Sound & Spirit
Occasional Posts from Our Directors
Halcyon Arts brings the world of music and spirituality to New England by presenting programs that enrich and transform.
World Music: Roots magazine describes “world music” as “local music from out there”. “Out there” may mean, for example, New England traditional music as well as local music traditions from around the globe. We also include quasi-traditional music, intermingled traditions, and world fusion. Examples include the various forms of non-European classical music (e.g. Chinese guzheng, Indian raga, Tibetan and Mongolian chant), Eastern European folk (e.g. Balkan and Bulgarian), Nordic and Celtic folk, Latin, Indonesian, and the many forms of folk and tribal music of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Oceania, Central and South America. Traditions have their indigenous roots as well as modern crossover and fusion expressions.
Spirituality: The word has come to have such a broad meaning that it is one of the vaguest in the English language, but herein lies its usefulness. Traditionally, it is a process of re-formation of the human self into the original self, named variously in a wide variety of traditions: the image of God, Buddha Nature, The Ground of the Soul, Atman, etc. This transformation is exemplified by the founders and expressed in the sacred texts of the world’s religions. In early Christianity, it referred to a life oriented toward the Holy Spirit. It broadened in the Middle Ages to include intellectual development. Since that time, the term has broadened further to include a wider range of experience, particularly those of non-Christian religions and esoteric traditions. Today, we think of spirituality as an experience of a sacred dimension and the "deepest values and meanings by which people live" (Philip Sheldrake). A person’s spirituality may have little or no reference or affiliation to organized religious institutions, but generally shares:
To establish and operate institutes in world music and spiritual studies that embody, coordinate and support these programs.
Robert Bowler ("Beau") founded Halcyon Arts to continue doing what he loves, presenting cultural and educational programs in world music and spirituality. He majored in Religious Studies at Reed College with a focus on the western mystical tradition. He earned an M.Div. degree from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California (after a year at Oxford University studying Theology) and is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister.