I tend to carry a lot of music in my head and heart for years and even decades. I don’t necessarily have to actually hear these pieces of music, but they remain backed up and stored in my head-and-heart disk-space permanently, emerging now and again to bring me solace, comfort, or even a lump in my throat.
Decades ago, film maker Rajan Khosa played for me a Norwegian chant-like song in a woman’s voice. I couldn’t understand the words, nor was I familiar with any of the singer’s work. But in the course of briefing me about the music he wanted me to compose for his feature film Dance of the Wind, he pulled out a CD from a thick CD wallet that he often carried and played a track.
What I heard was the voice of Kirsten Bråten Berg, a celebrated Norwegian folk singer, singing a track titled Heiemo Og Nykkjen from the album Global Meditation: Voices of the Spirit, Songs and Chant. The sheer pristine quality of her magnificent voice, the hypnotic chant like quality of the melody, simple and yet profound, has stayed with me for decades, hidden away somewhere in my memory for just the apocalyptic time and challenges we face today.
As we seal borders and lock ourselves in fearing for the survival of the human race, this is a voice (singing about Heiemo, a girl who sings with such a perfect voice that even the water-spirit Nykkjen falls in love with her) that I find cathartic, sublime and uplifting.