A Chautauqua evening in the Café at Arcosanti.  “Chautauqua” was the New York birthplace of this kind of enlightening performance/discussion, face-to-face interchange. Former US President Theodore Roosevelt called Chautauqua  “the most American thing in America”. This was one of those…a place to mix, exchange ideas, to be inspired. 

[photo by Chihiro Saito, text by Jeff Stein]

Led by Cosanti CoPresident Jeff Stein and the brilliant pianist Dr. Lynne Haeseler, the Arcosanti community connected with Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development through the life and music of Ludwig van Beethoven.

[photo by Chihiro Saito]

The evening was crowned by Chef Peter Dahm’s dessert of Viennese pastries, in honor Beethoven spending so much of his life in Vienna.

Jeff and Lynne read letters from Beethoven, explained Erik Erikson’s stages of development, and as Lynne played sonatas from the last stages of Beethoven’s life we were introduced to his own emotional and psychological development.

[photo by Laura Villa Baroncelli]

We could see how Beethoven’s music mirrored his development, and how his music might be a mirror of our own unfolding.

And so four of Beethoven’s sonatas: the G Major, 1795; “Pathetique,” 1798;  “Moonlight,” 1803; and his E Major, 1820, connected to Erikson’s 4 final stages of human development: Fidelity, Love, Care, Wisdom

Of Beethoven it is perhaps more true than of any other composer, that if you know what is going on in his life you listen to his music with different ears.

[photo by Chihiro Saito]

Through the evening’s performance it became clear that each of Erik Erikson’s stages of development is a container in which a certain unfolding occurs. Beethoven’s music filled his own stages with living sound, so we have a picture of a Being becoming, a life force stirring to become, seeking to fulfill its potential.

When we listen with this understanding, we realize we are in companionship with a resonance calling for our own unfolding: how it was in the Arcosanti Café, Wednesday evening.

[photo by Chihiro Saito]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>