The PEOPLE gathered at Esmond Lake last Wednesday were treated to a half-hour of meditative celloing in an ambient natural landscape.
Professional yogi, music teacher and cellist Lucy Price held her first music and mindfulness session, treating the gathering to a series of breathing exercises and an atmospheric string performance.
The project was formed during lockdown last year, and Price said the idea of marrying his two passions had been “bubbling” for some time.
“From an early age, we are taught that our ears are for listening and our eyes are for seeing,” she said.
“But I want to explore if we can listen with the whole body and have a bit more of an embodied listening experience.”
With no gigs to prepare for during the lockdown, Price began incorporating her meditative practices into her music, paying attention to her breathing and the vibrations of the instrument while playing.
“I noticed that all of those things made me a lot more present when I was performing,” she said.
“I thought I would also like to give that experience to the listener by combining meditation to give them a different experience with the music.”
A cellist for 20 years, Price first picked up the instrument after hearing Camille Saint-Saëns’ Le Cygne from his 1886 sequel Le Carnaval des Animaux.
Since then she has toured internationally both solo and with ensembles.
Her passion for yoga was formed over six years ago when she started practicing it while studying at the Australian National Academy of Music.
Also a qualified yoga instructor, Price recently received her Advanced Yoga Teaching Diploma from the Australian Yoga Academy and her yin yoga training under yogi Karina Smith.
Price said the purpose of the sessions is to give his audience a better sense of their surroundings and an awareness of the present moment.
“A person came to me the other day and told me that their senses had been heightened as a result of the session,” she said.
“With the energy of the group, it’s as if we were creating together in the moment.
“People are really excited about it and saying how much it’s needed right now.”
Music and Mindfulness will serve as a teaser for a future performance titled Bach to Breath, which will be held both live and online and will include similar elements with a focus on pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Sessions will continue weekly depending on the weather, and Price will regularly change days and times to make the experience regularly accessible to as many people as possible.
They will remain at Lake Esmond for the time being, and those interested in attending can subscribe to Price’s newsletter for more information.