Beauty Incarnate

I've been singing choral music since I started singing in ninth grade, slowly making my way deeper into classical music and then opera. Even during my whole 23-year onstage career with New York City Opera, I was singing choral music in churches: getting up at what seemed like that crack of dawn after singing two performances the day before and finding my place in the choir. 

All music is sacred to me, and while I can't say I have a definitive belief in the god department, I can say this: I believe in music. It's my tether to a transcendent place that I know is real, but you'll  forgive me if I don't give it a label. I'd rather let it be. For me, that's what the Muse wants.

So much of the choral music I have been privileged to sing is beauty incarnate like the piece by Morten Lauridsen above. And while incarnate is a religious word, how about we forget the association and simply let the music enter in through the top of our heads and find our hearts? Don't we all need a bit of that right now?

Meet you on the other side. Then find your way here.

Abandon entouré d'abandon,
tendresse touchant aux tendresses?
C'est ton intérieur qui sans cesse
se caresse, dirait-on;
se caresse en soi-même,
par son propre reflet éclairé.
Ainsi tu inventes le thème
du Narcisse exaucé.

Wildness surrounding wildness, 
Tenderness touching tenderness, 
It is your own core that you ceaselessly caress, ... as they say. 

It is your own center that you caress, 
Your own reflection gives you light. 
And in this way, you show us how Narcissus is redeemed.

TRANSLATED BY Matthew Dufresne