Singing Philosopher | Vocalist | Author | Educator |
CHLOË GOODCHILD is the founder of The Naked Voice, a pioneering experiential vocal training programme, providing a sound awareness toolkit of conscious core practices, music, audio-books, and spoken meditations that empower people to transform their lives by finding and embodying their authentic voice.
Chloe has sung for HH Dalai Lama at The Good Heart conference, London University, UK; The Way of Peace world conference held in Northern Ireland; and at HH Dalai Lama’s Honorary Doctorate ceremony, Belfast. She was music director, composer, and performer at The Vagina Monologues with its acclaimed author, Eve Ensler, in Madison Square Gardens, NYC. She also conducted her Vulva Choir there, comprising 75 of the top actresses of the world, including Queen Latifah, Jane Fonda, Brooke Shields, and Glenn Close.
The Naked Voice Charitable Foundation was established in 2004, to disseminate a deeper awareness of the essential role conscious communication plays in strengthening ethical awareness, social health, and well-being in all realms of human life. Chloe’s seminal book, The Naked Voice – Transform Your Life through the Power of Sound (North Atlantic Books) was published in 2015.
Chloe’s Podcast series, the VOCE Dialogues – Voices of Compassionate Evolution launched in 2019. It explores and celebrates the transformative impact of compassion, with new paradigm teachers, musicians, authors, artists, social activists, new scientists, and entrepreneurs, who are making a difference in the world.
Chloe sings, teaches, performs, and records on her NakedVoiceMusic label. She is also a presenter and author for Sounds True Audiobooks; and The Shift Network. Her music is available from Amazon, Spotify, Apple, and from her website www.chloegoodchild.com
My 10 Best
Momo by Michael Ende
A magical adventure by the author of The Never Ending Story. This captivating adult fairytale brings us an imperative message for our time. It manages to unify the key most compelling elements that make living on Earth – in the 21stCentury – such a blessing and a profound challenge. Key themes include:
- Wonder and Innocence – Momo, the heroine of the story embodies this
- It is a journey to the Source – within, and beyond time.
- Ancient/Modern – It’s set on an edge of a city, in an ancient amphitheater
- Listening & responding to life without fear or violence
- The Dance of the Opposites – Darkness and Light
- The redeeming power of Love vs illusory Love of Power
- The indispensable connection between Duality and Eternal Presence
The Upanishads – A Selection
by Eknath Easwaran
This has been like a second bible for me since I returned from India in 1990 following a no-mind experience. I am indebted to Eknath Easwaran for making these ancient 2,500-year-old wisdom texts, available and accessible in English.
It was in this book that I first encountered the Mandukya Upanishad, which is a description – in twelve verses – of the meaning of the sacred sound AUM. This sacred sound encompasses all the sounds of the universe, distilled into three letters, which are ‘measures’ like musical notes; each one representing a state of consciousness. ‘A’ (Vaishvanara) is our attention to the external world. U(Taijasa) the dreaming state when all our attention is turned inward, and M(Prajna), the dreamless state from where your mind is totally stilled. The recitation of all three sounds ignites the fourth state ‘AUM’ (Turiya), fathomless silence, beyond duality, birth, and death, infinite presence.
Illuminations – A Novel of Hildegarde of Bingen
by Margaret Sharratt
I could not put this remarkable novel down – a true story – about one of the most extraordinary women of the Middle Ages, the medieval Benedictine abbess, healer, composer, mystic, Hildegarde of Bingen. It was her inspired hymns celebrating the spirit of Nature, the sacred feminine, and Mary the mother of God – as the embodiment of Nature in all its sacred feminine beauty – that first captivated me years ago when I heard recordings such as “Feather on the Breath of God.” I subsequently was inspired to make my own recorded versions of two of Hildegarde’s hymns.
This book is an unforgettable read, an unimaginable story about a little girl who – at the tender age of eight – is handed over by her family to a monastery to embark upon a new life as an anchorite! She was then made to live for years in a forced silence! Margaret Sharratt draws you into a profoundly intimate moment-by-moment experience with this courageous, stubborn, and wilful child, whose only support is that of a very stern tutor. Hildegarde is then required to survive in a very enclosed space for years until she finally makes friends with the monk who sends her food through a hatch, and little by little, you join her as she transforms her imprisonment into an ecstatic relationship with the whole of life, ultimately turning the patriarchal church on its head, and creating her own spiritual Order.
The Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks
This comprehensive collection of poems and quatrains celebrating the ecstatic love poetry of the 13th-Century Sufi saint Mevlana Jelal-ad Din, Rumi, has been a constant companion. The messages of these poems carry a dynamic energy, mystical insight, humour, joyous impermanence and a lightness of being that has nourished my soul for many years, all the more so since singing and touring with its translator – Rumi poet, Coleman Barks – for several years in Canada, USA, Ireland and UK. Coleman’s contemporary versions of Rumi, suddenly made 13thCentury Rumi a best-selling poet, for the thousands of seekers in this contemporary world in search of meaning, beyond the confines of religious division and dogmatism.
Coleman Barks has been the subject of controversy by many academic Sufi scholars, who have questioned his distortions of the original Persian versions. Yet the request from his Sufi master to “release these birds from their cages” brought the presence and non-dual mystical teachings of Rumi to a much wider public perhaps than might otherwise have been. The Field is very well-known now and speaks to so many:
‘Out beyond ideas of
wrong doing and right doing
There is a field
I’ll meet you there’
The Way of Inner Vigilance
by Salïm Michael
My dear friend Roger Housden introduced me to the life and teachings of Salim Michael, a student of Gurdjieff, who spent four years of “unrelenting toil” writing this book, which he only agreed to do to have something to leave after his death to a small band of students living in Paris. Thanks to Roger, we met Salim in Paris, and he initiated us into some of his core teachings, many of which are revealed in this unique and uncompromising spiritual book.
Once started, I could not put this book down. Each insight was accompanied by a specific practice. The aim of each practice was to learn how to live without distraction in the present moment of everyday life. Salim Michael’s precise instructions portrayed a man of extraordinary self-discipline, dedication, and commitment to the liberation of one’s true being. Such qualities are rare to find. What struck me most was the attention Salim gave to the practice of listening and speaking in a section entitled, “Yoga of Listening to the Sound of One’s Voice”… This book has influenced my own teachings with spoken into sun voice and sound.
The Music of Life
by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Hazrat Inayat Khan’s book is a distillation of many volumes (which I have) of disseminating the spiritual power and practice of sound and music.
This book represents the Sufi master’s vision of the harmony which underlies and infuses every aspect of our lives. With deep insight and wisdom, he explores the science of breath, the law of rhythm, the creative process, and both the healing power and psychological influence of music and sound. This quote embraces his remarkable illuminating fields of spiritual perception.
“What makes us feel drawn to music is our whole being is music; our mind and our body, the nature in which we live, the nature that has made us, all that is beneath and around us, it is all music. We are close to all this music, and live and move and have our being in music”
The Chymmical Wedding
by Lindsay Clarke
This book – winner of the Whitbread Prize – was another showstopper of a story, a dazzling weave of alchemy, and a roller-coaster of story and character. The Chymmical Wedding tells two parallel and interconnected tales–one set in the late 1840’s, one in the 1980’s, both played out in the same English village. Lindsay Clarke’s capacity to draw you into a realm of what I experienced as very real compelled me to investigate the deeper instinctual longing of my own sensuality, love of intimacy, and union. It also brought me home to the nostalgic “do-not-be-fooled” sweetness and beauty of life in an English village, concealing the urgent necessity for the alchemical integration of wild opposing forces, with the presence of Nature, the Green Man, and the wild, ancient pagan goddess, Sheela Na Gig, at one end, and the constrictions of patriarchal colonialism and the Church at the other.
Through Music to the Self
by Peter Michael Hamel
This book has travelled with me for decades. Why? “It is the responsibility of spiritual music to learn from all music traditions, to track down long-forgotten sources, and to bring back into the limelight the original function of music – its links with the deepest in human experience … encompassing our Being in its entirety”
I love this writer! He gave me permission to acknowledge the road I was on with music as a spiritual holistic experience. This book covers all the areas that my own music education never dealt with. It responds to philosophical and world music questions, as well as questions related to the spiritual nature of music within and beyond the accepted institutional confines of what music is.
It addresses my number ONE love theme –Listening. Do we know how to listen? Are we losing our skills of listening? What is auditory consciousness? Why does it matter? As Hamel writes: “What we are here concerned with is not so much new discoveries as the re-discovery of what was known long ago to ancient cultures and peoples – knowledge that was simply allowed to slide into oblivion as a result of a predominantly rationalistic development of the Western world. It is our task to rediscover those links and integrate them into the musical consciousness of these new times (originally 20th century) …
In our own time a new ‘spiritual’ music is being developed, one which goes beyond the usual ideas of the experimental avant–garde … It is the consequence of the great revolution of consciousness that began in the early 20thcentury, associated with Einstein, Planck, Freud, and Jung, and whose musical side has been influenced by Schoenberg Bartok, Orff Messiaen, and Cage.”
The Third Millenium – Living in the Posthistoric World by Ken Carey Thomas Merton
This timeless and visionary work of spiritual wisdom brings us a blueprint for entirely new modes of perception and understanding.
They say that progress is slow. This book – written in the late 70s – was only recently introduced to me. Its presence and content have integrated so much, as it distills and responds to the many dimensions of my multi-faceted life on earth, with its simple profound all-encompassing message for our time.
The Third Millenium is the culmination of a Trilogy, for which – The Starseed Transmissions, and Vision – complete the total picture. I have read ALL of them. Ken Carey lived with his wife and children on a remote farm in southern Missouri. He received the vision and messages – written in this book – over the period of just eleven days, one winter-time. He simultaneously wrote down everything he heard. Here is a taster:
You are the template, the prototype of a new and universal species, part solar, part material, both temporal and eternal, the species that will span the gulf between the visible and the invisible, bringing new worlds into form. Through you, a new and unprecedented cycle of creation will occur…
This book describes itself accurately as “setting each of us on a shining joyous path to a future of hope and promise as magical as our own imaginings”.
Anandamayi – Her Life and Wisdom
by Richard Lannoy
Anandamayi (1896 – 1982) was a simple country girl from a remote village on the eastern most border of India who became a personality of the highest spiritual distinction. She encompassed all castes, faiths, and creeds, on a journey which took her all over India. This book is a tribute to her unique and far-reaching impact on the world.
She was one of the great luminaries and seers of 20thCentury India. She was spiritual counsellor to the Nehru dynasty and to Mahatma Gandhi. I encountered her in the late 1980s, and her presence and teachings on Oneness transformed my life. This book is one of the best I know on the significance of the Divine Feminine in these wild and unprecedented times. I will take it with me to my grave. I am honoured to say that I was instrumental in supporting its publication (presently out of print, but we will see about that!).
Written by my dear friend and mentor, Richard Lannoy, an artist, author, and a photo-journalist, who actually visited and was given permission to photograph Anandamayi in the 1950s. The photographs, of her in the book, together with the text, express all that you need to know about this monumental personality that is Anandamayi (Blissful Mother). Many of Richard’s photo-portraits can be seen at the website www.anandamayi.org