunge us into a bucket of ice cold water.  It can soften the hearts of Hades and Persephone or boil vengeance in the heart of Die Königin der Nacht.

However, I also find that silence can speak as loud if not louder than “audible” tones.  Werbeck called this “the dematerialised tone” and explained it as thus:

“this tone-being does not live in the tone, but as it were, all around it, between the tones…thus the tone-being is an entity which exists always…the voice, after all, is not a material thing that functions only in the moment of tone-manifestation and evaporates into nothingness between the individual tones; the voice has an eternal existence, and therefore one can make contact with it even when it is not manifesting itself.”

"this tone-being does not live in the tone, but as it were, all around it, between the tones..."

But one has to listen. And listening, it seems, is a lost art in our mechanical day and age.  But it can be attained.  If, as Werbeck says, you “practice  – in fact, one must work almost like a lumberjack; but one must also develop a spiritual instinct to leave time for the creative, to provide the conditions for the work which goes on unconsciously for the human being.  That is, one must be able to sing when necessary and keep silence when necessary.”

So next time you sing or play an instrument or listen to music, listen for the tones between the tones, for the space between the space.  Because, in the words of Debussy, “Music is the silence between the notes.”

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