Song of My Beloved and Thelonius Monk

As someone who led worship music for many years (about 12 years), I was able to play what some would call “jam band music”.  In other words, there was a lot of embellishing and improvising during worship events with other musicians and singers.   I was used as a conduit of healing energy through music.  I miss those days at times.  I know that many people were “touched” during my time of music ministry.

“Song of My Beloved” is somewhat based on the principles behind the biblical book, Song of Solomon which is my personal favorite.

Someone else who was a worship musician was Thelonius Monk.

Thelonius Monk

I have always listened to music repetitively.  It’s like I listen to the same song or songs over and over again to embed them into my subconscious mind, often time for weeks.    It’s how I “study” music.  We should never underestimate the power of learning through listening.

It started out, I was listening to Miles as background music and then Coltrane.  I have been into Miles Davis for quite some time now.

All of the sudden, I heard this piano playing.  It sounded sort of like mine as of late.  I was blown away.  The piano was dramatically fluid, playful and free.    Bold.  Daring.  Unheard of.

So I opened up my YouTube tab to see that the album was “Monk’s Dream”.

“Who is playing the piano?”  I ask myself.  “His piano playing….so unique.  It’s like he’s escaping all of the expected lines of society and inhabiting every bit of space that isn’t already taken by the main beat.”

And I hear frustration.  And an expenditure of immense energy.  The dissonance is oddly welcoming.  It’s Thelonius Monk.  Strange hat, crossing hands, pounding piano and all.  And I’m in love.

Thoughts on Musical Dissonance

Most people do not like dissonance.  Their ear isn’t accustomed to it.

Dissonance is like the stretching of a rubber band.  You know how warm the stretched band gets and how it screams to be pulled all the way to the very edge?  Well, I used to do that with rubber bands.  Stretch them as far as I could, feel the heat, ease off on the tension and then let go.  It was just fun.  Something to do.  Daring.  Exciting.  Slightly dangerous.  That’s what dissonance is.  So when you introduce the exciting and slightly dangerous, what you really have is a genre full of action.  OK.  Think action film.  That is why jazz is actually quite exciting and terribly underrated and wrongly stereotyped.

Our society needs to be reminded that we are emotional human beings.   We are spiritual beings.

“I recommend that children and adults with attention or focus issues listen to jazz.  The elements of surprise are abundant!  In my opinion, these “little surprises” massage tension in the brain.  Jazz provides much needed stimulation, which is known to help those with ADHD relax.  I play jazz in my home a lot.   It’s my preferred favorite genre right now.  I even raised my boys on Miles Davis….”  — Angie Mack Reilly, musician

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