Music is sacred to St. Paul grad Chris Reynolds
Aug 6, 2015 at 1:23 PM
It’s been an amazing journey for Norwalk native Christopher Reynolds.
Reynolds, a 1979 graduate of St. Paul High School, recently wrapped up a 30-year career teaching French at Berea City Schools.
He’s also released “Unio Corporalis: And the flesh was made word,” which is his 14th album.
Reynolds described himself, his music and his life.
“I’m a singer, teacher and shaman. Those three attributes have always been present, though I ‘lead’ with one,” he said.
“I just ended a 30-year career in Berea City Schools as a French teacher and department chair. Those were wonderful years with my children, Isaac and Ana,” Reynolds said.
“Since 2014, I have been letting singing take the lead by putting on healing concerts that blend my original songs with sacred chants,” he said.
“The songs generally fall into the singer-songwriter genre. The chants I sing come to me either in dreams or just after waking up. Those are sacred songs with spiritual intention. The music coming through me weaves the story of the path of my life,” Reynolds said.
“It is as if you are inside and feeling everything from my point of view. Beginning with the release, “A Suburban Nigredo,” ideas from alchemy as described by C.G. Jung, Eugene Monick and Joseph Campbell, formed the connecting thread to all that followed,” he said.
“The three phases of “The Great Work” in alchemy; Nigredo, Albedo and Rubedo are the secret keys to understanding the entire body of music,” Reynolds added.
Reynolds has a wide variety of music influences.
“The Beatles, especially, John Lennon, Peter Gabriel, Peter, Paul and Mary,” he said.
“Because of the profound influence of French on my life, there are French song-writers who have influenced me, Francis Cabrel being one,” he added.
“As far as sacred chants go, songs from the Lakota, the Ojibwe and the Dagara continue to teach me.
“Lastly, because of our family history, the Reynolds have many songs handed down as an oral tradition. I have learned a lot of songs from the Roaring 20s. One song, “Hadacol Boogie,” I have never heard outside our family, though it certainly came from somewhere,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds said he should have another new album out in 2016.
He recently played the Imagine Norwalk event on July 3.
“It was great,” he said. “The size of the crowd who came surprised me and the icing on the cake was to look out to the faces of persons with whom I shared a ‘Norwalk childhood’ — some I had not seen for years. There was a lining of sorrow to it as well, for those who are not with us now. I experienced a ‘moment’ as I played my song, ‘The Time of the Healing’ to be standing on Main Street and singing the words:
“This is the time of the healing.
This is the time of the grace.
This is the time of the breathing
in and out of this place.”
“I’ll be back to play more Imagine Norwalks, maybe even a bigger Norwalk gig,” Reynolds said.