As we ended our Qi Gong session this morning I thought the word for today was going to be Gratitude, and suddenly I heard myself say - Freedom. As I formed these letters with my hands, this felt right. Later in the day I found myself trapped in habit that wanted to be expressed in harsh dissonant tones. Yet this type of tone was not appropriate to the music of this day. But I wanted to play loud, aggressive, get someone's attention, perhaps maybe even teach them something.
And then Freedom floated into my thoughts. What am I playing right now? Is this the right tone? Do I even need to be playing in this piece? Then I found this gem -
Good tone is active. It is willfully produced, it is not something
that just happens because of the harp you use or the amplification
equipment you play through. Tone is something the player
puts in the note. Something the player does, actively, willfully,
by exercising control over him/herself, his breathing, her playing,
Getting through this session required constant tuning of the player, reminding myself that Good Tone is Active. Beginning again, and again, with Freedom as the aim to navigate this self composed difficult music. What is the player doing now, is he active? Or passive and unaware? Exercising the skills developed through practice, while feeling the pull of how he wants to be heard. Practicing Freedom, but oh what a struggle. What can this player put in his notes? Can I choose my tone? Can I choose silence?