Antonia Pigot, vocalist and music therapist, is very keen on the labyrinth and she is interested in focusing her skills with intent to provide a rich environment to support participants’ encounters with the labyrinth. She carries around a borrowed copy of the Lauren Artress book titled The Sacred Path, thumbing it for potent metaphors to incorporate into her musical offerings. Antonia is primarily a vocalist but plays the piano and flute as well. With the aid of a looping machine she creates a choral effect by laying down simple tracks and then replays them and builds layers of harmony overtop. In essence she is able to creates a choral effect, all by herself.
Antonia began the evening offering a short tutorial on vocal toning with a few simple warm-up exercises. This was so the participants could embody the music by chiming in with their own harmonies. If walking the labyrinth is a form of embodied prayer then adding the breath is to fully embody the experience. I tried it myself and found that it busied yet another part of my mental awareness, bringing my attention more fully into the present. I also found the qualities of my attention to the music were increased as I was listening more closely, discerning what my next note would be. Within this beautiful weaving of harmony through the labyrinth, I found peace in this place, with little room for angst or worry. I believe the darkened and candlelit room also added to the mix.
I noticed considerable activity at the painting tables. People sat and painted contentedly by candlelight. One woman was thrilled with her painting, saying she has never been able to do anything like that before. My notion is that the setting, the music and the experience of the labyrinth lulls us out of familiar fears, creating a supportive atmosphere which fosters creativity and allows it to flow more freely.
We had the word bowl out this time and I was drawn to a particular purple strip of paper. I turned it over and smiled as I saw the word “surrender” . Yes, Im listening! The funny thing is, Vanessa and I made up those words some time last year and I was struck by the power of the suggestion. I pulled another word just for insurance -”Harmony”. In the midst of Antonia’s harmony I was reminded that that is what we are all called to create in our lives. Harmony is not just the pleasing sound of notes and tones but refers specially to the relationship of those notes one to another. I was pleased that even me, a non-musician, was able to contribute my notes in harmony with the whole evening.
We never know the extent to which people encounter our labyrinth offerings, but as the participants linger afterwards to talk, pitch in to help clean up, and leave with smiles on their faces, I have to think it adds something of value to the world.