By the time Music of Joy was ready to set up for their concert in the ballroom of the Carrington Hotel, the place was already packed. The winter sun had blessed the Winter Magic Festival all day but as 3.30 pm approached, it had already begun its exit to the west of the Blue Mountains. Festival goers were now piling in as the falling temperature divined the ‘magic’ inside from the ‘winter’ outside.
The gathering audience was a mixture of carousers, shelter seekers and those who had come especially for a particular type of magic. As the musicians waited to make their entrance, a diminutive elderly lady braved her way through the bustling crowd towards them. In her hand was a clipping from the Blue Mountains Gazette. She held it up asking, “Does anyone know where this is going to be?” It was an article about Music of Joy and their upcoming concert. Relief seemed to descend over her when told that she was indeed in the right place and that the concert was just about to start. Her quest was at an end.
Inside the ballroom it was standing room only. The energy swirled from all directions but soon began to settle on the common ground of the spirit as MOJ launched into their lively set. Half way through, the audience was asked to join the band in the silence of meditation. How would they take it? Would they stay? One of the musicians recalls feeling the silence and wondering if the full house had become an empty house. As he slowly opened his eyes, he was mildly shocked to see that not one person had left. On the contrary, audience and musicians alike where more present than ever – no music could match the sound and truth of this silence.
As the musicians were working their way out of the venue after the concert, equipment in hand, a guy in the crowd shouted out impatiently for them to move on. Then, from somewhere, the voice of an elderly lady was heard to ask, “Did you just go to that meditation?” to which the agro guy retorted with a disparaging, “Nah.” Just then, the pushing and shoving subsided momentarily. The stillness from inside the concert somehow descended on the crowd outside. For a brief moment, the lobby of the hotel was transformed into a theatre and the ‘audience’ hushed in anticipation of the next line. After a short, dramatic pause it was the voice of the same ‘little ol’ lady’ who exclaimed very firmly, “Well, perhaps you should have!”