Friday, February 3, 2012
Where is the Edge?
Today I had a luxurious morning of reading, journaling, Qi Gong, and sitting which inspired my thinking about habits. Afterwards I had a leisurely breakfast with my wife. We spent some time together, and then she departed to be with friends for the weekend. I relished the precious time I had with my guitar in the afternoon. So invigorationg to be rested and feel that there is an expanse of time in front of me to devote to music. I worked on the fingerings for the opening section of Clouds Never Die, and then worked on the progressions in the second section. Then a new take on the third section materialized. A light lunch followed by a brisk walk in the bright sunshine. Such a treat to have done all of this by 4pm. Back home for reading and a nap.
While reviewing the revised second section, I was still not satisfied with how this develops. Brian Eno's Oblique Strategy - Where is the Edge? came to mind. The logical initial answer is where the music stops flowing for me. A bit deeper thinking about the edge however led to the possibility of the issue being earlier in the section. That the harmonic development was dictating a particular direction. Or is the edge a result of my guitar technique or knowledge of music theory? Perhaps I had reached the edge of my imagination in this musical situation? Maybe the space that the piece is creating had an edge that needed a broader view?
As I played more I asked myself - Do clouds have edges? Are edges distinct or fuzzy? Not surprisingly, as the initial inspiration of this piece arose when I was playing around with Haiku's last month, this arrived:
Edges leading where?
Clouds obscuring then uncover
Music whispers by.
I decided to play the piece from the beginning and listen for the musical edge that needed to be explored. As I began playing and I came to the end of the first section, my hand moved to a chord from the third section. Suddenly a new take on the first section was unfolding and I was moved by what I was hearing. After playing with this for about 40 minutes, I was unable to find the chord that would resolve the section and my left hand was fatiguing. A little house ordering, and then I decided to do an AT lie down. My back was happy for this and after a few minutes I heard a possibility of the resolution. When I returned to the guitar this new chord completed the section. The issue still resides in the next section, but I'll leave this for tomorrows work.
Ever so grateful for the time and space to devote to the guitar. I could get used to this.
What edge are you exploring? Describe it, poke it, expand your view field of this edge, of all edges.