*** Announcing a new Quaker Chant CD! Please click here to find out more...
A Note from Paulette
This is a new and very different venture for me. One could say it began when I realized that many Quakers were in the forefront of producing peace education ideas and curricula, which I benefited from as a trainer in schools. Several years later, I began exploring the Quaker faith and began attending a Quaker meeting regularly. The more I learned, the more I appreciated the bedrock of spiritual belief and practice in which Quaker peacemakers over the years had been grounded. It has been this practice of quiet inward seeking, leading to outward action in the world, that has nourished Friends for over 350 years.
Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong is a remarkable collection of 21 chant-like songs based on the words of 17th century Quaker leaders, both men and women. Sung a cappella in piercingly clear plainsong, the messages are spiritually rich, socially relevant, and deeply inspiring!
The recording was deliberately done without instrumentation of any kind and with each song repeated two or three times, with silent breaks in between. This allows the listener's mind to more fully absorb the message in the words. The slow, quiet pace is akin to a Quaker meeting for worship, where participants sit in stillness, waiting for the "still small voice" within.... and the possibility of someone breaking the silence with a message.
The CD includes a 38 page pdf file embedded in the disc with commentary about the spiritual themes, background on the authors, Paulette's own narrative of her journey to Quakers, and a complete set of 21 musical notated song sheets.
A video interview by Jon Watts for QuakerSpeak, a project of
Testimonials and Reviews
What a treasure these are! … The passages [Paulette] has chosen represent timeless wisdom that all, regardless of denomination, will find inspiring. I now frequently find them coming to mind on my morning prayer walks, which are richer for them.”
- Bill Dietrich, former Executive Director, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
"Paulette Meier's rich voice, unforced singing, meditative pacing, and natural cadences bring the hearer to that inner peace where truth abides. This approach helps liberate early Quaker spiritual power for a new time."
Doug Gwyn, Quaker scholar, writer, minister and musician
"While people often admire Quakerism from the outside, as a testimony to non-violence, Paulette's songs both make clear and deliver the means for Quakers and non-Quakers alike to reclaim the powerful kenotic spirituality on which their tradition is founded. I hope these songs are learned and sung by Christian contemplatives everywhere!"
The Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, Ph.D,author of Chanting the Psalms and Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening.
"[These songs] open a doorway to a spirituality that can, in the words of Quaker founder George Fox, "shake all the country for ten miles round." Her voice moves us into Gods heart, leaving us both challenged and comforted, and resting in a place of deep peace."
- Peter Blood-Patterson, co-author, Rise Up Singing
"The chants are like prayer beads for me, grounding my spiritual intention to follow my inner guide."
Rose Marie Cipryk
"Wisdom for this perilous present moment" April 2020 - A review by contemplative spirituality writer and publicist, Mike Morrell:
Click here for the texts used in these songs!
• Click here to learn more about the founding Quaker leaders whose words were used in these songs
"Wisdom for this perilous present moment" April 2020 - A review by contemplative spirituality writer and publicist, Mike Morrell: https://bit.ly/3cz58oQ
Beyond this recording:
I have been continuing to compose song-chants from special texts as they come my way. One such text was given to me at a Quaker gathering of "Friendly Mystics" by Virginia Swain, a dynamic and deeply spiritual woman whose work includes providing leadership programs at the United Nations. Her vision is no less than to restore faith in humanity. (For more information, see www.centerglobalcommunitylaw.org, www.global-leader.org and http://virginiaswain.com.)
Virginia asked me to put to song a brief text written by Dag Hammarskjold (the Secretary General of the United Nations from 1953-1964). These words are displayed by the Meditation Room in the United Nations building, a room designed by Hammarskjold himself. The room was conceived as a place of silence, where people could withdraw into themselves, regardless of their faith, creed or religion.