Portara Ensemble, Nashville TN
Musica Sacra Mundi - Music of a Sacred World
April 22, 2012
Words: Black Elk; Music: Tom Benjamin
Conducted by Jason Shelton
Pianist: Horacio Guendulain
Solo: Mary Scheib
Black Elk (1863-1950) was a holy man of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) nation. Black Elk said that during his life, he had several visions in which he learned things that would help his people. In his "great vision," at the age of nine, he said he met the spirit that guided the universe and saw a great tree that symbolized the life of the earth and of the Indian people. In 1932 he shared and published the story of his life in Black Elk Speaks.
Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all.
And round beneath me was the whole hoop of the world.
And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell.
And I understood more than I saw.
For I was seeing in the sacred manner the shape of all things of the spirit.
And the shapes as they must live, they must live together like one being.
And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops
that make one circle, wide as daylight and starlight.
An in the center grew one mighty flowering tree,
To shelter all the children of one mother and one father.
And I saw that it was holy.