Simon's research focuses on the links between music and spirituality, exploring how music is able to amplify religious ideas and feelings, not just in Catholic thought, but across cultural boundaries.


From a small boat on the holy River Ganges off Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India, during the evening Aarti ceremony in April, 2009, we launched our tiny candles and prayed. The atmosphere ashore was electrifying, and the music mesmerising.



Here at the West End of the Marienkirche in Lübeck it is possible to pause for a moment, recalling the music of the great Dietrich Buxtehude, who worked here, and the dreadful devastation wrought upon this building on the night of Palm Sunday, 1942.



Behind the candles, part of the Rood Screen of Lübeck Cathedral, which lost its magnificent Arp Schnitger organ in the air raid.   



To the Southeast of the town of Nyaungshwe on Inle Lake in Burma, the monastic life commences early in the morning, with the rhythmic chanting of prayers.



Here in the forbidden Shan State of Burma, the pagodas and temples of Kakku have thousands of bells tinkling in the breeze.