Saturday, October 23, 2010
Part of my investigation of performance this year has been the exercise of choice. I moved from sitting to standing for instance. Now due to increasing pain due to varicose veins I have returned to sitting while playing. When I did it was with a different quality though. Now sitting while playing is an option, not just the only way I can perform. A major part of my AT work has been focused on having a choice in how I use my body. What can I do to be aware of my habitual use of the self?
I prefer being quiet during a performance. Initially this was a way to hide behind the terror of addressing an audience in words. I was suffering enough to just be able to show up with a guitar and play. If I opened my mouth they would hear my nervousness. Fool me to not know that they could already observe my fear and suffering. Through much work the fear of playing for others has been removed. Slight manifestations still assert themselves, but for the most part I am comfortable playing.
I'll never be one for audience banter, I do not believe it serves the music that I play. Yet their is this expectation or need or tradition that many people want communication from the performer other than the music. So I am looking for ways to exercise having a choice in addressing the audience. Where does it deter the flow of music; where might it serve the performance event. Might the event be about more that the music, a celebration or a memorial. As with all things in life, the quality of how the communication is transmitted is what matters.
I wrote these words in the afternoon. Now it is 11pm and Alive Again Day 3 is coming to a close. A great audience tonight as well as last night. Truly I am blessed. My playing felt better tonight, more confident. The audience was spirited and wanted more. We all enjoyed the improvisation with the bells. Progress not perfection.