There is a sacred path deep in the forests of Southern Africa. It leads to an ancient river. The path is sacred because if you are privileged to walk along it and pause a while you sense there is a reality way beyond what your limited senses can even remotely imagine. Suddenly you ask: Where else have I felt like this? The memories come flooding in: The ancient granite Matobo Hills in Zimbabwe; a deserted cove in Corfu; the Redwoods in California; the grove at the top of Alta Plaza in San Francisco. Connections. Connections. Connections. Connections to the great beyond. Please scroll down.
Below is a small song with words that I have written as a tribute to the Sacred Path. I have also played it for you.
The Path to the Sacred
The path to the sacred
Is calling me home
The path to the sacred
Where worlds become one
I answer the call
A door opens wide
My friends are there waiting
There's no more divide
John Bartels - December 2021
The sheet music is on page 2
Sheet Music for "The Sacred Path"
I really hope that there is someone out there who may enjoy this and use the score. It is not correctly written. I know this, but please give me some slack – I have had no formal training writing music. Also the only way I could do it was to listen to the music and play it by ear and then write it out. Click the audio and I will play it for you. Score written in 1981. Recording August 30. 2021. Yes, 1981 is long ago but I have been enthralled by music all my life. I am 77.
You may have to click the play button twice. Scroll down as the piano is playing to follow the music. I also realise that my playing does not exactly follow the score. Anyway, here goes. Thank you.
There is an exquisite garden in Montagu in the Western Cape of South Africa. The garden is part of Connie’s Cottages which are self catering. The garden is much more extensive than shown in the one picture below. The beautifully planned garden reminded me of the theme from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. Recently we stayed at the Cottages. When we returned home I played the clip below as a small thank you to the owner Connie, for a really happy visit. And. Thank you Connie for allowing me to play your precious piano.
Please read this post, think about it, and then play the music at the end.
Do you remember the classic film “Out of Africa”? Mozart’s Clarinet Concert: Adagio was played as Meryl Streep and Robert Redford flew over thousands of pink flamingos in Central Africa. Heart rending. The Concerto has inspired this post about Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) in the 1950s. I was massively privileged to grow up there then, in Bulawayo, Matabeleland.
Did you live in Zimbabwe in the 1950s? I invite you to quietly think back.
Do you remember? The hot summer days. Hotter and hotter towards lunch time. The clouds building up. Getting darker and darker. So dark you had to put the lights on in the house. Then, the searing crack of lightning.followed by a massive clap of thunder. Too close for comfort. The sudden deluge of rain pounding the corrugated iron roof of the house. And outside, the downpour so heavy it became a thick white curtain. Half an hour. The storm was over. Out came the sun. The bright African sun. Running water everywhere. The ditches full. Flowing muddy water. The rain drops shining like thousands of glinting diamonds on the green grass and on the tall green mealies at the back of the house. And the smell! The wonderful smell of fresh rain on the rich African soil. Look up. Towering massive white clouds fill the sky. And there, miles away high in the clouds is a slow moving dark dot. You look carefully. It is a slowly circling vulture. Thank you Africa for the gift of growing up in the palm of your hand.
There is so much more to write about. It is emotionally draining to write this post so I will stop. I hope you understand. You of course have your own memories. Treasure them.
How do I feel? Please let the music I am playing speak to you. Thank you
Do you enjoy playing chorded piano music? Here is a fun thing to do. Try free flowing improvising within a group of chords that go well together. Don’t make up a melody beforehand. Just play and enjoy. Let your hands just play automatically. Here is a fun example staying within C, G7, F, F7, Dm, E7 and Am. Give it a go! Also for fun with the classics, type CDI in the search box.