Reviewed by Ian Mowll
Blue Pearl is a ground-breaking new oratorio for choir, four solo singers and orchestra. It conveys a contemporary view of spirituality which transcends individual religious traditions, embracing humanity, and the earth, as a whole. ‘Blue Pearl’ is the earth, as seen from space: a unity; our precious home.
The first performance of Blue Pearl was in London on the 14th of May 2022. It was inspired by the writing of American mystical philosopher, Ken Wilber, and his ‘integral vision’. Music was also set to the poem by Thich Nhat Hahn – Call Me By My True Names. This was all done through a variety of musical styles, although classical music predominated.
I found the whole piece of music very inspiring. The first half of the performance took me through the evolutionary process of our Universe and particularly our human journey. The second part engaged with aspects of this journey and its meaning. Steve Banks, the composer, is obviously a deep thinker and has a strong love for our precious planet Earth.
The performance culminated with a celebratory song described as follows: that we may fulfil our potential in our lives, and, in doing so, offer our unique gifts to the world. It ends with a reminder that we humans are one with the earth, we are ‘Blue Pearl’.
It was inspiring to see so many more people enjoying the music and interested in these ideas. There seems to be a gradual increase in engagement by the wider public in honouring our Earth and understanding our part of its evolutionary journey. Whilst this has been central to GreenSpirit’s vision, even before it started as a charity in 1995, I am reminded by the writer Joseph Campbell who said that it can take a long time for new myths and ideas to become embedded within a culture. But with all of the increasing threats of environmental damage, this message of taking care of our planet is ever more important with its urgent implications.
This piece of music is thoroughly recommended and at the time of writing, there is a webpage with the summary of the piece, lyrics and more here: