This is a review of an album of plainsong titled Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong by Paulette Meier.
Before this last month, I had never given much thought to the idea of plainsong as anything more than a musical itch to scratch every now and then. The soothing timbre of Paulette Meier’s voice, the spiritual truths found within the Quaker principles found in these plainsong melodies, and the applicability of so many of the songs to this current context of the COVID-19 pandemic make Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong a much-needed addition to one’s music rotations right now.
To talk of the basic mechanics, it is pretty simple. This is an album of 21 short (only four of the songs are over two minutes in length, and even those are short of 2:30) a capella recordings song by one voice (that of Paulette Meier). The lyrics are quotes from some of the greatest writers and leaders of the Quaker tradition -George Fox, Margaret Fell, and William Penn among others. The entire play length is under 40 minutes.
There is a beautiful simplicity in these songs, which are spiritually nurturing, especially at a time like this. Wisdom such as “Ye have no time but this present time, therefore prize your time, for your soul’s sake” (“This Present Time”) is a powerful reminder that with the time right now, we should be cherishing every second of it for our own rest and healing. Words like “Mind that which is eternal, which gathers your hearts together up to the Lord, and lets you see that ye are written in one another’s heart” (“Mind That Which Is Eternal”) remind the hearer to place attention on something other than this temporary situation.
I have listened to this collection of songs repeatedly lately. I put the entire book of Psalms (all 150 of them) from the NIV Audio Bible, as well as Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong together on my iPod and click shuffle before going out on walks. The outdoors and the calming feel of the audio is a good chance for reflection and relaxation. A great break from what’s going on around us.
I cannot recommend Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong enough. Visit Paulette’s website, purchase it from her directly, and enjoy it. I received my copy of the album for free for the purpose of review, but intend shortly to check out her other music.
I received my copy of this album for free through the Speakeasy program in exchange for reviewing it. I was not obligated to write a positive review; the opinions expressed are mine.