I have long preferred live recordings to studio ones though there are some of those that I prize and quite like as well. In this time of Covid 19 I keep seeing many people offering music and other stuff online. I have begun to ponder the value of a live stream. It seems to me that watching a live stream or connecting with someone on Google hangouts is very different from watching prepared recordings even those which are recent.

Wheel of Awareness - Weave The People

I wonder if any of this relates to what Daniel Siegel is working on especially with his Wheel of Awareness. If our minds exist between us as much as in our bodies, what does this have to do with live music and live streams?  My suspicion is that Siegel is onto something very concrete and physical that has not been clearly understood.

I have used Siegel’s ideas to help my own understanding (and acceptance) of the idea of prayer at this time in my life. As one goes around the Wheel of Awareness, one reaches out to connect from the center of who you are to others. This expansion of point of view seems to have an odd calming effect at the very least. And as I pointed out to my therapist, it gives me something to do while I’m with a bunch of people praying.

Even if I can’t be with those I love at this time, perform live music, or lead a congregation in sung prayer and ritual,  it seems that much of the authenticity of these experiences can be recovered in groups of people thinking about each other at the same time, whether listening or performing or speaking.

I have been doing live performances online for my church’s Sunday services for a while and this is part of what I’m wondering about. Many church choirs and musicians are making recordings of groups via Zoom and other apps to share with interested people and communities online. They are even doing this right here in some Holland churches.

I think this strikes at the center of the difference between live recordings and what I sometimes think of as sonic sculptures (at its best) or recordings.

I was thinking about listening to recordings of my father’s voice. I’m glad I have some of those but I don’t feel that I am in his presence. But when I stream a musical performance live, something is changed in my little living room.  I wonder if what has changed is my own awareness of just what is happening when I do this. This is exacerbated if I plan to improvise as I have for the last two Sundays.

Liturgical theologians sometimes talk about the mystical connections when one prays. One is connected to everyone in the world who is praying, everyone in the past, and in the future. So time and space are transcended.

I wonder how this relates to new interpersonal understandings of mind.


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