Christian, Longueuil, Québec

Christian is a violinist. For the last thirty years he has played with the internationally renowned chamber orchestra I Musici de Montréal. Performing with an orchestra has given him many opportunities to reflect on the benefits of certain spiritual principles for life in society.

“In an orchestra, it is necessary to find a balance between the individuality of each member and the need to blend into a single group. Musically, it is necessary to listen to the others more than to oneself. Of course you have to be aware of your own sound, but this is in order to better blend with the whole. It is useful to become good at listening to others, to question oneself, to acquire the ability to encourage others, and to learn. These principles also guide me in my relationships outside the orchestra.   

“For me, practicing my faith means learning to live according to the divine art of living, both individually and in society. The teachings of the Bahá’í Faith guide me in my pursuits, my aspirations and my attitude at work. Regarding personal transformation, there are several points in common between delving deeper into a piece of music and deepening one’s faith. This is true for example of the desire to understand the intent of the text (whether it is a musical score or a spiritual document) in all its authenticity, and of the research involved in understanding more fully the historical context in which the author expressed himself, to better understand its meaning and significance.  

“In the process of learning a piece of music well enough to play it in public, I find myself working at acquiring multiple intellectual and spiritual capacities, such as patience, humility, courage, commitment, perseverance, and the desire to seek excellence and greater self-knowledge.

“I also find it important not to insist on my own perceptions, and to understand that I have to forget my ego, even if it is sometimes difficult. Detachment is required because it enables me to listen sincerely to others. Purity of intention is a crucial quality. It enables us to solve many problems when working in a group.  

“Ideally, music should be perceived as a form of prayer, an act of worship. The arts show us who we really are on the inside. It is a dimension where the heart of a human being and his aspirations can be expressed and his capacities can be developed through an infinite number of forms. However, I believe that the arts must be inspired by our own spiritual nature in order to have a positive and lasting influence on the profound transformation of society.   

“Music is a language that touches the sensibilities of the soul of every human being, even over time. It is an incredible tool for bringing the peoples of the world closer together. Music does not really have borders and this is why we see musicians frequently moving around the world. Most orchestras are very cosmopolitan. I grew up in a musical environment and I believe that it is this love for music and its universal language that predisposed me to become a Bahá’í when I was in my twenties.”