Devon Faith & Belief Forum: Sacred Sounds
Devon Faith & Belief Forum, who won a grant in our August funding round, have sent in an update, detailing all about on the Sacred Sounds music event they held earlier this month.
On Saturday 17th January, a group of 24 young people, family members, and community members participated in the colourful and uplifting interfaith music event, Sacred Sounds – Community in Unity, in the Ballroom at Lupton House, Churston Ferrers.
This was organised to include representatives of different faiths sharing sacred devotional music from their own traditions, and workshop leaders exploring the medium of sound and rhythm as a universal language which can bridge communities and peoples.
We began with an exploration of the spiritual music of tribal cultures from Doug King Smith, including a demonstration of Didgeridoo, Mbira, Tibetan Bowls, and Mongolian overtone singing. Soundscapes were created and the young people and family members invited to close their eyes and explore the sacred properties of the sound itself.
This was followed by an exploration of Jewish melodies from different branches of Judaism with singer Ami Lee, where the young people were taught to sing along in Hebrew and Yiddish, and then an opportunity to participate in call and response Hindu Devotional singing, accompanied by harmonium and percussion instruments, provided by the Exeter Hindu community.
After the young people had enjoyed a vegetarian buffet lunch, workshop leaders from Seal Hayne Kagemusha Taiko group brought in 18 large Japanese drums and led a lively drumming workshop. They explained how the drums were used in Buddhist culture, and introduced the properties of rhythm and entrainment as forces to unify and bring people together.
After another short break, Ayali, a Hindu teenager from Plymouth, performed a rich and colourful display of traditional Hindu dancing, and taught steps and hand gestures for the whole group to learn and perform together.
To close the day, we were brought together by a professional voice coach, Susie Ro Prater, into a finale of Gospel devotional harmony, and a melodic mutual prayer for unity.