New Article published on the online journal "Nothing To Say"

HUMAN KIND: Music for Empathic Activism


Cat Toren writes on the urgency of 'looking people in the eye, with our heart.' In this story of the people affected by her HUMAN KIND  project which toured cities across the political spectrum this Spring, we are challenged to reflect on our interpersonal place in society, both with our audiences and our colleagues.    Read Article

Cat Toren
We Only Have The Right To Our Work

This is a response to a meditation by Ian White Maher in which he discusses chapter 2, verse 47 of the Bhagavad Gita. This meditation can be found on his podcast

We only have a right to our work. We do not have a right to the fruits. The fruits should not be the motivation for your actions and do not shirk your work. — Ch.2 V.47

I don’t have the right to expect my music will touch anyone, help any cause or better anything. There may be no epiphany, no validation of a job well done. Ralph Waldo Emerson says “The reward of a thing well done is to have done it”. Nothing more is required of me. For I only have the right to my work. 

What I also have the right to are my intentions, and in intention lies hope. In Ian’s words, “The work gives the world hope, and in the hope lies the holy”. 

So, I continue writing and producing music, simply because it is the work I have been called to do. 

Does this take a load off? For me, yes! I will work with music simply for the hope that lies in my intention and nothing more. 

The challenge is working even when faced with overwhelming solitude, lack of recognition, unclear focus or depression. Here, my hope is to find the Joy in the work, itself. To simply continue, knowing it is my calling. 

By practicing non-dualism in my work (letting go of positive or negative outcomes), I practice non-dualism on the greatest level; the oneness of all things.

Do you find this verse a relief? Do you find it challenging to act out your calling? What has been helpful or motivational for you? Please leave a comment so we can learn from each other :)

Cat TorenComment
Thelonious Monk Transcription

"April in Paris (Take 6)" transcribed by Cat Toren as played by The Thelonious Monk Quartet on "MONK" LP, 1964. View

For Monk's Centennial, I delved deep (well, even deeper) into his compositions, style and biography. I just can't get enough of Monk! Here's a transcription of one of my favourite piano intros to April in Paris. As usual, it's done to the best of my ability. It's always useful and important to listen to the recording along with the manuscript. Enjoy! 

Cat Toren