Today’s Word by Karl Olsen…

If you breathe, if your heart beats in your chest—you have music in you. What is a heartbeat if not the foundational rhythm of life? From every parent humming a lullaby to the newborn, to every toe that has ever tapped along to a persuasive rhythm, to every hymn of praise sung on high—music is universal. Forms, styles and modes vary from place to place, age to age, culture to culture but one way or another, there has ALWAYS been music.

But what is music? In one sense, it is physics—organization of duration and pitch. But a musical score isn’t the music itself; a musical score points the way toward the music already existing in the ether and longing to be made manifest in the world. Thus, music study and performance is no mere entertainment (though entertainment can be good!). To take up the endeavor of musical study is thus nothing less than a holy and devotional task, and a deep commitment to the gift of grace that music is.

On Thursday, July 20, we have a rare opportunity to experience the music of Chintan Upadhyay, a dear friend and colleague of Sheila Weidendorf, as he appears by Trinity by Sheila’s invitation, sharing his devotional musical path—that of Dhrupad.

Dhrupad is the oldest, “purest” form of Indian Classical Music, remaining relatively unchanged through the ages and free from outside influence. Dhrupad has always been a devotional music—the singer is always singing to God, whether in solitary practice or on an auditorium stage.

Chintan heads the Alembic Dhrupad Foundation in Gujarat, India, where Sheila has performed with him. Please join us for this donation only event, at 7 p.m., July 20, at Trinity. Here’s a sample of Chintan’s music: