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Reports Newsweek Magazine, August 2005 (paraphrased)- "There is a wave of passion spreading out through the Judeo-Christian world. It is a profound desire to have the ecstatic, transcendent personal experience of God."
The word "Shir" means song in Hebrew. The idea behind "Shir Ecstasy" is to learn to be able to ascend together through the medium of song to reach that rapturous state where one can viscerally sense the presence of God. One doesn't have to be a member of a Black Gospel church or even a Christian church to have that experience. It is available to all.
The Black American gospel movement, building on the wisdom of the ancient African traditions, has developed a series of simple yet powerful techniques to this end. The Shir Ecstasy Workshop will cover such areas as:
- The power of organizing the entire body in affirmation; into one big joyful YES, GOD.
- The use of group singing to invoke God, to organize community, and to empower group action, including traditional African American rules for when and how one joins into the choir.
- The magic of the African major pentatonic scale.
- The use of such traditional techniques of call and response, a bottom anchor line, aural learning, use of simple heartfelt daily speech, and participatory responses from the community.
- The role of the soloist and the influence of blues 9/8 rhythm.
- The driving, forward-propelling 12/8 rhythm and use of key modulation to build group energy.
- The rhythmic syncopation and clap on the off-beat which are the hallmarks of gospel.
- The learning of several authentic gospel choir pieces.
- Instruction on how to modify non-gospel pieces into gospel style, to maximize effectiveness in energizing the congregation.
- The magical metaphysical recipe for raising the energy of the community through the praise-worship-glory cycle until God may be directly experienced.
This material can be taught in the context of a workshop or choir--leading to performance--and is available in various formats: as a weekend workshop, as part of a weeklong conference, or, under special circumstances, as a weekly course.