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Creating Music Together

Seven days of silence, listening, singing, and composing

January 3-10, 2018

St. Mary's Retreat House, Oxford, Michigan

Artists, programmers, accountants, and musicians gathered for seven days of silence, listening, writing music, and singing each other's inspirations in private performances. 

We believe that everyone has the capacity to hear new music and bring it into this world. Through working in groups, each of us gains support and experience listening to internal inspiration, and communicating that inspiration to others. Experienced musicians challenge their own internal critics, and gain tools to work through creative blocks. Beginning musicians gain support and basic tools to write and share their own music.

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The Assistants Tony Geballe, Dev Ray, Erin Rogers, Frank Sheldon, and Craig Shepard draw from experience teaching Alexander Technique, participating in and organizing Guitar Craft and Guitar Circle Courses, and creating as part of groups in WandelweiserthingNY, and the theater group La Compagnia de' Colombari.




"This introspective yet social workshop helped me explore the power of individuals' intuitions of what to create and how to proceed as a driver of creativity and collaboration." - Jonathan Marmor, Engineering Manager, Spotify

“I found the workshop to be low key but marvelously effective. Craig was successful in moving the group composition process forward without imposing any particular restrictions or directions upon it. Instead, he made it easy for the group members to bounce ideas off of each other, all the  while emphasizing thoughfulness, coherence and imagination.” George Brandon, Ph.D., ISMP composer and integrative sound and music practitioner.


Creating Music Together: One Road Out of Hell

There's a deep communion in music which we haven't found anywhere else. We've experienced moments in concerts where time stops and the musicians and audience are all connected and a window opens up where we cannot understand why we were ever anxious or worried about anything. These moments are brief, perhaps twenty seconds; a sense of the experience remains.

We believe that everyone has the capacity to create new music. Many people have been so trained to ignore their own leadings and to believe that they can't do anything to influence the world around them, that they no longer believe they can do anything. This is hell.

We have experienced beauty and awe in the moment a new piece of music is born. Being there when someone writes their first piece of music is a true joy.

We accept that our work may not have any impact in our lifetimes; we move forward anyway, taking the next indicated action. Each time we work with others to access their abilities, we are reminded that music creates a new future, if not for us then for those who come after us. This is one road out of hell.

We hope you join us for a week of silence, music, and working together. We will introduce basic exercises to listen to imagination, to communicate that to others, and to bring it into this world as your very own music.