Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Random Notes

9:31 am

Ready to practice and I heard this thought - time to resume music connection.  What does that mean - connection? Pick up my guitar & play.

10:04 am

After working on my nails and exploring notes the thought of connection returned.  Do I want to connect or repeat, that is explore the music of the moment or play/practice pieces that exist.  I decided to let go of repeat for now, embrace the new and connect.  After a while this felt like noodling.

Then a spark. Attempts to ignite, maybe; maybe not.  Let go then a bigger spark.  Persist. Let go.

10:47 am

I know not where music comes from.

12:17 pm

What is the question I have not asked?

What is the music I can not hear?

12:48 pm

Sticking with the uncertainty.  Lost and confused, go ahead abandon the search and play something you know.   But I know that right now, playing something I know would in a sense be a cheap thrill.  Suffer through the feelings of inadequacy,  the why's and self-deprecation.  Visiting a C sharp again, an idea for a tuning arose.  Yeah get more lost.  And I did.  Then another musical idea arose.  Played with and explored a bit.  Wrote it down and broke for lunch.

4:30 pm

Looked at the idea again and took it further.  Still much uncertainty.  Still the uncertainty.  I know that regardless of a complete piece of music I always learn in these situations.  And I have notebooks full of ideas.  Brought some with me for this retreat.  May or may not give these old ideas a look.

9:00 pm

One more visit after dinner and a film.  Where the piece was previously took off a bit.  Found myself playing in 11, here goes.  Until tomorrow.

Tuning is low to high C# G D B F# G   and so it goes.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

First Day

After journaling and our sitting, we went to the Ocean for our morning Qi Gong practice.  The energy available at sunrise along the surf is enlivening to a degree like no other.  The scent of the Ocean, the sounds of the birds and surf awaken my body, mind and spirit.  Just what I need to return to the guitar on this day.

Tony Geballe & I completed the recordings for The Call this past Thursday.  Preparations & execution had been intense and I took Friday off.  With the completion of Guitar Craft on Saturday I choose to end as I had begun.  Prior to my Level One we were instructed to not play for guitar for one week.  With a busy three days in front of me, this might also be a good way to enter into my post GC period.

On FB I saw that Curt Golden ended on a C sharp as his last note. He has always been a great guide for me, so I chose to begin with a C Sharp today.  Soon this led me to a full and partial capo arrangement which had me somewhat baffled.  An idea arose and I followed along; happily open to the next note.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Crafting a Musician


On this the day that Guitar Craft and Guitar Circles arose and now completes, I am grateful.  The people, practices and principles that informed our work together are alive and always will be.  The question remains - will I study, apply and bring them to life?

Since 1989, Guitar Craft has been an adventure of facing fear, developing fundamentals and having fun with people who have become very dear to me.  Music always whispering, though I was not always listening; frequently I was unable to hear even when I was listening.  Slowly the craft worked on me; even slower I responded.  Music is a benevolent  presence.  One I have always known, yet was afraid to embrace.  The right people, causes and conditions arose to show me the way, and I am certain something right will arise in the form necessary for our times.

To everyone who ever offered a supportive ear, heart or hand I thank you. 

I am complete in my incompleteness.   

And hope remains.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Listen to the Quiet Voice

 Frustrated with recalibrating to a different guitar while I travel, I decided to let go of practicing repetroire and focus on finding new ideas.  Listening, just listening to the environment around me.  Thinking of a time and space a note appears.  Repeat - another note sings out.  Slowly a melody emerges about me.  Then it stops.  Back to listening. just listening for the quiet voice.  Rest repeat.

Open. Listen. Respond. Listen. Open... Quietly.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

November Rose

 Sending prayers, love and music on Mom's Birthday.

Mom found my first guitar teacher,
bought me my first guitar,
Loved every note I played,
absolutely loved them all.

She loved me too.
All of me.
Especially when I didn't.

What more could I ask for,
hope for.
Certainly more than I deserve.

Matka Boska.
Yes ...  Yes
Matka Boska - Blessed Mother.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


On the road today, staying in a beautiful home.  A wonderful place to rest and practice.  Walking in a nearby park, I came across four Native American Burial Mounds.  These simple, poignant, natural, mysterious and inevitable reminders of the one fear that always comes true - death.  As I pondered them, I was grateful for the life, opportunities, family, friends & love that fill my life.

After lunch I practiced a bit, then recalled the Burial Mounds.   Being open to the notes that might arise, I listened carefully as I played.  Might the notes wrap the shroud with respect.  A whisper arose and I followed gently.  Another whisper - somewhat surprised I trusted and followed further.  Could this be my humble tribute to these lives that passed?  To all life that will pass?  I made some notes as the whisper quieted and then I rested.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


I stumble upon one, then another.  No guarantee that the desired outcome will be obtained.  Moving through the dark, a point of light shimmers, moves, disappears to reappear.  I listen, step through and persist.  Beginning again, and then again a form emerges.  One passageway leading to another, and then again it could be, but is not - so I explore some more.

After resting, I begin again.  A happy accident embraces my ear. Enthusiasm soars as I continue to follow the whisper through the first passage and then find another way to sound the second one.  Pausing to work out a section of arpeggios, I begin the search again.  My hands move with their own knowledge and another passage, different, yet pulling the previous material along appears.  Be free I whisper to myself, trust the process. Look again, with stillness within.

Listening to a take from earlier today, my mind hears a conclusion.  After playing this through I am not convinced, but listen more and then just maybe the path through is clear.  One more taping.  Then I put my guitar to rest.

Trusting, that my mind will play with this as I sleep.  Tomorrow if I wake, I'll begin again.