‘Adagio For Strings’ – an embodied answer to a question

Last week I was asked “why do you commit so much time and energy on talking about harmony, the SDGs, and the state of the planet, when it’s all surely beyond your influence and control?” – the implication my time be best focused elsewhere…

I supplied my usual impassioned answer.. scanning for the intended response.

I reflected on my claims, the strength of my warrants….

Some time later, I was reading around the phenomenological experience of sound, voice, and music; their ability to convey intense feelings or messages . Instrumental music  in particular, able to evoke rich subjective experiences.

The answer to the question above I considered may have been best answered with a more sensory share of my need to commit to harmony, the SDGs and weighty planetary matters… that argument be more powerfully illuminated in ways where my words fail.

I thus invite you, to turn up the volume (at least 60).

With ‘Adagio For Strings‘, let me take you by the hand into my answer. Maybe you’ll meet me in this space, a shared understanding of my answer to the question set to me. Or maybe you’ll just find your own.

William Orbit Barber’s Adagio For Strings 2008



Adagio for Strings is a work by Samuel Barber created in 1936, for a string orchestra from the second movement of his String Quartet, Op. 11. It has been adapted many times by various artists- this, one of my favourites.

I just love this response from my share in linkedin…

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