Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Holding On When I Want to Rise

Hold on As I sat down with my guitar tonight, I recalled a statement or direction of William Conable from a workshop I took two years ago.  He was quoting Marge Barstow and said to "allow your spine to rise up out of your pelvis."  I held this thought tonight as I began to play.  After tuning my ear with singing intervals, I began to play a piece.  Pausing as I did not care for my beginning, I again used the direction for the spine to rise up.  I began improvising and a phrase tinkled out that had me. I continued exploring this and was drawn into the whisper from the muse.

A solid beginning was in place and I continued to explore where this might go.  I was excited when the next section came alive. As I played with this I noticed I was holding my breath.  Pausing to let my breath flow and to direct my thinking via AT I began again.  Before long I found that the notes were coming out, but then I would catch my breath and dampen the musicality.  Another pause to direct and center.  The third time I noticed this catching of my breath, I also noticed that my left shoulder was pulled up and did not need to be.  Blocking the energy within my body, making it harder for this piece of music to enter our world.  Why hold on when I want to be free?  Why hold on, when I need to open to the musical moment in before me?  Why hold on to habits of poor use?

Suppose there is a piece of music out there waiting to come into the world.  Tonight I heard the opening of a piece and was able to follow the lead.  I have both musical and technical liabilities that can dampen these moments of revelation; but I am also very patient and persistent in my pursuit of music.  Be quiet I told myself, remain within the body and breath.

I would have been perfectly content and happy to continue this work, but needed to leave for Qi Gong class. I hesitated for a moment, but knew that the work we do in class would be good for me and that I needed to trust that when I am available again, music will be there.   With that trusting spirit, I let go and had a great class.  I made a connection during the class with something I learned during an AT session with Sandra Bain Cushman years back, but that will need to wait until tomorrow.  By the way - Are you holding on?

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of letting your spine rise up at of your pelvis. It's another great Alexander Technique opposition. Am I holding on? Yup. But I can pretty much let go!