WASHINGTON – One half of the Indigo Girls joined her father,a professor of theology and worship,to show what happens when Saturday night meets Sunday morning.
Emily Saliers,a member of the folk-rock duo,and her father,Don E. Saliers,a professor at the Chandler School of Theology at Emory University,visited the Washington National Cathedral Tuesday to discuss their new book,“A Song to Sing,a Life to Live.”
The book developed from a conversation between Emily and her father that explores two generation,two genres of music and two outlooks on faith. They planned to write an essay aimed at teens,but an editor said it would make a better book.
“We offer it as an invitation to embrace a broader,deeper vision of the power and role of music in human life – and especially to embrace the spiritual and religious dimensions of attentive listening,collaborative music making,and honest sharing.” Emily and her father wrote in the book.
“It came a sort of a surprise when I was told about the book idea. I was afraid of letting my fans down,” Emily told the audience.
Emily talked about the difficultly she encountered in the project because she does not practice a particular religion,and her father does.
“I realized that it was going to have religious connections and connotations. I felt a great fear,” Emily said in the book.
Both said it was a joy to work on.
During the lecture,the father-daughter duo alternated songs and stories to convey their many points on how music has the power to connect,inspire and console people.
“If it had not been for certain music,many movements would not have occurred,such as apartheid,civil right movement,” said Saliers,who has been a church musician in addition to his teaching duties.
The duo's performance of the song “Hammer and Nail” that transitioned to the refrain in a second song – “Let us break bread together” – left audience members in awe.
“I loved it. I love how the secular and sacred blend through church,” said Allison Stone,32,of Baltimore,after watching the performance.
“I loved it,” said Eric Manning,of Silver Spring,Md.,a fan of the Indigo Girls and a songwriter.
“I normally hear their music in concerts and things like that,but to hear it acoustically like this was amazing.” Manning said.
The event ended with a question and answer session and a book signing.