Thoughts from Anja

It is the dark season of the year in the northern hemisphere. The holidays are over, the new year has just begun. I hope that these words find you well, and that you can feel your inner light shine. May the new year bring you health, joy and peace, on the inside and outside. And many moments of singing!

In the research for a book I am writing,  I just came across two very interesting studies. One was done in Sweden. The researchers found that choir singers not only harmonise their voices, they also synchronize their heartbeats while performing choral works. This seems to be because the singers coordinate their breathing. And, singing together also slows the heart rate, which also seems to be due to breathing. So the researchers suggest that singing could be highly beneficial for our health.  I think many of us who love to sing know this already, intuitively or even empirically, because this is something we actually experience. Right? But I think it is still a wonderful thought that singing together unites our hearts literally. We sing together, and our hearts beat together. We calm down together, we inspire together. Magic.

The second study was done last year in England. The researchers found that people watching a live theater performance together were also synchronizing their heart beats. While it was already known that romantic couples or highly effective teammates will synchronize their hearts to beat in time with one another, the study demonstrated that the experience of the live theater performance helped to overcome group differences and produce a common physical experience in audience members. The article closes with these beautiful lines: 

Can there be a higher calling? We don’t think so. We believe theater’s fundamental and most sacred purpose is to bring a diverse variety of individuals to a common place where they share a meaningful human experience together, as one.

So in this dark season, my thoughts go out towards Summer, to Italy, to the Tuscany Project. I am grateful for the opportunity each year to come together with people from all walks of life to sing and perform and share together and literally unite our heartbeats.

I look forward to meeting some of you in this "common place“, the magical Locanda del Gallo, in the summer of 2018 to share song, beauty and humanity and synchronize heartbeats. Can’t wait to be there again.

Wishing you song and dance and breath and uniting.

Happy new year!