Season 3: Ep. 11: Reflective Celebrations of 10,000 Downloads
Bringing together Dan Shevock, Jon Rudy, and Tyné Angela Freeman, this is a reflective episode about the first three years of this podcast. Exploring notions of story, spirituality, theoretical framework, and the notion of a lived walk, this is a slow, expansive, and reflective move through the first three years of podcasting. Join our celebration!
Key words: peacebuilding, music education, story, spirituality, podcasting
Esteva, G., & Suri Prakash, M. (1998). Grassroots post-modernism: Remaking the soil of cultures. New York, NY: Zed Books.
Freeman, T. A. (2020). The sky is deeper than the sea: The story behind the songs. https://www.tyneangela.com/: Self-published by Tyné Angela Freeman.
Kimmerer, R. W. (2013). Braiding sweetgrass. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions.
Shevock, D. J. (2018). Eco-literate music pedagogy. New York: Routledge.
Shorner-Johnson, K. (2017). Peacebuilding as vocation: The journey of one program towards mutuality, agency, and imagination. In Tracy Wenger Sadd (Ed.), Voices of Vocation: Stories of Purposeful Life Work in Teaching, Mentoring, and Leading (pp. 187-206). Elizabethtown, PA : Elizabethtown College Press.
1:53 Lived Walk
14:29 Mystery of Time
17:54 Story Building
19:22 Curiosity and Vulnerability
22:38 Story and Binaries
25:32 Reflecting on Seasons`
29:10 Where are you going
30:56 Podcast pedagogy
32:11 Reflections on Process
peacebuilding, podcast, thinking, world, music, conversation, people, build, mutuality, learned, open, interview, story, soundscape, tree, spaces, episode, curiosity, season, important
Child1, Child2, Sonia de los Santos, Dan Shevock, Kevin Shorner-Johnson, Tyné, Jon Rudy, Music, Sreyashi Dey
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 00:02
You are listening to season three of the music and peacebuilding podcast, a professional development network at music peacebuilding.com Exploring intersections of peacebuilding, sacredness, community, creativity and imagination through research and story. 10,000 episodes, as I thought about how to mark and celebrate this moment, I reached out to three dear friends and former guest, Dan Shevock, John Rudy and Tyne Angela Freeman. Because the best celebrations are held in the gift of relationship. This is a slow and meandering conversation held by the wonderful night sounds of cicadas outside of Dan Shevock's window, each of these conversation partners has moved me on the learning and spiritual journey that has accompanied me on this music and peacebuilding project, I hope you will join the celebration with me.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 01:04
I'll open and then I need to get out of the way. You know, as I as we were preparing this podcast for our listeners, I would say that, you know, I was centering around the three themes, which I really started building as a theoretical framework before I launched it, which is mutuality agency and imagination. And I think what you know, when you build a theoretical framework, you sometimes you wonder if you're just full of it, and if it's just, it's not going to hold and I think one of the things I was writing to in the blog was, oh, my gosh, this framework held in some ways, and but there were also some ways in which some interviewees pushed me beyond the framework, which was beautiful, too, as well. And I think each each of you can speak to the theory for mutuality, agency and imagination.
Jon Rudy 01:53
So, as I was reading through your reflections, it is, to some degree, very theoretical, but there's these gems in there of practice. And the one that stuck out to me was, when you took your children to an interview, and you said, Well, I'm trying to, like, like this about their agency to in an interview, are there other ways in which what you've been working with and learning have really impacted actions.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 02:26
I was trying to build a peacebuilding frame from an Anabaptist framework, and trying to live into that tradition. And one of the characteristics of a good Anabaptist is that they're very skeptical of people like me, like academics, and skeptical of people who like to build grand theories. And but but I think one of the things that I admire about that is that it really is about learning about the lived walk in the world. And I think I picked that up when I did a research study and in Harrisburg, at a at an Anabaptist church there in central Harrisburg, a multiracial congregation. And every single interview, talked about, like walking with God or walking, you know, walking was the metaphor. And I think I leaned into that, about like, well, maybe scholarship is maybe good scholarship in this framework is asking people about their walks in the world, and asking, asking them about like, what they've been dreaming about, and what they're curious about and what they're doing that but asking about the walk. And I think that often, one of the things that can wear us down sometimes as scholars and I think peace in particular is really guilty of this right peace can peace can be really so theoretical, that you can't bring it back down from the sky to figure out what to do at 8am on Monday morning. And how do you bring peace down to the day to day in the localized such that it, anybody can have the agency to walk the walk of peace.
Dan Shevock 04:09
That's beautiful. And I actually really liked that we do this on a podcast because not only is this like, like my papers, which can be a tool that can be used in a classroom, right? Usually guided by some professional, but this can be you know, from the roots up, you know, a high school student who is interested in becoming a teacher or a music teacher who hasn't been in a classroom for 20 years, can stumble on one of these podcasts right you know. You know, and learn a little bit about altruism or yoga and mindfulness, right. World Music drumming and peacebuilding are the Anabaptist values as he said before, you know, that's one of the beauties I think is... podcasts in 2022. Right? Are a way to be at the root, right to avoid the whole the walls of the ivory tower.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 05:09
I think that that's one of the things that I cherish so much in working on that book chapter with you and Martha Gonzalez. So just as segue for listeners is that and one of the beautiful outcomes of this podcast is that Dan and Martha Gonzalez and I connected and Martha has been on a podcast interview and Dan's been on interview and we decided to write a book chapter which is now going to be published by Oxford University Press. And it's on Care ethics. And what I learned from the book that Dan shared us with us on post modernism grassroots post modernism was that there's a violence to abstraction sometimes. And sometimes we can we can wield abstractions as a kind of weapon to objectify the world. And I think that the lived walk sometimes moves against this this desire to turn everything into an object.
Yeah, that's a such a powerful book for me to write Madhu Suri Prakash and Gustavo Esteva, thats in its second printing.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 06:23
Our conversation returned me to this episode The Sonia de los Santos, and memories of my pre pandemic children running to the on campus recording studio to meet their musical hero. Listen to excerpts across this clip.
How did you learn music?
Sonia de los Santos 06:43
Well, I grew up in a very musical house because my, my mum loves to sing. So since I was very young, around your age, maybe even younger, I remember listening to my mother sing in the house all the time. You know, while we cooked while we cleaned
How do you decide that you wanted to make music for kids?
Sonia de los Santos 07:09
Great question. I didn't know I wanted to make music for kids. But then when I got to New York, I was doing different things. I actually wanted to do musical theater.
So are you inspired by Celia Cruz?
Sonia de los Santos 07:27
I am inspired by Celia Cruz, of course, actually, on my first album Mi Viaje I have a song called Burundanga. And, and I learned still Yeah, didn't. Okay.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 07:45
We're huge fans of the music, right?
Sonia de los Santos 07:47
Thank you for listening to my song.
Like every time we go into the car, Joel's like, let's listen to Sonia de los Santos.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 07:55
Yeah, that reminds me of like a moment. It was. It was after I'd started meeting with John about peacebuilding. And I was I was having lunch with my good friend, Richard Newton, who was a professor of Religious Studies at Etown. And I think that in the midst of that conversation, I was telling him about where I thought I wanted to go and how I wasn't being fulfilled by my prior scholarship. And I really want to go this next place. And one of the comments out of that lunch was, well, if you really believe in this mutuality, stuff, you probably shouldn't do it. And I think that comment, told me like, yeah, that that needs to cut so deep, that it's not just me as a white male academic writing in my own little silo about the world. But ... and there are some people who do that, and they do it beautifully. And I don't want to hold back from that, but, but maybe my space or my walk in this world is, is entering those spaces where you enter the deepest sense of mutuality. I think that this this work of decentering is really important, this beautiful work of like moving into spaces and trying to decenter ourselves and build beautiful spaces where the best in the other can be brought out. That's that was
What a down to earth way to tell you that to almost like, like, like you how you talk to a family member. You know, you don't hear a lot of that professional spaces where people are truly honest with you.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 09:44
I really appreciate the move to public scholarship because I think that one of the violences sometimes of scholarship is the segregation of scholarship away from the world.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 09:57
Being in the world, Dan, John and I continued to speak of mutuality and indigenous relationality and how texts like Robin wall Kimmerer's Braiding Sweetgrass have inspired us, in a shared love of trees, Robin Wall Kimmerer writes, If one tree fruits, the all fruit, there are no soloists, not one tree in a grove, but the whole Grove, not one Grove in the forest, but every Grove all across the county and all across the state. The trees act not as individuals, but somehow as a collective, exactly how they do this we don't yet know. But what we see is the Power of unity, what happens to one happens to us all, we can starve together or feast together, all flourishing is mutual.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 10:53
I, I wish peacebuilding would talk about ecological stress, and conflict. And you know, we talk about conflict as being healthy, and it can be destructive. And I think ecology knows that stress causes healthy change, stress causes destructive change. But I'm hoping that we can move past this idea that all this stuff is segregated, and there's a humanness that's well above the rest of the world. And then there's this other animal world that's connected.
Yeah, I really liked thinking about just our connectivity, in general as well. And it kind of reminds me of what you wrote in the reflections Kevin about the bird who was able to empathize with the trees such that they merged together. I think, sometimes in in some of my research and writing, I've thought a lot about place, location, and how particular localities can hold memories I've written about like trees that hold memories of things that have happened, near them or to them. And even like the ground we walk on the way it can hold memories of what has happened and the events that have transpired.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 12:10
The most popular podcast of this entire series has been the episode on Indian Odissi style dance was Sreyashi Dey. In that episode, I remember how deeply I was moved, as I read an excerpt from the Mahabharata, in the context of dance
Sreyashi Dey 12:27
and those who are left behind and their states of mind and what what they would go through.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 12:37
Many stories in the Mahabharata speak of the futility of violence, ahimsa, non cruelty and a deep sense of loving care. One dialog between Indra and a parrot that wilts away in a dying tree speaks to the conflict between logical rationality, and an ethic of care that is so committed, and so loving, that it appears to be irrational. In this dialogue, the parrot replies to Indra. I was born in this tree and have lived here all my life, I have acquired the character I have, and become who I am while living here. This tree has camouflaged me from hunters and has nourished me with its fruit when it was capable, it's supported my life like a child. I cannot leave it now. I follow the path of Andre Shantsia??, or of non cruelty. And so I cannot abandon those who have been loyal or devoted. Why are you trying to weaken my bond with the tree by sympathizing with me when such bonding is the greatest virtue? Or put another way? Why are you calling me to rationally disconnect and save myself when I choose to enter pain so I might love more deeply. Our ethics of care make us vulnerable to pain, but may be worth it. Because our choice to care may be a choice to become more fully human. And our choice to care about caring may be a choice of peace.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 14:29
Tyne, I think I'd like to speak to our mutual love of time and why time matters. You know, so I so your writing opens up this this layering of time where a protagonist can see previous ancestors, you know, walking along the Underground Railroad and and it changes the way the protagonist views the world and it changes her movement toward forgiveness that she changes the way and also the way in which trauma exists across time. I'm constantly thinking about time, and constantly thinking about this idea of what kind of resonance do we leave in the world? And how do we enter the flow of time? And I think that tradition to thinking about ancestors is really enlivening. And, and it's filled with gratitude to for everything that brings me here. And I think you you talk about that, too. Because I think that when we orient ourselves to time, and the, the mystery and magic of time, that it changes the way we are in the world.
Yeah, I agree. I agree. I think just like that awareness that we exist. In a continuum, basically, like we are, we are part of something that's been unfolding will been unfolding and will continue unfolding. part of something that's greater than ourselves, and that's layered, I like the word that you used resonance. I think our actions they echo across time, and just the more aware we are of that which comes before us and that which is going to follow, the more we can operate in our current moment, with, I would say, wisdom and sensitivity.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 16:21
Tyne Angela Freeman's book, the sky is deeper than the sea has moved me deeply towards imagination of trauma, forgiveness, and transcendent hope across the echoes of time. From guest Mary Cohen, I imagined time as a canvas where we construct imaginations of possible selves. For Martha Gonzalez Juliet Hess and Brent Talbot, I imagine that we may cast time to new forms, for new voices speeds and liberatory. Agency. My wonderment with physics, quantum gravity, and the magic of time, teaches me how the flow of time as a human construction, one that might be interrupted, rebuilt, and experienced in the echoes of generations.
[music - Tyne Angela Freeman]
[music - Tyne Angela Freeman]
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 17:53
And John, I think some of my time with you to help me realize that. You know, we're constantly building stories. And and a lot of times the conflict drivers in this world are the stories that we build about a grievance or about a harm. We can build different stories based on different timescales, I can start one story that starts at this year in here, and then if I but if I back the story up 50 years, the cause and effect of that story changes completely, and the conflict analysis, right of that moment changes. And I think about how much how important holding a curiosity about the mystery of time remains important to make sure that conflict doesn't become so intractable that you can't move out of it.
And then thinking about, about other kinds of cosmologies of, you know, circular or secular time, and the fact that we actually, we live it in it's the most real kind of time, at least in the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. It's, it's the most like circular time is the most in your face time there is. Those two are always in tension in my head. So I have no insights it gets it gets worse and more muddled the older I get.
Never has been more beautiful, beautiful mud. Right. And this whole podcast, right, it's beautiful mud where we're drawing together, you know, I mean, you have ideas of peacebuilding, but you also have ecology and racism and indigenous knowledges and so many things that like to be binned.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 19:45
There's so many conversations, I guess, that are muddy if I use that metaphor. We're often afraid to sit for those conversations. And I think I I was really inspired by by Krista Tippett and so many other people pioneers of radio and well, even Fred Rogers, right? And people who are willing to, to model curiosity and just that reflection, like when you enter a space of curiosity, there's no conversation, that's scary anymore. Every conversation you can enter with a, with a sense that it's going to be okay. And and you're going to talk your way through the scariest conversation. Because if you stay curious, I think that that's another one
Dan Shevock 20:28
if you're okay with being wrong, too. Right. So if you're so sure that if you're wrong, it's going to be the end of the world.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 20:36
And modeling when you are wrong, I think that's the that's been the other thing of vulnerability in this podcasting is, you know, after you've recorded the interview, and you're going back and you're editing it, and you listen, you're like, oh, my gosh, did I say that? And then you have to make the decision. Do I keep it in? Or do I cut it out? And I remember, there was a, there was a quote, in Tyne's podcast, where I kind of identified a place where my own like white bias was there. And I had that moment, I was like, I think I'm going to leave this in. And I'm going to build a narration right after saying why this is wrong. Yeah, I remember I was I was talking about slaves along the, along the Underground Railroad, and I referred to them as.... something regarding to the penal system, I remember like how, how [fugitive] deeply ingrained this language is and how problematic it is, and how important it is sometimes to leave the vulnerable parts and the parts that are wrong.
I remember that moment. And I really appreciated the way that you approached it. And were willing to embrace the vulnerability or even just the complexity of that. I think, willing to being willing to embrace the muddiness in general is really important, especially now more than ever, I think it's getting more and more difficult to have conversations without either side are both getting offended. Yeah, and I think there's a lot of binary thinking and extremism. So I agree that vulnerability and curiosity are definitely essential to being able to navigate conversation and actually build bridges and understand each other more. I just remember one of the podcasts talked about binaries and how it can just be very constraining and even violent to impose binaries.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 22:38
You that that language of binaries, I mean, I would say a lot of that I stole from Jon, my time with him, but and realizing that binaries can't live in story. Like story doesn't allow binaries really to exist. Well, good story doesn't allow binaries to exist. Because story is always far more complex than that. And I think, Jon, from you, I learned that, you know, one of the early markers of a move towards conflict is, is when things start to start to codify into con into binaries. It's either this or it's this.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 23:11
At the end of the conversation, Jon Rudy told a story of his time in Afghanistan. I spliced that story here, to connect to our ideas about story, and to prepare our conversation for a move toward love as a substrate between ones and zeros.
You really, I think, put your finger on something that encompasses both what Kevin's been talking about spirituality. about a decade ago, I was working for Oxfam in Afghanistan. And in one night, the fighting started, you know, just a kilometer away. And here I am working at peace building in the middle of this war zone. And, you know, just the RPGs going off and the constant back and forth of fighting. And I thought, I'm useless here. What am I doing, I'm supposed to be building peace. And there's this kinetic stuff going on just right outside. And I decided I would open my heart. I laid in bed in terror, and decided I was going to open my heart to that soundscape. And think about the soldiers on each side who were shooting at each other. And I fell asleep in the middle of that. And, and the next morning, as as the TV show, the local news was kind of covering the mopping up exercise. You know, in the end, the Afghan soldiers were shooting up at the building trying to kill the Taliban. There was a whole flock of doves that flew right in front of it. Right in front of the camera. I just thought, Oh, okay. Well, I mean, so, so you know, the I think this This idea of of opening heart it is not metaphorical it is into something we can we can do and with our body and just and just imagine I'm opening my heart to this, this tough conversation or this and to do that outside too I just think there's the key and that's what I would label spirituality is it's heart opening, open hearted undefended, I don't know where that that came from
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 25:32
Wow our fact that I you know I did have moments when I started the podcast and I did this really niche name, music and peacebuilding. And I, you know, one of the first questions I have to myself is, do I think it do, I think this is gonna last like maybe I'll get like one good season out of it. But I'm not sure it can go any farther than that. And I have been really inspired by the ways in which it just keeps opening itself up. Also the ways in which a dialogue about music so easily moves to this idea of peacebuilding. And it also helps to cut through the theory of peacebuilding is, you know, peace building theory, if you layer theory upon theory, peacebuilding can start to become really dry. And I've been really curious, just in these last episodes, so we're getting ready to put out a new one on Korean samul nori drumming. What I'm learning from that episode right now is about what happens when drumming genre goes global. And when the other who's distanced like a continent away, becomes interested enough that they want to take up this this art form. And then what happens in relationships across those, you know, so those kinds of questions really open up and I think they're fascinating.
Jon Rudy 27:06
But Kevin, isn't any wonder that it's unfolded like a flower when you base it on? Kind of these, this bedrock of mutuality, agency and imagination. I mean, it's us, unfortunately, you set yourself up for a lifetime of podcasts, because, because you started with something so solid, and yet. I was as I was thinking about this, I was thinking about how I know I'm my own worst reference point in the world, you know, and so I can never kind of predict where I am. And I need the feedback. I need. I need.
Yeah, if the podcast had ended after one season, would you felt any less about what you had produced?
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 27:54
Yeah, I don't. The first season was really rich. I can't I go back. And I look and I think how in the world did I do 20 episodes in that first season? Because it's
even if you had a first season there was randomly taken from all the episodes that you did, right? If you only had one, that's still be enough. It'd still be out there.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 28:15
Yeah, the first season was just trying to explore a lot of my best friends and asking this question about like, what you're trying to live in so that Krista Tippett ethic of what happens when you read somebody's work so deeply, that you might that the interview itself becomes a gift, you open a space where you can reflect back to that person and honor that person's work. And that that first season became that the second season right really opened up about compassionate music teaching, especially with Karin Hendricks work and getting to go down the road of interviewing the people that she interviewed. And then the third season has just been the road of ethnomusicology, which has been really fun to stay curious about how we interact between the Other and ourselves.
What are you looking forward to with the podcast? Like do you see sort of theme driven seasons, continuing sort of shaping each season around a different theme going forward?
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 29:21
So I have I think I have three episodes left in the season. I've got the episode recorded on samul nori drumming Korean, and I've got an episode with a shakuhachi player in the Japanese tradition, and then Olivier, who works with the Min on Min Peace Institute in Tokyo. And so kind of closing there. And then I'm really looking forward to taking a break. And then I wrote a grant to maybe a year and a half start down the social psychology road and I think I have a real curiosity to start interviewing some social psychologists to live into the empirical grounding that would accompany all the stories have been built. You know, I think that the the discoveries in neuroscience right now are fascinating. And, and also that this idea about identity and this really big word belonging right now that's everywhere. What does this word belonging mean? And when is it problematic? When is it good? There's so many of those questions to me that are really fascinating. So I think that's what I'm looking forward to the future, the podcast and also the question of can I build a book from this as the other question, in about a year and a half that may come to fruition?
I was wondering that I think it would lend itself really well to that. Just exploring other media to kind of convey these stories and ideas. Yeah.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 30:55
Yeah, I think that that, that's my other big aha moment is that I think in the second season, I started realizing like, Oh, my goodness, these really work for online education, Master music education program. And I think I first experienced that when I started just plugging in a few podcasts into in some online modules for the master students. And all of a sudden, I watched the discussions go from kind of here to here as far as depth and the amount of investment that people put into this online discussion. And I started asking myself questions like, Why is this happening? And I think my theory is that when we learn to read really scholarly academic literature, it's, it's good and it stimulates our thoughts. And it's important, but when we accompany that literature with story where we actually get to hear the voice of the author and hear what moves them, what motivates them, and what they're afraid of, and those things, things come alive, and the discussions that we have are so much richer. I've been really fascinated about this now from a pedagogical point about how podcasts might be a place for learning.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 32:11
I think I have made every audio editing mistake possible made pronunciation mistakes and mistakes of my bias. I embrace the modeling of mistakes. And I'm proud of conversations that moved beyond the surface with ethical care. I love the process of podcasting. From reading to interviews, narrations, and mixing and editing. I love every part of the process. I have learned to read with curiosity center, my listening, be sensitive to language, honor magical inflections of voice and marvel at the ways we tell our stories.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 32:56
The other thing that I experienced the the podcast on on, Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe. I had to take the podcast down because I couldn't. I wasn't sure about the copyrights of his songs. And because his songs are owned by five different record companies. And I just didn't. But what I learned from Oliver Mtukudzi was that he had this beautiful way in Zimbabwe in dealing with a really oppressive dictator. And he never sang directly at it. Like he would always sing circular around the issue using metaphor after metaphor. You thought that he was singing about your grandmother, but actually who's the same time he was singing about the dictator? And I, I thought a lot about, about your work about Oliver Mtukudzi's work to kind of encircle something. And maybe also it challenges our Eurocentric notion that we need to just go straight for it. We need to find our objective and go straight there when actually sometimes it's it's better to work to move in circular motions in this world.
Yeah, I think. Yeah, I guess it's just discerning what the situation demands. Like, I definitely think one of the beauties of art is being able to bring people into conversation with topics that otherwise they might not have been willing to engage with. I think it can be more palatable and approachable when it's expressed in metaphor, when it's expressed in poetry. So I agree with that. I think. I think just different people and different artists, I guess, when we're speaking of music have different approaches. So yeah, I think and even when you say in circle, it makes me think about time and that whole circular notions. So just try to think of how that can connect. I think it's important to confront things in some cases. But in other cases, you kind of have to just read the situation or read the room and understand who you're speaking or singing to, and how they're going to best, what they're going to be most receptive to.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 35:16
One of the things I remember about your podcast, Dan that was so much fun. We'd recorded the podcast, I'd gone through and spliced it. And I'm always asking myself, like, how do we make this story come alive? And I felt like when I interspersed your interview with these ecological sounds in the midst of it, like the whole interview changed, and like, came alive. And when we got the, the excerpts from Gordon Hempton, you know, I couldn't believe I got permission from Gordon Hempton, who's an acoustic ecologist who's been interviewed by Krista Tippett. But we've got permission from Gordon Hempton to intersperse some of his sound archive in there, it was like you were speaking your scholarship, and then the world was sounding back to it, that we created kind of that soundscape in that podcast.
What I liked you about that, that's, that's how the inside of my brain works. I spent a lot of time just sitting outside and listening. You know, so when I think about things, as a music education philosopher, I guess that's what I'm paid to do. But how much about things in writing? But
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 36:24
But how much more alive does philosophy become when it leaves the page and enters sound?
That's right. I don't think like going back to like, you know, Plato. I don't think we I don't think it was a good thing to be stuck in the cave, right. Supposed to be outside. You know, with all the all this holistic soundscape that Life provides.
Yeah, I'm what you were saying earlier, I think you're sharing Dan just about the cultivating an awareness of the sounds that surround us and how that can be very overwhelming when we when we open our minds, and I guess our hearts to what all these sounds mean, and the suffering behind it. Do you think that I think you're right, it's easier to close your eyes than it is close your ears? How do you? How do you navigate that the fact that it can be overwhelming I'm even thinking about technology and just the influx or bombardment of information that we receive on the daily just being alive in general. What that means, like, how do you avoid feeling overwhelmed? Do you find certain sounds cathartic? Like how do you navigate that?
Yes, it's paradoxical, right? Because it's both knowledge of the trauma that we as a species are inflicting upon one another, and our brothers and sisters on this planet. And, but at the same time, it's also healing. Right? I mean, you know, there's a whole like field around ecological therapy that has arisen in the last 40 years. So it's both things at the same time, right. And it's, there's so many paradoxes, right? Because like we listen, if you were to analyze, harmonically, a soundscape, you would come up with something far more atonal than than Schoenberg. Right. But, you know, kind of more pleasant at the same time, right. So it's, yeah, I'd so I don't know I can't get my head around it entirely how it works out, other than to use the word paradox with art, which Parker Palmer uses extensively in spirituality is paradox. And so that makes me think that music education should be first a spiritual adventure, recognizing how all musics emerge from mother Earth
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 38:55
as you said that word spiritual limits. So that's some one thing I want to just weigh in on opening up to John, for one last comment, close. But I think one of the things I admire about all three of you is that all three of you are moving in different ways in the world from a, from a spiritual or religious place and the tradition. And I think that's another thing too, that I was trying to open up both with the master's program and with the podcast is not being afraid of that language. And also, not only not being afraid of the spiritual and religious language, but actually embracing it because I think, often we were really scared about moving into the secular spaces and bringing that part of ourselves with us. But yet, that part of ourselves carries some of the deepest meanings that we have and why we do what we do and what we care about and how we care. And I think I'm always trying to build spaces where people can feel alive enough and curious enough to hold on to that language and embrace it. But also still make the language open enough that it embraces a humanist perspective or a Buddhist perspective or Hindu perspective. But also but one that allows the most important parts of ourselves to enter through song or through words and story.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 40:20
As we close, I reflect on what this project has meant as a practice of the most important parts of ourselves. With each guest, I have learned to listen more deeply, to open windows of limited understandings, and to enter the joy of celebrating each other. When I first came across John O'Donohue's book of blessings I knew I had generous poetry, words expansive enough for religious and non religious traditions, and an act of a blessing as a foundational embodiment of peacemaking. In blessing, we hold our intention, a tension, and offer the best for each other. In the language of you, we direct our gaze. And in using the language of we, we join hands to enter shared experience of a gift, an excerpt from O'Donohue's poem for celebration.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 41:24
Open your eyes and see the kind, whose hearts recognize you as kin. Those whose kindness watchful and near encourages you to live everything here. See the gifts the years have given things your effort could never earn the health to enjoy what you want to be, and the mind to mirror mystery.
Kevin Shorner-Johnson 41:53
Thanks to my good friends, Jon Rudy Dan Shevock. And Tyne Angela Freeman for the gift of their time with me and constructing this episode. A full reflection on the first 10,000 downloads is available on our blog and music peacebuilding.com. And my deepest thanks to each and every guest across the first three years of this podcast, and to you the listener for your time, your attention, and your generous feedback that fuels this continued work. If you like this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes so that others may find this space. Thank you for the generosity of your time. This is the music and peacebuilding podcast hosted by Kevin Shorner-Johnson. At Elizabethtown College, we host a master of music education with an emphasis in peacebuilding. thinking deeply we reclaim space for connection and care. Join us at music peacebuilding.com