February – “Labyrinth as Sanctuary”

All the elements that go into a labyrinth presentation contribute to supporting and enhancing the experience. Through our work, we transform a painted pattern on the floor into a container for transformative experience. It is a grand experiment, a kind of laboratory, in which we have many contributing supporters.

We took the time and trouble to work out the details of lighting and sound the night before this months labyrinth walk and the effort was well worth it. We are looking to create a setting to support a quiet gathering of community in the labyrinth. Low level  lighting is soothing and supports the transition from our busy lives to the interior journey of the labyrinth.

Antonia at the Piano

We have found that it is important to provide lighting for our musicians as well.  They need to see and be seen. Antonia was silhouetted  to emphasis the piano with a few sparkly lights added  just for the twinkle effect. Antonia Pigot is a vocalist, a music therapist and vocal teacher. She has a particular affinity for improv and she was very much in her element creating music to provide a container for the labyrinth experience.

Chanting into the cavity of the piano

Antonia began the evening using a looping machine to create several simple tracks on top of which she could then add a melody or harmony. By layering the tracks she was able in effect to create her own choir. A little added reverb and we were transported back to the middle ages, in a stone church with grand acoustics. Back in the day, they really knew how to build interior spaces that worked with sound. I had never seen the piano used as an amplifier but that was the effect when Antonia leaned into the open cavity of the piano and began to sing. It projected her voice out into the room in a most pleasant way. Later on she began to pluck the strings of the piano and play the keys at the same time. Fascinating sounds were coming from the piano. There were great contrasts in the music that I felt moved us though the jounney from pleasing and  reasurring harmonies to dissident sounds, to simple thumping heart beats. While some parts where challenging, the whole  represented a jouney with a struggle and a resolution and finally looping back to where she began.

Participant make an Arts Based Response to the Labyrinth Experience

Many participants were enticed over to the art tables where watercolours were set out. It’s a simple invitation to continue the labyrinth experience by doing a painting or drawing that flows and can capture the essence of the experience. We know that labyrinth experience is non-verbal and often images are a part of the experience, so painting and drawing are natural ways of extending the experience. However it is amazing how many people find the mire thought of painting or drawing to be more than a bit scary.

All it all, it was a most beautiful and satisfying evening!

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