Live-Streaming the Land: Deep Listening for Global Harmony

 Jonathan Rudy,  Peacemaker-in-Residence at Elizabethtown College (rudyje@etown.edu) and PeaceBuildingGlobal Consulting and Paul Rudy, Curators’ Distinguished Professor and Coordinator of Composition at The University of Missouri at Kansas City (rudyp@umkc.edu)

Welcome to Harmony Farm and the Harmony Harp!

Plain Harp on Poll blue sky-retouched-smHarmony Harp is located on Harmony Farm in Northeast Kansas on 70 acres at the Western edge of the mid-Continent woodlands. The Harp, made by Ross Barrable of Soundscapes International, has nine strings that vibrate in the wind, giving a unique voice to that wind in each moment. It’s sound is varied, and one amongst the many other voices on the property, from animals, to birds and trees, to rain and thunder. Silence is also part of its voice on calm days. The harp is one ceremonial object amongst other sacred spaces and land art created since 2011. These spaces honor the Earth and the Ancestors, with a focus on healing the flow of energy created by human and earth wounds. It has become a focal point for brothers Jonathan and Paul Rudy to facilitate deep listening, sound meditation and peace practice in a variety of ways.

Harmony Farm from Google Earth

Harmony Farm from Google Earth

In the Spring of 2014, using open source hardware, networking, and software apps, Jonathan Rudy built a solar powered WiFi transmitter in order to listen to the harp from his home in Pennsylvania. It is simple in design and concept, but becomes a rich port al for innumerable social, cultural, physical, mental, spiritual, metaphysical and environmental connections, through the act of deep listening. Now others beyond the physical location can enjoy the sound. To date, it has been used in over 20 public conference presentations, peacebuilding workshops, class lectures, musical performances, and sound healing and meditation sessions. It is a focal point for mindfulness and has provided healing to many individuals listening as well. The live-streamed harp has become a key instrument in peacebuilding for Jonathan, and meditation and sound healing performance for Paul.

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Peacebuilding is about personally and socially connecting that which is disconnected, and healing (with sound or any other modality) is about moving energy where it is stuck in the body or energy field. The wind is a powerful and ephemeral symbol for both, and the harp incarnates that symbol through sound. The internet and social media has allowed us to be maximally “connected,” while urbanization and globalization has simultaneously physically disconnected us from Mother Earth and the land that sustains us in every way. The “aeolian harp” as it transmits, has the ability to reconnect us with the land through listening. It gives us a sense of place, with which we can gauge ourselves and our physical environment in relation. It brings sounds back into our lives that are often missing: birds, wind, insects, frogs, coyotes, trees, and even the neighbors braying donkey! Paul has used this streaming audio in lectures, sound meditations and healing sessions, and Jonathan in classes to experiment with the power of intention. Individuals have used it in meditation and in every case, a profound sense of reconnection and grounding has been the result. In short, listening to the land communicate, reinvigorates a sense of belonging which leads the listener to inner peace.

 

In a rich layering of metaphor and experience, the Harmony Harp, transmitting the voice of the wind out into the world, stands for a symbol of our peacebuilding initiatives: Jonathan through facilitating peacebuilding design and training and Paul through sound meditation, healing and art. The wind is a great teacher, because it knows no boundaries as it acts gently and/or adamantly, and directly, on that in which it comes in contact. And the harp gives that teacher a voice for us to listen to, and to learn from.

 

We intend to build an app, find a hosting site and then make the URL public. Until then you can hear a sample of the harp sound.