Maeve Louise Heaney

Merging Music and Theology

Music make sense of us

September 7, 2014
Maeve Heaney

DSC00106 Every now and again a song stops me in my tracks. The most recent was this one: Say something. I had to stop the car and listen. Even without knowing why: it simply held me, touching something I did not even know needed to emerge and be named. And in all truth I am still comprehending why, and just what it is this song touches in me. It’s a great song. I have used it in prayer and class. It has provoked some of the best dialogues even (or especially) among students with little faith background but much sensitivity to pain (take note, theodicy.) I’ll write about it one of these days, but today that is not the point of this blog – the point is another one: There is a whole world underneath the surface of music, that shifts and charges and changes the meaning of any words it carries; and it seems to me its more what sense music makes of us than the meaning we make of it. And it does ‘make sense’. Am I wrong? I ‘find’ myself inside this tune (or others) from time to time… without deciding to go there, or being aware of any conscious trigger. It is as real to me as anything I could think or write. And maybe that’s just it: music moves us. On my June retreat I understood that I needed to put things in place to keep music centre-stage in my life and research… the verbal world of theological discourse (and that it is what it is, very often) can very easily eat away the time that music needs in order to happen. Even when the research area is music:)! I know. So I decided I was going back to classes to keep the craft of music alive and growing (thanks Jimmi☺). And in the coming weeks I am going to try an offer you a least one piece of music per week – a piece I find myself in, or held by, or even understood (made sense of?). And let’s see where it leads us. I intuit, or even hope, that it may mark the real path of my research – the underlying and important map of what’s moving and where… about which my pen can then follow and explain, or ‘say something’ :), of worth, when the moment is right... We shall see.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the heads up on this song, Maeve. It’s one new to me. You’re right to draw attention to theodicy. I might use this in my classes on that subject. Encouraging to hear about the fruit from the June retreat too. We are being blessed by your latest album. It’s fitting theological work.

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