AUDIO COMING SOON

At the words, “Cypress tree in the garden,” Yuanwu was suddenly enlightened.
He went outside and saw a rooster fly to the top of a railing, beat its wings and crow loudly.
He said to himself, “Isn’t this the sound?” 

—Pacific Zen Miscellaneous Koan

Several weeks ago I attended a multi-media performance given by harpist Delphine Griffith, who with my daughter Rose recorded their version of the Pacific Zen Four Vows. Delphine had just returned from three months studying and playing harp in southern Ireland and Scotland. For me, the video, music and lyrics from the show resonated with the very heart of Zen: sunshine through rain, loves found and lost, cattle trails and seashore, scones, Guinness and whiskey …

It is a grand tradition in Irish and Scottish pubs for musicians to join jam sessions which often break up only when the sun begins to peek over the hayfields. Guitarist Jordan McConnell has engaged in such Celtic pub tours more than a dozen times. Here are a few of Jordan’s thoughts on that kind of amazing musical collaboration, which involves hundreds of songs over dozens of hours:

“We would be in the middle of a piece of music and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Something’s about to change, but I’ve no idea what’s coming up.’ There is this funny thing where people will be looking around for a key that will unlock a tune. Usually all that’s needed are a couple of notes at the beginning and the gate opens. Then my hand goes to where it needs to be and my mind just follows along. All of a sudden, the whole melody is accessible; it was in my body somewhere. How cool!”

From the introduction to Delphine’s SoundCloud account:

“I have no idea what I’m doing—but maybe somewhere along the way I’ll find something … and maybe it’ll resonate with you … and maybe you’ll come along for the journey.”

Some lyrics from one of Delphine’s Moss Collective songs, Pocket Hearts:

Kaleidoscopic patterns of seaweed, rocks and sand
The end of the Great Auk on the Kerragh Island
A cottage made of shells/fuchsia flower bells
Sand in our hair, clouds in our eyes
And the soft waves of the rising tide/the soft waves of the rising tide
We’re flying in by the seat of our pants/blown in by the wind
Fueled by chips, scones, butter, Guinness, whiskey and gin
Dancing on the tables
Stomping on the ground
In the pubs till 4 am that’s where we’ll be found
With our hearts on our pockets/with our hearts sewn on our pockets
With our hearts sewn on our back pockets