Quaker simplicity -- profound and deep -- permeates this unique CD. Just as spiritual insights emerge from the stillness of a Quaker silent meeting, these sung quotations come out of the silence, opening the heart and tuning the soul to the spiritual wisdom in these centuries old, yet still very relevant, messages.
On the disc, you will find a collection of 21 brief, chant-like songs, sung in repetition once or twice, with short silences in between. Also included is a pdf file with background information about the authors and the themes in the texts, as well as the artist's story of being led to do this project. A special feature on the pdf file is the inclusion of sheet music for all 21 songs.
Here are what others are saying about the CD:
"Paulette Meier’s rich voice, unforced singing, meditative pacing, and natural cadences bring the hearer to that inner peace where truth abides. This approach helps liberate early Quaker spiritual power for a new time." --- Doug Gwyn, Quaker scholar, writer, minister and musician
"What a treasure these are! . . . The passages [Paulette] has chosen represent timeless wisdom that all, regardless of denomination, will find inspiring. I now frequently find them coming to mind on my morning prayer walks, which are richer for them." ---- Bill Dietrich, former Executive Director, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
"The chants are like prayer beads for me, grounding my spiritual intention to follow my inner guide." -- Rose Marie Cipryk
"[These songs] open a doorway to a spirituality that can, in the words of Quaker founder George Fox, "shake all the country for ten miles round." Her voice moves us into Gods heart, leaving us both challenged and comforted, and resting in a place of deep peace." --- Peter Blood-Patterson, co-author, Rise Up Singing
"While people often admire Quakerism from the outside, as a testimony to non-violence, your songs both make clear and deliver the means for Quakers and non-Quakers alike to reclaim the powerful kenotic spirituality on which their tradition is founded. I hope these songs are learned and sung by Christian contemplatives everywhere!"
--- The Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, Ph.D,author of Chanting the Psalms and Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening.
From the Artist:
This is a new and very different venture for me. One could say it began when I realized that many Quakers had been front and center in the development of peace education curricula and ideas, which I benefited from as a trainer in schools. Many of the concepts in my songs compiled on the CD, Come Join the Circle: LessonSongs for Peacemaking, have their roots in Quaker faith and practice. Several years later, I began exploring the Quaker faith and began attending a Quaker meeting regularly. The more I learned, the more I appreciated the bedrock of spiritual belief and practice that Quaker peacemakers over the years had been grounded in. It has been this practice of inward seeking, leading to outward action, that has nourished Friends for over 350 years.
As a recipient of the Minnie Jane Artist in Residence Scholarship in 2004, I had the privilege of studying at Pendle Hill, a Quaker Center for Study and Contemplation, where I became more familiar with the writings of the 17th century founders of the Religious Society of Friends. In the following year, I found myself wanting to memorize brief passages from these early Friends, both men and women. Putting the texts to melody made it easy to put them to memory.
I am excited to share my discovery of this modern day, centuries old Quaker spiritual path with you in song, and hope that it nurtures your soul as it has mine!