This Monday morning, the refreshing, uplifting music of Patchouli and their Terra Guitarra (read more about this from Travis’ column) fills our office. The memories of their live performance were still fresh in my mind and flows like a creek down the bluffs near the Mississippi where they live in Maiden Rock.
What a joy it must be for all the music-makers out there, to give so intimately to others. They have the ability to transform a down-trodden heart into a heart full of hope and inspiration. For some, the magic of the music lasts a moment or two and, for others, it stays with them even after the last applause dies out.
This husband-and-wife duo brought such pure joy from their instruments as well as sharing the wonders of the world that inspired the rhythms, strummings, melodies and lyrics. As one might expect from a duo named Pachouli, they were quite grounded and had a mellow, reflective style but also gave off an exuberant, almost Latin, vibe. The wife was the bright-eyed, wide-smiling voice of the two. Pure sunshine flowed from her being as she offered up the back beat and accompanied her husband who took on the driving force with fingers a-flutter across his guitar. She brought another dimension to their songs by sharing how they were created. One song was inspired by a great loss. She told of when they got word that they had lost a loved one during a gig, after performing they drove several hours home, getting home in the wee hours of the morning. Her mind would not shut down, with thoughts of restlessness and loss. She went to her computer, numb and confused, the screen saver which she had never noticed before flipped through a series of pictures of plants, trees, detailed views of leaves and flowers, which she described as a green labyrinth. She picked up her guitar and began strumming the feelings that erupted from this experience. The labyrinth was a path back to herself and a way to make a little sense of all that had happened. There was a way to find hope in all the loss. Well, I don’t know if everyone at this performance, internalized her words and the music as I had but no matter, it no doubt struck a hopeful chord with all, whether they were able to recognize it or not.
Another story that gave vision to their music, was about competing and eventually jamming with frogs. They had been performing at a beautiful botanic garden in Florida, staged within a water feature in the garden. As the dusk turned to night, the frogs in the pond became quite boisterous, chirping and croaking their nightly chorus. The frogs became so loud, they actually matched the volume of this lovely couple. Instead of trying to compete with all God’s critters, they made room for nature’s music and began mimicking the frogs. In my many times over-inflated imagination, I could see the whole magic venue as it was played out through their song. And, as I listened to it again, on this manic Monday morning, the morning became less manic. The lovely strumming and visions of a fragrant botanical garden in Florida was like drinking from a sweet refreshing mountainside spring.
Thank you, to all the music makers out there! This world would be a much darker place without out you. Keep on the sunny side!
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