Dangerous Compassions



Hello, I love art, including music and musical instruments.  Especially traditional musical instruments that have become obscure.  Nyckelharpa is an instrument our respected friends Toby and Fred play.  It’s a traditional Swedish instrument that has special dances that go along with the songs.  Toby told us that the different villages have their own songs and dances; someone could travel around and study them for a long long time.

These friends Toby and Fred have brought their nyckelharpas to peace events and played for the group.  I think the year Ming and I got married, they played in the Bartlett courtyard, during Sacred Peace Walk.

Ming and I stayed in the Bay Area at the beautiful house of Toby and Fred for three nights, during our journey looking for a home.  The morning we left, they gave us a lovely concert.  It was early and we were about to leave, so Toby woke up Fred.  They allowed us to photograph and video record them playing.


The first song was so gorgeous and moving, both Ming and I cried.  The music filling the room was a dramatic change from quiet to a soulful, healing euphemy.  I danced on a rug that felt supportive under my feet, as they played for us.  It felt nourishing to move my body in response to this deeply stirring music.

Toby and Fred are used to specific dances being done to specific songs, but I was happy to dance in my own way.

The nyckelharpa instrument is so resonant and rich.  I love the full, echo-y sound.  It sounds different from other music I’ve heard.

Much gratitude to our talented peace friends for sharing this special music art with us.  Thank you for the living room concert, a highlight of the trip as we continue our search for home.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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