Reviewer Lois C. Henderson: Lois is a freelance academic editor and back-of-book indexer, who spends most of her free time compiling word search puzzles for tourism and educative purposes. Her puzzles are available HERE and HERE Her Twitter account (@LoisCHenderson) mainly focusses on the toponymy of British place names. Please feel welcome to contact her with any feedback at LoisCourtenayHenderson@gmail.com.
Editor: Justin St. Vincent
Publisher: Xtreme Music
Rendering the esoteric accessible is what Justin St. Vincent prides himself upon doing, and that is clearly what he achieves in this collection of interviews with musicians, artists, and authors from around the world. For the five main streams of this book, Artistry, Love & Forgiveness, Compassion & Healing, Transformation, and Unity, St. Vincent has written a brief introduction, summing up the major tenets of the artists whose interviews follow. The complete lack of bias as to the artists who appear in this wide-ranging volume can be seen in the wide range of their interests and faiths. What they do have in common is a deep belief in the transformative and unifying medium in which they excel. Their deep-seated humanism and humanitarianism, as well as the both simple and profound way in which they express themselves, pervades the text.
To be able to have access to the innermost workings of the artists’ minds and souls is an intensely felt privilege that so transcends the written text that a feeling of spiritual intimacy is attained with the multitude of creative beings whose thoughts and emotions fill these pages, and which cannot help but overflow into the readers’ own life. For each person who peruses this compilation, Love Live Forgive is bound to exert a gentle and persuasive force that implicitly calls for you to heighten your own awareness of the nuances and subtleties that are both present in your innermost being, as well as in the world around you.
Whereas some of the artists discuss the themes of this work in the overall context of the creative milieu, others reveal, through a discussion of their personal experiences, how a particular form of art has helped them to transcend a particular crisis in their life. They show how even the scars that are left by surviving such a traumatic experience as rape can be healed through the mellifluous power of word, music and dance. For instance, composer, musician and producer Suzanne Doucet’s account of how reaching her attempted rapist through song enabled the two to come together in a scene of reconciliation and forgiveness that might not otherwise have been possible. Tending to the spiritual needs of the dying through the therapeutic medium of art is an issue that appears in a number of the interviews, including in those with Mark Lombard, founder and president of For Love & Art, and with the aptly named Michael Stillwater, author and songwriter. Is it any wonder that those who are most deeply in touch with their own emotional and spiritual makeup are so readily involved with those who are having to come to terms with the intricacies of their own journey through life? Love Live Forgive’s many photographs of the artists concerned should also help to warm the readers to the individuals who have so generously given of their time to the present volume.
As well as possibly serving as a key text for encounter groups (for which St. Vincent provides a number of probing questions at key places in the text), Love Live Forgive holds an intrinsic appeal to art and music therapists throughout the world. All those who are intent on deepening their own self-awareness and spirituality are likely to find this book a reliable means of rising above the plain and mundane to ascend to a place of peace and tranquillity that knows no earthly bounds.