“Music is the language of the spirit.” –Khalin Gibran

    “Music is the language of the spirit.” –Khalin Gibran
    This past month I have had an opportunity to attend a couple of concerts that have lifted my spirit and transported me to another place, a place of beauty, strife, waltzing clouds, joy and loss.
    Since the first concert, the opening performance of the Fargo Moorhead Symphony, I have had flashes of music leapfrog through my conscious thoughts.  They start with an old French melody, “Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques.  Dormez-vous? Dromez-vous? Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines! Ding, daing, dong, Ding, daing, dong.”  I sing the song to myself and I am happy.  
    I remember that my aunt had an old children’s record player at her farm and when I stayed there in the summer, I would take it out along with like the one single record that was tucked inside and listen to the music over and over again.
    I tried to remember music in my home. I know I had records and a record player when I was a teenager. I know my dad and mom had a hi-fi with lots and lots of records.  My dad loved to sit and listen to music.  But I do not remember music being a part of my life as a young child.  In fact, my most vivid memory of music as a child was at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. The youth choir was singing.  I was a part of the choir.  I loved to sing. I sang loud and off key.  The nun who was directing the choir asked me to step off the risers and sit in the pew.  
    I wonder now if my family would have been a musical family if I would be a different person today.
    The last concert I attended was a concert with two brothers who grew up in a very musical family.  In fact, as young boys they joined four generations of family members and toured. The Abrams Brothers performed Bluegrass, Roots and Rock music at the Fine Arts Center in Marshall. The brothers are only 20 and 22 years old.  They literally rocked the house.
    Bluegrass is uniquely American music…and these two young Canadians really brought home the true traditions of Bluegrass. As they stomped their feet and brought their instruments to life I closed my eyes, and instead of sitting in a comfortable chair in an auditorium, I was sitting in a meadow among a stand of maple trees. The leaves had already turned a blaze orange and the yellow leaves of the giant oak trees behind them whispered.  I saw the two boys, one with a fiddle tucked under his chin and the other wielding a guitar. The magical sounds of music filled the air. One would play the melody and improvise around it while the other played the accompaniment. A simple nod of a head and the boys would switch accompaniment and melody. They were jamming away and totally lost in a language that they had created and were willing to share with me.
    As Khahlil Gibran wrote – “Music is the language of the spirit.  It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.”