Saturday, April 17, 2010

Can Eating a Sandwich Make Me a Better Musician?

 For lunch today I had red pepper hummus on multigrain/seed bread open faced with good slices of fresh tomato topped with salt and freshly ground black pepper. A splendid spring day in Takoma Park today, cool with fluffy white clouds and a gentle breeze. I was eating on the screen porch after having just completed the first segment of my practice.

For fretboard knowledge I had been learning the notes of the C hijaz scale through the first to tenth positions. Today I extended this from the two positions I had previously learned. I kept my approach playful and musical, varying tempos, slight alterations in the patterns, and dynamics. I then moved on to preparing Stepping Stones for an upcoming performance with The Field. Focusing on the first two sections of this piece while playing amplified. Better to hear the transient sounds between the notes and find where I need to address my technique. I completed on a positive note and moved forward to lunch.

Still in a very focused place I noticed the toothiness of this good bread I was eating, the creaminess of the hummus tinged with the bite of the pepper and the acidity of the juicy tomato. Slowly I enjoyed my sandwich while looking at the trees with their fresh green leaves contrasted with the pink, white, & purples of blooming azaleas. Listening to the wind and gentle birdsong, punctuated with the occasional verse of the wind chime. The thought entered my brain – Can eating a sandwich make me a better musician?

Yes, was my wholesome reply, any moment where I am present affects all other moments. While this is an individual act of caring for the animal it is indivisible from the rest of my life. Drawing on the beauty of life, the wonder of nature, and all of my senses to inform and ignite my passions, to cultivate music. Each moment fully lived strengthens the possibility of other moments to be lived fully. The act of music requires complete attention, thus any act undertaken with attention assists the act of music.

On a lighter note as I write this I have decided that it will not be necessary for me to record my eating a sandwich to evaluate my practice in this area. Back to the guitar.
Stay tuned!

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