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From Jerusalem to Cordoba: music as common ground

It’s crazy time in the world at large, a time of social, political, and economic chaos and a questioning of fundamental assumptions we’ve made about how the world works and doesn’t work. You can blame the “interesting” difficulties we’re in on shortsighted politicians, greedy bankers and corporations, god-mad religious fundamentalists, exploding and fragmenting communications… and I’m sure those and others are aspects of the Trouble. But I think we have a deeper problem. We’ve lost our sense of the common ground of humanity, of the pattern that connects us all.

This is too often said and too easy to say: in a profound sense we are united at the core, but we lose the sense of unity, and see only what divides us. How can we feel this truth in our bones? How can we find a way past the significant and growing barrier and borders, the sense of separation that we feel?

Perhaps we can find the common ground through music, a form of communication that can be a common language and source of unity. “From Jerusalem to Cordoba,” a performance Scoop Sweeney and I are producing Friday night (7pm at St. David’s Church, Bethell Hall, 301 E. 8th Street in Austin) is a powerful musical performance by Catherine Braslavsky and Joseph Rowe that includes songs and forms associated with both Christian and Muslim mystical traditions. Behind the music, there is an understanding of the common ground of humanity. In this music, there is a possibility of peace, a sense of our shared source and reality.

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