I am delighted to have been invited by Geoff Mussard, Development Officer for Wandsworth Schools Music, to put together another cantata to be performed by schoolchildren of our borough.
In 1925, the great Swiss psychoanalyst, Carl Gustav Jung, visited Taos Pueblo in New Mexico where he met Ochwiay Biano, chief of the Native American Indians living there.
When Biano told Jung that he and his people considered the Whites to be ’mad’ - uneasy, restless, always wanting something, Jung asked him why he thought the Whites were mad.
Biano answered that it was because they thought with their heads, adding that this was seen as a sure sign of madness among his tribe.
Jung then asked him to explain the manner of his people’s thinking.
Biano responded by pointing to his heart.
This response plunged Jung into profound introspection.
In all his work Jung was keen to emphasize the importance of balance in human nature.
He felt that modern humans rely too heavily on science and logic and would greatly benefit by integrating spirituality and appreciation of the realms of our unconscious.
In his autobiography, ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections’, he offers the following caution:
‘Overvalued reason has this in common with political absolutism: under its dominion the individual is pauperised’.
Put simply this may be understood as ‘Get the heart right - the head will follow’.
The famous American songwriter, Sammy Cahn, put it this way:
Never trust your dreams
When you're about to fall in love
For your dreams may quickly fall apart.
So if you're smart,
Only trust your heart.
These views are very much in accordance with my own and so, with this in mind, I have sought to offer the children of Wandsworth a sequence of pieces in a variety of styles which I hope may be more thought-provoking than didactic.
Above all I have tried to make the music of ‘Heart Garden’ enjoyable and entertaining, both for performers and audience. from the programme notes, Barry Booth, June 2006.
|I believe the aim of education should be to teach us how to think, rather than what to think. Truly artful teaching will awaken the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards. We must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden our horizons. The more things we learn to love, the more we can become interested in, the more we are able to enjoy, the more we can feel indignant about, and the more we will have left when anything happens.|
|A simple prayer for recorders. While listening you are invited to contemplate your personal aspirations.|
|Score||Stuff and Nonsense|
|Gossip, rumour and tall stories concerning inner city life.|
|Score||Song of the Rose|
|A young girl, precariously perched on the brink between childhood and adult responsibilities, must reconcile the essence of her inner self with her outer being, while facing the changing expectations for herself in the world.|
|An exuberant romp for young recorder players.|
|Score||Song of Shakespeare's Sister|
|While we can feel pleased and proud that our present-day society does not deny the advantages of learning to women, this song reminds us that this was not always the case.|
|A rousing, rallying song which encourages respect for all animals. The audience is invited to join in during the rap section!|
|Score||Everybody's Heart Beats the Same|
|A 'sing-along' closing item. What better way to finish our feast than with a generous helping of cheese?|