Resonance, eh?

photo Sean Gaskell

A kora is a musical instrument, originating in west Africa, which has 21 strings. Picture a large guitar, only the body is round, made from a large calabash (a variety of gourd) and the strings go straight up from the body, like a harp, not across it, as with a guitar. The strings are played with the thumb and index finger, while the remaining three fingers grip a handle on each side of the instrument. (Sean Gaskell: House concerts 7/15 Bellingham, 7/16 Snohomish. See the end for info)

All those strings make for a good deal of resonance as they vibrate and reverberate so close to each other. Were some of those strings added primarily to increase the resonation?
Increase resonation in order to enhance the sound, the feeling, the beauty of the experience?
How many of us add things to our lives simply to add resonance? To enhance our lives?
Certainly music would one thing, the resonation an obvious aspect, from along a spectrum of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” to “Also sprach Zarathustra.” The origins of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” as so often with old folk tunes, are uncertain. The tune and lyrics familiar to us today were recorded in 1881. Then in 1896, Richard Strauss was inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s novel, ‘Also sprach Zarathustra,’ to compose a magnificent piece of music which continues to inspire and awe. Most of us are acquainted with the first section of it, the spectacular fanfare, ‘Sunrise.’

When I look at enhancing my life, adding resonation to what I do, and how I process the world around me, music absolutely comes to mind. Meeting new people and experiencing friendships are another ‘absolutely.’ Also, at this time in my life, some important teachers are making a profound impact as I understand more deeply their lessons: Julia Cameron, Steven Pressfield, Angeles Arrien, and Miguel Ruiz.

There is an expression about whether to be a human being or a human doing. A gift from Julia has been me allowing myself to be. I listen to the myriad of birds in my yard, smell the summer air wafting with mown grass and honeysuckle, I hear my cat prancing around meowing his comments to me. Previously, I was busy doing, with no time for such things.

“Be open to outcome, not attached to outcome,” said Angeles. A life-changer when I can do it. Then Miguel’s, “Don’t take anything personally.” Freedom and peace come with this, when I can do it. Peace is a wondrous resonation at this time of my life, when I can appreciate it and be conscious of whether I create it. Or not.

Come – be with us for some wondrous resonation, music, and stories with Sean Gaskell, master kora player. House concert in Bellingham on Saturday 7/15 at Doug & Melinda McLean’s home @ 4 p.m.
In Snohomish on Sunday 7/16 at Rick & Lynda Condon’s home at 4 p.m.
Suggested donation is $15 – $25, no one turned away.
RSVP me at or my facebook page.
See you there ~