“Life is about rhythm. We vibrate, our hearts are pumping blood, we are a rhythm machine.” – Mickey Hart

Rest duration musical notes

Everything has a rhythm – a beat. Discovering the rhythm and beat in a funeral or a wedding ceremony helps me be more ‘in tune’ with the participants, as well as with the ritual and words I speak.

In music, ‘rests’ are very important; they serve more purpose than just separating the notes. They also create atmosphere, and without them the piece can become overwhelming and clumsy. They also make the piece sound a little more put together and interesting, as they help create mood. They are something to be felt and heard.

The art critic John Ruskin writes:

“There is no music in a rest, but there is the making of music in it.’

“How does the musician read the rest? See him beat the time with unvarying count, and catch up the next note true and steady, as if no breaking place had come between…”

The very essense and spirit of the occasion can be missed entirely if we endeavour to just play the notes.

This is why I tend not to use ‘scripts’ – I use only bullet points for accuracy of information, but as for delivery, I work better being in the moment, with the people – finding the rhythm; sharing in the joy or the sadness of the occasion.

​I compose and facilitate, and decide therefore, not to lead and read, but instead, to simply be a congenial presence… serving to the rhythm of the beat.

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