A Soul's Journey
Experiences of life can be seen as a journey - one of lessons, maturity and purpose. This music tells the story of a soul’s brief excursion to Earth, each episode representing significant stages of growth. The theme, representing the soul (figure 1) is constant throughout, albeit somewhat altered. It is presented in various contexts as the soul experiences the various circumstances of its journey, learning and growing from each. The context that the theme is presented in varies from episode to episode – they are figurative depictions of various stages in a soul’s journey. Each episode does not fully resolve, musically. This depicts the infinite state of learning, and a soul’s journey.
Figure 1. The theme.
Episode I: Gestation (0:00)
The constituent parts of the human are coming together, and the theme is eventually presented in its first, peaceful context. The harmony is being constructed – beginning as melodic dyads. The theme too, is under construction and gradually takes form. This is a type of ‘pre-development’. Fragments of the theme and its harmony are scattered throughout, with variations, and eventually come together. The opening motif is the theme’s harmony presented ‘unassembled’ – stripped to melodic dyads (the upper clef in figure 2)
Figure 2. The harmony unassembled.
A baby first looks around in wonder at all these new things, then must be educated about earthly ways, which can be difficult to make sense of. As humans, we must learn to survive and adapt to life on Earth. As a result, we often tend to lose our connection with the pure, perfect soul that we are. However, it is never lost completely. In this movement the melody –representing the perfect soul – is always constant and does not lose its true nature.
The theme is first presented by solo piano. It is then harmonised with increasing parallel minor seconds and is ‘buried’ beneath disjunct incoherence. The dissonant harmony represents the first experiences of human existence. Gradually the confusions – in musical terms, dissonances – are phased out, revealing a presentation if the main theme in a coherent, pleasant context. The soul has found itself. This ends with a somewhat unresolved transition to the next episode
Episode III: Growth (9:04)
The theme emerges from the initial – perhaps somewhat confusing – early experiences of life and is now in a new, pleasant, inquisitive state. The soul must adjust to a new state but stay true to itself, and understand that some things that were taught, may not have been correct.
Episode IV: Conflict and Drama (10:40)
Some highly emotive events in life come and go. To depict these somewhat darker aspects of life a larger ensemble is used – string sections as opposed to solo instruments, sound effects and percussion. The fighting, the tears, the loss and all the pain come to a disturbing climax. Then, as if creation knows this soul has had enough, at about a choir escorts the soul out of the darkness and the proverbial light is seen. At the end of this episode the melody emerges, unbeaten, and the soul enjoys a newfound peace.
Episode V: Maturity (15:08)
The soul has been through the darker aspects of life and has matured as a result, realising that sometimes one must experience what it is that they are not, in order to fully understand what it is that they are. However, this soul is still growing.
Episode VI: Reflection (18:47)
The soul reflects on past experiences with an understanding that all is balanced. The theme has undergone confronting events and must reassemble itself. This episode ends with an unexpected moment, acting as a transition to the next episode.
Episode VII: Finding Thyself (20:38)
After critical reflection, the soul realises that all experiences of this excursion, painful or not, facilitated the expression of purpose, and to reveal one’s true nature. The soul realises that all experiences, pleasant or otherwise, have served the realisation of the soul’s identity.
Episode VIII: The Journey Home (22:09)
All is complete for this Earth experience and it is time to embark on the journey back to the spirit world. The accompaniment here consists of a “6-Pair Tone-Row” - all 12 tones grouped as six dyads, resulting in harmonic progression. The use of all 12 tones represents all life-lessons coming together.
Figure 3. The repeating dyadic harmonic progression of Episode VIII
Each episode so far has ended ‘unresolved’ as a transition to the next episode, depicting a continuing story. The same is true for this episode, with an unresolved return of main theme. This depicts that the story remains incomplete…