By Phyllis Kennemer
The music of the glass armonica seems to speak directly to the soul. It surrounds and enfolds the listener in a sense of harmony and joy. This feeling of wellbeing is conducive to meditation and to healing. I continue to be amazed that I have been privileged to experience this exquisite sound.
Following my private musical presentation, I spent a couple of hours with Greg Temmer in his home in Fort Collins, Colorado, in an effort to learn more about this unusual instrument and his experiences with it. Greg is one of only approximately 22 people on the planet playing the glass armonica in public performances in modern times.
Greg was introduced to the sounds of the glass armonica at the age of 15 when he heard a recording made with the instrument. He recalls that he had never heard anything so beautiful. He was truly mesmerized and the music haunted him in the background of his being for close to twenty years. Greg was already an accomplished musician at the time and he had a talent for composing music on the piano.
In 2001 Greg conducted an online search for the instrument and found the glass armonica closest to Colorado was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, owned by Mayling Garcia. He contacted her and drove to Albuquerque to hear her play it live.
The music stayed in Greg’s consciousness for the next five years as he perceived escalating signs that he was destined to own and play his own glass armonica. Greg reports that while he was attending a weekend men’s retreat in 2006 through the ManKind Project (www.mankindproject.org,) he entered into a space of silence. During that time of meditation, the message came to him clear and strong, “This is what I want to do with my life.” He placed his order for a two-octave version with G. Finkenbeiner, Inc. Scientific Glassblowers in September 2006 and his instrument arrived that November. In 2009 he bought his current instrument, a full three-octave armonica.
Learning to play the armonica was no easy task. Garcia had given Greg a few pointers, but for the most part he taught himself. He confesses that he gave up about a dozen times, but kept coming back with increased determination. Greg has continued to hone his skill on the instrument and has done intense research into its history and uses. As a result of his studies, he has created a Power Point presentation with pictures and testimonials about the armonica that have been brought together for the first time. He includes some unique perspectives about the music and its power to transform lives.
Soon after he felt proficient on his instrument, Greg was invited to a small elementary school to give a performance. The youngsters were very attentive and at the conclusion of the program, a nine-year-old girl shyly approached him. “I got sick over the weekend and when you played it, my nose stopped dripping.” Greg was speechless. He had read about the healing powers of the glass armonica and here was a heartfelt testimonial from his very first public appearance.
Greg offers sound healing sessions with individuals and groups. Those who hear his music report feelings of joy and wellbeing. Some people have had curative experiences; others have been moved into a state of deep meditation, but all agree that it offers a unique spiritual experience. Greg also plays the glass armonica for art shows, weddings, funerals, and special occasions.
More information about Greg Temmer, visit: www.CrystalHarmonies.net. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Armonica shall join the sacred choir, …
Hark: The soft warblings, sounding smooth and clear,
Strike with celestial ravishment the ear,
Conveying inward, as they sweetly roll,
A tide of melting music to the soul; …
‘Tis this enchanting instrument of thine,
Which speaks in accents more than half divine!