Meditations for a New Year's Day
What Is Meditations for a New Year's Day? Meditations for a New Year's Day is many things to many people. It is evocative piano music for any time of year. It is an interfaith experience of the winter holidays, combining Christmas, Chanukah and music of many cultures in a single celebration. It is familiar tunes like What Child Is This? and Auld Lang Syne, and more obscure songs like the Bolivian Navidava Puri Nihuaand the Sephardic Ocho Kandelikas. It provides a meditative atmosphere for walking a labyrinth, for healing work, for any kind of reflection. It is folk music in the spirit of Ralph Vaughn Williams and Aaron Copland, with virtuoso piano arrangements. It also has moments of Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, David Darling, Jacquline Schwab, J. S. Bach and Claude Debussy. It is haunting and joyful, tender and tempestuous and, at times, silly. Meditations for a New Year's Day is unique. Complete Playlist of Songs heard in Meditations for a New Year's Day LABYRINTH Part I: Spiraling In 1 Once In Royal David's City Once in Royal David's City Coventry Carol ? Bring A Torch, Jeannette, Isabella What Child is This? ? We Three Kings of Orient Are Soul Cake God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen 2 Chanukah! Chanukah, Oh Chanukah S'vivon, Sov Sov Sov? ? Mi Y'Malel Rock of Ages 3 Navidava Navidava Alle Psallite Cum Luya ? Brincan Y Bailan! Ocho Kandelikas by Flory Jagoda Part II: Centering 4 The Question for David Darling, after "Cello Blue" 5 Where Do I Find Freedom? (Thumb Piano) for the African slaves and their descendants 6 Where Will I Be Tomorrow? for Charlie Parker, after "Parker's Mood" 7 Where Do I See My True Reflection? for Claude Debussy, after "Reflets dans l'eau" from Images Bk. I 8 Where Do I Find Peace? for Bill Evans, after "Peace Piece" 9 Where Do I Find Love? for Jacqueline Schwab, after "The Young Widow" & "My Cape Breton Home" by Jerry Holland 10 Where Do I Find Joy? (Dueling Gavottes) for J. S. Bach, after Gavotte I from the E Major violin partita & Gavotte II from the D Major cello suite 11 The Response for David Darling, after "Cello Blue" Part III: Spiraling Out 12 Dancing in Midwinter Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day In the Bleak Midwinter 13 Auld Lang Syne To Drive the Cold Winter Away Deck the Halls Auld Lang Syne The Parting Glass 14 Bright Morning Stars Bright Morning Stars I'll Fly Away My Lord, What a Morning! (from the 34-page CD booklet) How It All Began The day before New Year's Eve, in the Town House of Peterborough NH, volunteers are carefully cutting electrical tape. They are recreating the labyrinth that was laid into the floor of the Cathedral de Notre Dame at Chartres, France, at the beginning of the 13th century. As the old year turns into the new, people in Peterborough walk the Town House labyrinth, carrying their questions, preoccupations, and prayers. Old people. Teenagers. Couples. People who come alone. Mothers carry their babies, or attempt to contain small children who desperately want to run! They all move inward along the spiral path. When they reach the central rosette they may find, in each of the little alcove "petals," a point of meditative stillness. And, as they spiral out again, something has changed. As the year 2005 turned into 2006, I improvised on piano along with these silent walkers. Their spirits fed into my fingers. I spent the next ten months crafting these improvisations into form. I recorded Labyrinth at WGBH studios in Boston, on the evening of November 3 and the morning of November 4, 2006. My goal was to recapture the atmosphere of that original sacred space, and to make it's spontaneous music available to everyone. I give you Meditations for a New Year's Day. Make this journey your own. From the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, Dec. 7, 2006 Music for a Labyrinth, and for the season By Jane Eklund The music is lovely and haunting, both new and familiar - a reinvention of memory or, as in a labyrinth, a transformation of memory. It's just right of the season, with it's mixture of Christmas, Chanukah, and Solstice music, and it's New Year's theme of death and rebirth. Imagine music that takes the shape, not of a maze, that tricky quagmire, but a labyrinth, a path that leads you inevitably toward a center, and then just as inevitably out. "Mazes lose you, " Eve Kodiak writes in the liner notes to her new CD. "Labyrinths help you find your way." Kodiak, a musician and kinesiologist from Temple, NH, found her way to a new project when she improvised on the piano last New Year's Eve. She was on stage at the Peterborough Town House, where the famous Chartres labyrinth had been recreated on the floor of the meeting hall. "I played holiday tunes and wove tem together, and there was something very profound about it," she remembers. The music, the labyrinth, the people walking contemplatively through it, the light of dusk filtering through the tall windows, transformed the hall into a sacred space. Kodiak returned the following day and played some more. And then, over the next 10 months, she put together 75 minutes of music arranged in the shape of a labyrinth. The result, a CD called "Meditations for a New Year's Day: Reflections on Christmas, Chanukah, and the Solstice" has just been released. Kodiak will perform it Saturday at 7:30 PM at the Pine Hill Waldorf School's Auditorium in Wilton, and at 7:30 PM at the Peterborough Town House. "Labyrinths transform you," Kodiak writes in her liner notes. "In the Middle ages, those who could not afford the trip to the Holy Land could instead make a pilgrimage to a cathedral. Walking it's labyrinth to the center, they spiritually entered the Holy City. The labyrinth is also the womb of the Great Mother, and to walk it's intricate folds is to experience a birth." What is the shape of a labyrinth? Walking one has three parts: following the path in, settling in to the center, and following the path out. Kodiak's musical labyrinth is also divided into three parts, which she calls "Spiraling In," "Centering." And "Spiraling Out." When entering a labyrinth, the idea is to focus on a particular question or preoccupation. In the center, you open yourself up. "I think if it as emptying out and letting the universe take over," Kodiak says. Walking out is a re-entering of the world with new information, which you may not even have processed yet. "Spiraling In" has three sections. A medley of Christmas songs, including "Coventry Carol," "Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella," and "We Three Kings of Orient Are, " make up the first part. The second section is a medley of Chanukah songs - "Chanjukay, Oh Chanukah," "S'vivon, Sov, Sov, Sov," "Mi Y'Mamlel," and "Rock of Ages." The third section, titled "Navidava: The Migration" is a medley that, as Kodiak writes, "celebrates some of the myriad aspects of Lain culture as it migrated over different parts of the world." "Centering" pays homage to various composers, classical, jazz, and traditional. Kodiak performs riffs on music by David Darling, Charlie Parker, Claude Debussy, Bill Evans, Jacqueline Schwab and Jerry Holland, Bach and the African "thumb piano." "The labyrinth form is a template for problem-solving," Kodiak writes. "As we begin to walk it's spiral patterns, we hold a question in our hearts. When we reach the center, we open ourselves completely to that question. We trust the universe to answer it for us, in ways that we cannot ourselves imagine." And so, "Centering" asks a musical question, which is then pondered from six perspectives, mimicking the six-petaled rose at the center of the Chartres labyrinth (on which the Peterborough New Year's labyrinth is based." Part 3, "Spiraling Out," balances a more extroverted feeling of leaving the center with the internal qualities suggested by winter. The section is, really, about death, says Kodiak, who incorporates piece's "in the Bleak Midwinter," "old Lang Syne," : Deck the Halls," "I'll Fly Away," and more into the three medleys. "We start with birth and end with death," she says. The music is lovely and haunting, both new and familiar - a reinvention of memory or, as in a labyrinth, a transformation of memory. It's just right of the season, with it's mixture of Christmas, Chanukah, and Solstice music, and it's New Year's theme of death and rebirth.