It's no wonder, then, that I ended up singing in choirs. And those choirs were a great part of my early traveling life. Our church choir took tours from Dallas to California one year and Florida the next. My high school choir went to New York City. And when I went away to St. Olaf College, I sang with the St. Olaf Choir, an organization that tours for weeks on end each year. We gave concerts across the country in places ranging from Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center to Smoot, West Virginia and El Paso, Texas. We also toured Denmark and Norway. Heck! On that trip I stayed with a Sami family who had a walk-in meat locker filled with reindeer in their house well above the Arctic Circle.
So for me music and travel have been linked for a very long time. I never travel without music, either. I make mixes for almost every trip, and I love my iPod which has freed me from the cassette tapes and CDs of the past. And I still moonlight with Gateway Music Festivals and Tours, a company that helps music groups travel the world. In fact, for part of my trip to Ireland I was traveling with a high school orchestra -- and a darn good one at that.
From concert halls to the family piano, churches and schools to workers in the fields, music is universal. We human beings seem to be hardwired to create music and to express ourselves through song. And I'm not sure that's ever been more clear to me than when I watched this video from the 2009 World Science Festival. Here's a gathering of scientists from all over the world... and Bobby McFerrin (yes, of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" fame) proves that music is a universal mystery and gift.
World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.
So, where has music taken you? And what music do you take with you when you travel?