Written by Chrissie McGinn. Find the recording of the concert at the bottom of the page.

The annual Shipley Festival Blue Idol Concert was different this year because of the pandemic. It was a programme presented with Zoom and included the Vivaldi flute concerto in D – 2nd movement, RV783, played by Bruce Martin in the Blue Idol garden. There was a totally original animation with the String Academy and pupils from Junior Trinity Conservatoire of Music and Dance perfoming Purcell’s Chacony in G minor on the river Thames beside the Old Royal College. We heard a beautiful performance of the “Wedding Song” played by Stephanie Cant, and finally Andrew Bernardi & Andy Laing played J. S.Bach’s Concerto for two violins in D minor 2nd movement BWV 1043.

As usual, the music was accompanied by words that included William Penn’s words;

“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”

All the words were chosen to reflect people’s thoughts and feelings about living in a time of “lock down”. These included a poem called the Brilliance of Life by William Bloom, a John O’donohue blessing for those feeling burdened, and we closed with these beautiful words about stillness by Eckhart Tolle.


It has been said: ”Stillness is the language God speaks, and everything else is bad translation.” Stillness is really another word for space. Becoming conscious of stillness whenever we encounter it in our lives will connect us with the formless and timeless dimension within ourselves, that which is beyond thought, beyond ego. It may be the stillness that pervades the world of nature, or the stillness in your room in the early hours of the morning, or the silent gaps in between sounds.

Stillness has no form – that is why through thinking we cannot become aware of it. Thought is form. Being aware of stillness means to be still. To be still is to be conscious without thought. You are never more essentially, more deeply, yourself than when you are still. When you are still, you are who you were before you temporarily assumed this physical and mental form called a person. You are also who you will be when the form dissolves. When you are still, you are who you are beyond your temporal existence: consciousness – unconditioned, formless, eternal.

The video is on Youtube so you can enjoy the evening all over again!

Categories: Events