"But it wasn't just the incredible sight of the Peulh. Even in the poor conditions, they were making music, miraculous music that seemed to come from another world. Swados was on her feet the instant she heard it. She knew the Peulh sound went to the heart of everything she was searching for.
"There, in one sustained note - a sound held for so long we weren't even aware of a voice behind it; a sound pure and simple, effortless - it was as if the whole meaning of everything that is so unintelligible and mystifying about life had somehow been shown to us. From where or how, I didn't know. But it was there, and it was as if the sound had a life of its own. The sound merged with others, vibrating. It was as if the sounds weren't human. They were beyond art, beyond culture, beyond everything except dreams. They were beautiful. They were beyond the human."