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Posted on May 6, 2020

The melody of our future

Pause. Reset. Redesign. Corona is good for so much more than getting sick!

by Jutta Goldammer

Corona has been around so much longer than we suspected: According to an entry by Johann Gottfried Walther in the Musical Lexicon from 1732, Corona, Coronata is a musical sign, which means “general silence or a general pause. (…) You also need it in an round to notice the place where all the voices can come to rest if you want to close.”

Corona has been around so much longer than we suspected: According to an entry by Johann Gottfried Walther in the Musical Lexicon from 1732, Corona, Coronata is a musical sign, which means “general silence or a general pause. (…) You also need it in a round to notice the place where all the voices can come to rest if you want to close.” 

How about if we used this crisis to pause until all the voices came to rest? Until the song that we have been playing up to now has ceased, that song that has got caught in endless loops of bigger, faster, more of the same?

How about if we listened to the silence for a while and hearken what kind of new song is coming to us from the future – in an attitude of curious discovery, of not-yet-knowing, in an attitude of a beginner’s mind that dares to question everything and think everything possible?

How would it be if we then tuned a new melody in a crowd improvisation, one that arises because we listen to each other, also consider quiet tones and advance together into the terra incognita of a song that fills all musicians and listeners with deep joy, a song that is vibrant and uplifting? A song we can be proud to be part of the ensemble?

How would this song sound? What would the chorus tell? Which world would it make resonate, which realities would conjure up? How would it differ from the current melody? And: Which instrument would you play?

“We will not go back to normal.
Normal never was.

Our pre-corona existence was not normal
other than we normalized greed, inequity,
exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection,
confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack.

We should not long to return, my friends.
We are being given the opportunity
to stitch a new garment.
One that fits all of humanity and nature.”

Sonya Renee Taylor

Helpful resources for pausing and musical crowd improvisation:

1. Come to rest

You are juggling home office, homeschooling, home-kindergartening, fending off your corporate bankruptcy, and the flood of information about Corona and you ask yourself with red-rimmed eyes from endless video conferences, how in the world we can speak of this being a time to calm down? Let us assist you here:

  • Take a Break” – Toolbox with lots of ideas, links and tools to calm down and relax.
  • Insight-Timer,, a free app with an abundance of guided meditations for all situations, spiritual traditions, preferences, and experience levels.
  • Article about the value of “Niksen”, the Dutch lifestyle concept of unintentionality. (Sometimes it is easier to give oneself permission to do nothing when it is based on a concept ;-))

2. Design the melody of your life

We have designed a reflection canvas for you here, with which you can perceive the existing and new melodies of your life and the world around you. It will help you find out what is out of rhythm and what should set the tone in your life in the future. Download here for free the canvas and a step-by-step guide with helpful questions that will lead you through this design process.

3. Become part of the crowd improvisation process

Here you will find suggestions on how you can become part of this crowd improvisation process beyond the conscious shaping of your life, and how you can get involved in shaping the future from your living room in the #stayhome period:

  • Many organizations also offer online opportunities to participate in shaping the future, such as Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future, Change.org – you will surely find an organization that deals with the issues that are close to your heart.
  • Renew your thinking and get fit for a mindset that is ready for social group improvisation, e.g. with the book “Kompass neues Denken” by Natalie Knapp. (The book is in German).

4. Other inspiring contributions, why it is important to shape the future beyond the corona crisis and what it could look like (Articles in German):

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