My new book is a juvenile fiction novel Emma Oliver and the Song of Creation available now for pre-order at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. It is being published by Our Street Books and will be out October 28.
Eleven-year-old Emma doesnt know that she comes from generations of tree singers, passed from mother to daughter. She doesnt believe she can sing. Her ailing grandmother has just come to live with the family. Her father is hardly ever at home. Her mother has been acting strange. To add to Emmas troubles, her mothers great uncle from England is coming to stay. Then, a strange old woman wearing a hat full of feathers appears mysteriously in her garden. She gives Emma a white swan feather that emits a haunting melody. Emmas only solace is the oak tree in her garden, which she names Annie Oakley. What she does not yet know is that Annie is part of a network of tree spirits who disguise themselves as old women. These spirits have come to Peachtree City to help Emma remember her mission to sing the Song of Creation and save the Great Mother tree.
Finally! A juvenille fiction novel that gave me chills for all the right reasons. Susan Hale has written a modern-day fairytale for all ages of a young girl's quest to find her voice. It interweaves the best and worst of being human and the worst and best of being magical. Her characters spring to life instantly from the lonely young Emma to her fragile grandmother, Maizy, to the very entertaining trees spirits only Emma can save with the help of her uncle, Alf. Throughout, we are reminded of the significance of ancestry and redemption, the power of the voice to heal, and the importance of family -- nature being as much our family as our human counterparts. Emma Oliver and the Song of Creation awakens us to the magic all around us. You may even find yourself singing to the trees! --Dielle Ciesco, author of The Unknown Mother
Together we stood in awe in the Gallery of Bulls in the prehistoric cave of Lascaux. No more words. No more questions. Only five trembling humans, strangers from different countries, forever linked to this place…Sounds rose from within. The cave was telling me how to sing…I heard an echo, my voice reflected back by the bison, no longer just my voice, but the bison’s voice, the voice of the cave itself.
There is a fundamental human need to create sacred spaces where sound reverberates to commune with the ancestors and give praise to the Divine. Ancient people recognized the importance of sound and sought out resonant caves to perform rituals. Modern-day temples and cathedrals were built to enhance sound and music. We build sacred places to house music, to hear ourselves and Spirit more clearly, and to create relationship between the seen and the unseen worlds within and around us.
"The voice itself is a cathedral," says Susan Hale, author of Sacred Space, Sacred Sound. "We are sound chambers resonating with the One Song." The first of its kind to approach sacred architecture from a perspective of sound and consciousness, this book explores the acoustics of sacred space as an avenue for understanding. It is about music powerful enough to transform us into a greater reality. Based on Susan’s life-long experience as a singer, 27 years as a music therapist, and 10 years of journeys across the globe researching sacred sites, this work discusses the desecration and disharmony of our current world while demonstrating how people are building new sacred sites with resonant qualities.
Starting with a vision to follow the Virgin Mary—also called the Lady of Roses—and her music, Susan takes us on a spiritual journey through France, the United Kingdom, and parts of the American Southwest—from the Chartres Cathedral and the prehistoric cave of Lascaux, to the Templar-built Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, the Chalice Well of Arthurian lore at Glastonbury, and back on domestic soil to the native kivas in New Mexico. Susan compares different styles of worship through the perspective of music and architecture, focusing on a range of religious traditions including Gregorian chant, overtone chanting, Hindu mantra, and English evensong. She also illustrates the importance of sound in achieving altered states of consciousness for transformation, healing, and prayer. Featuring interviews with leading authorities on the acoustic resonance of sacred space, a discography and suggested listening at the end of several chapters, this book gives us the tools to find our own sacred voice.