Alice Healer Energizes the Russians
From Helen Womack in Moscow
As autumn cloaked Moscow in shades of cloud-grey and leaf-yellow, Alice Springs violinist and healer Dian Booth flew in, bringing with her the vibrant sounds and colours of the Red Centre.
It was her first visit to Russia since Communist times. “I see changes, obviously,” she said. “But the energy here is still rather heavy.”
Dian spent a large part of her trip sitting in Moscow’s notorious traffic jams, gazing at the onion-dome churches and wedding-cake skyscrapers through the window of her taxi. But she saw another side of Russian life in meetings with the locals and gave them a glimpse of her world with a concert and a sound-colour healing workshop.
The highlight of the visit was her performance at the Roerich Museum, which has a collection of luminous paintings by the Russian explorer, philosopher and mystic, Nikolai Roerich. He was the first European to see Tibet and his pictures, in shades of red, gold, purple and turquoise, evoke monasteries, mountains and empty skies.
Dian chose six of the paintings as starting points for her violin improvisations, or as she prefers to call them, “spontaneous compositions”. The subjects of the pictures included Buddha sitting in a cave, Christ among rocks, Confucius riding in a carriage and the Mother of the World.
The audience was enthralled as they watched and heard Dian in “dialogue” with the images, drawing out the sounds she sensed in the portraits, patterns and colours.
“I liked her interpretation of the Buddha painting best,” said Moscow lawyer Viktor Ivanovich. “I wrote a poem on the back of my programme while Dian was playing.”
“I was more touched by the Christ composition,” said his wife Maria. “And Confucius – I could hear in the music that he was sticking doggedly to his path while icy winds were blowing, persecuting him.”
For Dian, the opportunity to appear at the Roerich Museum was the culmination of a long journey; the fulfillment of a dream. “Ten years ago, in America, someone showed me photos of Roerich’s work and told me that one day I would ‘play’ his paintings. Being here was undoubtedly one of the high points of my life.”
Apart from the concert, Dian gave a sound-colour healing workshop to a small group of Russians, who gathered for the occasion in a private flat. All the way from Australia, Dian had lugged a heavy suitcase packed with coloured cloths and musical instruments from all over the world.
Participants learnt the basics of yogic breathing and how to balance their own energy and heal others, making “fifth dimension” music with Aboriginal clap sticks, Chinese gongs, Peruvian flutes, shamanic drums, tinkling bells and, last but not least, their own voices.
“I admit I was skeptical,” said classically-trained musician Vitaly Matveev. “But I was in a complete trance. It was a very powerful experience.”
The participants received gifts of textiles, printed with Aboriginal designs, and a short lesson in the interpretation of Aboriginal symbols.
In exchange, Dian was presented with semi-precious stones from Siberia and a landscape painting by artist Feodosia Ivanova of her native Yakutia.
Feodosia’s art, showing the land, life and legends of Siberia, proved a wonderful background to the sound-colour workshop. This was Russia’s response to the vibrations that Dian had brought from Australia.
First published at AliceOnline