Therese Schroeder-Sheker: Silence, Music, and Death (Part One)
February 18, 2020
The first part of our deeply contemplative conversation with harpist and thanatologist Therese Schroeder-Sheker.
Silence takes many forms: silent prayer, the silence of meditation and contemplation, the silence of the wilderness and the desert, the relationship between silence and creativity or silence and politics.
Silence also shapes and informs one of the great mysteries of life: the mystery of death.
Norman Lockwood was trying to teach me about fasting from sound, that helped cleanse both my inner life and the sensoria. And that set the stage for the possibility of being able to hear something new, as a composer or as a performing artist. — Therese Schroeder-Sheker
Harpist, singer and composer Therese Schroeder-Sheker has devoted her life to exploring this greatest silence of all, through more than forty years of clinical experience serving the physical and spiritual needs of the dying with prescriptive music. Ms. Schroeder-Sheker founded the palliative medical modality of music-thanatology and The Chalice of Repose Project, the first music-thanatology organization in the world.
Her beautiful and award-winning recordings include The Queen’s Minstrel, Rosa Mystica, and The Geography of the Soul. She is the author of Transitus: A Blessed Death in the Modern World. As the title of that book suggests, her work has a contemplative dimension that explores how music can be a gift to those who are dying or in hospice or palliative care.
This is part one of a two-part episode. Part two will be released next week.
Some of the resources and authors we mention in these episodes:
Therese Schroeder-Sheker, The Geography of the Soul (the beautiful music in this podcast comes from this album, and is presented to you by permission of Therese Schroeder-Sheker)
Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Transitus: A Blessed Death in the Modern World
Therese Schroeder-Sheker, The Queen’s Minstrel
Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Rosa Mystica
Therese Schroeder-Sheker, In Dulci Jubilo
Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Celebrant: Historical Harp
Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Chalice of Repose: A Contemplative Musician's Approach to Death and Dying (VHS)
Norman Lockwood, Carol Fantasy for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra (Sheet Music)
Gustav Mahler, Complete Edition
Valentin Tomberg, Lazarus, Come Forth!
E. F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
Episode 89: Silence, Music, and Death: A Conversation with Therese Schroeder-Sheker (Part One)
Hosted by: Carl McColman
With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson
Guest: Therese Schroeder-Sheker
Date Recorded: December 17, 2019
Featured Image: Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash.