Integral music: the evolution of music and the music of evolution
A series of 4 weekly online workshops, giving insights into a new evolution in music – Integral Music – featuring Steve’s ground-breaking Integral composition, ‘Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio‘.
“Steve Banks’s ‘Blue Pearl Oratorio’ is a wonderful, exciting musical composition created as a manifestation of his Integral understanding.” – Ken Wilber
About the workshops
We all know the power of music to transport us – to a place of deep feeling, and into the spiritual depths. Throughout human history, music has been a central part of our spiritual practices and rituals. Now, 40 years after Ken Wilber wrote his first books, we have a clear understanding of an *Integral* spirituality. But what of Integral sacred music…?
I have played the violin since I was 7. I grew up playing and loving the wonderful works in the western choral tradition – Handel’s ‘Messiah’, the many ‘Requiems’ – Mozart, Fauré, Verdi, Karl Jenkins and many more.
So I decided to write one!
I started in 2013. I finished it in 2019. What an extraordinary and blessed journey it was! It was as if the piece really *wanted* to be written. It was a wonderful experience of reaching up into that mysterious creative source, and seeing music flow onto the page that I couldn’t have imagined writing.
The piece is called ‘Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio’.
The world premiere – to which you are warmly invited! – is going to be on 14.5.2022, in London and online.
I am offering a series of four online seminars introducing Integral music and this new oratorio as an example of Integral music.
This is a great opportunity to see how a game changing new piece of music has come into being, before it is launched into public view at the world premiere on 14th May 2022. It will include insights into my creative process, and how musical forms emerged to convey ‘Integral’ (some planned, others emerging spontaneously).
If you’re into the Integral model, and/or you’re into sacred choral music, or just spiritual music in general, I’m sure you will find these sessions fascinating and enjoyable.
There are 4 sessions, each 1.5 hours long.
In each session
- We will listen to a few movements of ‘Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio’.
- There will be guided meditations, to take us into a place where we are more receptive to the depths of the music.
- I will talk a bit about what makes this Integral music, the creative process of composing it, and (in straightforward terms) about the musical forms that convey the ‘Integral’ nature of the music.
- We will have a breakout group each week where you can meet and connect with other participants, and discuss the topic of the session.
- Over the 4 weeks we will build up a database of participants’ favourite spiritual music, so you will be able to explore some new territory in terms of sacred music (as well as the ‘Blue Pearl’ oratorio).
You don’t need to know about Ken Wilber’s ‘Integral’ model to attend these workshops – I will briefly explain basic concepts as we go along. Having said that, a basic understanding will be helpful. If you are new to the Integral model, I recommend reading the very good introduction at www.integrallife.com/what-is-integral-approach.
The group size will be limited to 20, so that we have a chance to get to know one another, and so that everyone can participate in group discussions.
You can listen to the demo recording of the ‘Blue Pearl’ oratorio, and read more about it, at www.stevebanks.info/integraloratorio/blue-pearl-listen/
The individual sessions
SESSION 1: THE EVOLUTION OF MUSIC… WHAT IS INTEGRAL MUSIC?
- Why I wrote the ‘Blue Pearl’
- An overview of what I see as the elements of ‘Integral music’ – which naturally mirror the features of the Integral model
- Cultural evolution: from post-modern to Integral music.
- Listen to: Requiem Nunc, Sex, Let Go
SESSION 2: THE MUSIC OF EVOLUTION
- Conveying ‘deep time’, the ‘winding up’ of the Kosmos through evolution; a ‘Kosmic walk’ in music.
- The evolution of human consciousness from pre-personal, through ‘personal’ (conventional) to transpersonal (spiritual).
- Listen to: Evolution 5, Anamnesis
SESSION 3: UNITY-IN-DIVERSITY
- The shift to a worldcentric culture and identity.
- The human race is one family, a unity-in-diversity.
- ‘Blue Pearl’: we humans *are* the earth, evolved to become conscious of itself and of the Kosmos.
- Holons and holarchy (if that doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry, I will explain when we get to it).
- Listen to: One Mother, One Father; Blue Pearl; Holons
SESSION 4: INTEGRAL MUSIC FOR AN INTEGRAL SPIRITUALITY
- ‘Transcend and include’. Higher levels include, don’t negate, lower ones. So Integral spirituality embraces the primitive aspects of human nature, such as sex and aggression.
- Non-dual spirituality.
- Descent from ‘gross’ to ‘subtle’ to ‘causal’ levels of consciousness, culminating in a movement which is just a period of
- Listen to: Sex – section 3; Death – Be Still – ‘ ‘ (a movement with no name – a brief period of silence); Nothing Lost, Nothing Found
When and where
The sessions will be online in Zoom meetings (where everyone can talk in discussions).
Each session is 1.5 hours long, starting at 7.30pm UK time (i.e. London time; San Francisco = 11.30am; New York = 2.30pm; Paris = 8.30pm; Moscow = 10.30pm; Sydney = 6.30am next day) on consecutive Wednesdays: 24th February 2021, and March 3rd, 10th and 17th.
I ask that you attend all four sessions if at all possible, but definitely a minimum of three. A video recording of each session will be available so you can catch up if you do miss a session. Also, if you can’t make the 7.30pm UK time, because it’s the middle of the night in your time zone, please get in touch, and I will see about either making the recordings available, or organising another run of the course that suits your time zone.
If you can’t make these dates, don’t worry, I will be offering the course again. Please email me (email@example.com) to ask to go on the waiting list of the next course.
Please have the best quality speakers or headphones you can for listening to the music.
This is the first time I am running the course, and so I am offering the sessions on a donation basis. Payment is by PayPal at the end of the course, to email account: firstname.lastname@example.org . I would appreciate any feedback at the end of the course.
To register, please send me an email (email@example.com) with:
- Your full name
- Email address
- Country & time zone you are in
- Very brief outline of what attracted you to the course
The group size will be limited to 20, so that we have a chance to get to know one another a bit, and so that everyone can participate in group discussions.
If you have any questions, please drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org