Sound & Spirit
Occasional Posts from Our Directors
In June, the Halcyon Board met to approve our new vision for the Halcyon World Music Institute, defining the various programs we will offer. Thanks to Michael Harrist, our new World Music Director, for all his time, inspiration, and articulation of this vision.
Our mission is to provide an intimate space, via concerts and workshops, in which students and lovers of music can connect directly with master musicians and skilled practitioners from the world’s great musical traditions and burgeoning cross-cultural forms.
In our masterclasses and workshops, "Halcyon aims to provide an environment in which students can sit at the feet of masters of the great traditions and learn from them on their own terms. We expect our students to respect the traditions, but not to treat them as fixed exotic forms. We recognize that these traditions are contemporary living entities and we aim to cultivate an environment of discipline, play, experiment, and full-bodied engagement." The masterclasses will be 3-4 hour sessions and the retreat workshops will generally begin Thursday evenings and continue through Sunday afternoon at a retreat center in New England.
We aim to offer in-person concerts beginning this Fall and are currently working on securing venues in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. Some of these concerts will be paired with Masterclasses.
I am personally excited about the Halcyon House Ensemble, an annual, residential program in which we invite a collective ensemble of regional musicians who each bring an original composition or repertoire piece. The musicians will arrive on Friday evening, rehearse Saturday and Sunday morning and give a public matinee concert on Sunday. The Ensemble will be provided with meals and lodging Friday through Sunday and will be paid an honorarium. In future years, as it becomes established, we will open the Ensemble program to applications.
Finally, the Halcyon World Music Festival will bring musicians from a variety of traditional music traditions and as well as contemporary crossover and fusion expressions. This will likely be our longest term goal.
In this issue of Sound & Spirit, you will find all our upcoming programs. We hope you will join us for a retreat.
All the Best,
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.