Serge Mazerand is thriving in the key of life.
Several years ago, the talented pianist and composer came to the realization that chasing the corporate dream in a material world had not given him what he thought he wanted, nor had retreating to a beautiful log home on a river near Smithers.
“After a life in the corporate world, I spent 20 years along the river in a healing process through making music,” he says, noting he didn’t realize music was his personal music therapy. “I unconsciously realized that I was not happy in myself, I was still subject to anxiety, mild addiction and compulsive behaviours.”
Mazerand says playing his own peaceful compositions and covers helped him relax and heal and create calmness – while he was composing or playing.
But when the music stopped he found old thought patterns remained.
Determined to find a way to change his addictive behavioural issues, Mazerand looked to a familiar source for inspiration – music.
“We create harmony in music by applying certain principles,” he says, pointing out the definition of music is ‘a balanced combination of sounds that is pleasing to the ears.’ “It’s kind of a simple understanding, but when we try to transpose this into harmony in life, it is a balanced combination of thoughts, words and actions that are pleasing to the mind, to the heart and to the soul.”
Over a four-year period, Mazerand explored the notion of authentic happiness, the search resulting in his new book, 7 Keys to Serenity.
“The book is result of a lifetime of my experiences throughout the world and 20 years of reflection and meditation, culminating in four years of writing in the solitude of my log cabin.”
During the process, the once-avid fly fisherman gave up the sport he had so enjoyed, having developed a compassion for the fish.
“I got a better understanding that we are all one; we need to develop a respect for that,” he says, noting the book became the catalyst for his own metamorphosis and the reason there is a butterfly on the front cover. “I want to inspire readers that we can transform ourselves; we are not something that is set in stone.”
Throughout the immensely readable book, Mazerand refers to the familiar concept of musical keys to introduce new insights.
“The keys are a musical metaphor, for we are the composers of and conductors of our own orchestra, the orchestra being body and mind,” he says. “We create our own inner peace.”
In his considerable research for the book, Mazerand explored the science of quantum energy, something he deems self- evident and explanatory.
“It’s about music; you cannot mix one key with another, you have to try to create a unity and a certain rhythm,” he says. “This is a crucial aspect of the book; we are music and the world is made of music. Music is sound and sound is vibration and frequencies, amplitudes, waves and rhythms and when you look at nature and the universe, everything is vibrational. We are vibrational beings.”
Mazerand says science nowadays helps us understand and gives this reality credence and credibility, with instruments that measure very subtle energies, including electromagnetic fields.
“The key concept here is alignment between what we think, what we say and what we do; the main reason we are stressed out and creating conflicts is because we create a dissonance between all three things,” he says. “We are living in autopilot mode and the key is to stop and pause, take a deep breath and come into our awareness.”
He maintains that a minute or two, maybe two or three minutes a day makes it possible to disconnect from the autopilot mode and reconnect to ourselves.
Mazerand also makes clear “there is no free lunch.” Change and progress take time, discipline and self-restraint, he says.
Throughout the book, Mazerand takes the reader on “interludes,” in which he describes his own journey to serenity.
While he is promoting his book, Mazerand continues to perform at concerts, but with new intention.
“I am composing in a new way and when I play my concerts on stage, I will not play it the same at any other time,” he says. “I keep healing myself and communicate with the heart in a spirit of humbleness, sharing and an openness, to be playing what the audience needs to hear in the moment.”
Mazerand will perform in concert from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18 at the Nexus. Part of the proceeds will go to First United Church. Pre-concert tickets at $20 are available at keystoserenity.com.
The pianist will also be promoting his book 7 Keys to Serenity at the concert and from noon to 3 p.m. the same day at Buckingham Palace Bookstore in the Mall at Piccadilly.