Sunday, September 2, 2012
I began my morning practice by sitting down and audiating Senseless Loss. This process informs me how well I know a piece. Today audiation showed me that I now have a firm grasp of how I intend to play this piece.
Standing with my guitar and working with Alexander Technique inhibitory thinking I began to working with the beginning of this piece. After a few minutes I sat down and continued to work with inhibition. I am not holding my neck followed with I am not playing the guitar. Bringing my hands to the guitar and inhibiting again. I then turned on the tape machine and inhibited again. Just as I was to play the first note I notice myself moving slightly forward and to the right side of my body with a slight downward crunching of my upper torso into the pelvis. Do I do this often? Was I just quiet enough this morning to notice this subtle but definite movement that as I played a customary tension in my right leg arose. This movement which I dubbed "The Lean," would account for tightening and tension that I notice regularly on the right side during or after playing.
I have enough AT experience to know that this tension involves the neck, but have not detected how I use myself to generate this tension. Seeing "The Lean" I noticed the neck and shoulder areas that have been stressed at times, and how also this downward direction of my upper torso into my pelvis might account for the tightness in my right leg that has plagued me for years when playing seated.
Letting go of the guitar I did a few minutes of Qi Gong . Sitting down again with the tape on I began to go through a series of inhibitions again. I am not holding onto my neck, my arms, my body. At one point I arrived at just I am not holding. I moved my arms to the guitar and worked with "I am not playing the guitar." Simply holding this thought, I noticed sensations particularly in my right arm, which seemed to allow a slight lengthening & lettting go. I also noticed a slight tilt of the head towards my right shoulder. Might this tilt of the head be the predecessor to "The Lean" it thought? Removing my arms from the guitar, I became aware of my right hand and then the left.
Deciding to wake them up with movement a bit I began to flex them and then rotate my hands about my wrists. I could hear an occasional audible click arise from my right wrist. Allowing my hands to return to the guitar I again held "I am not playing the guitar. "
At one point I allowed my right hand to play the first note and then flowed into the piece. Senseless Loss was being played beautifully when the thought arose, "oh but I could never inhibit that long in a performance." Ah the state shifted, the monkey mind finding a branch to swing out of the moment on. Working to continue playing while struggling to quiet the monkey mind I noticed I was tensing, so I let go of the playing.
This evening I returned to the guitar, aware of the tendency if not a habit to invoke "The Lean." Inhibiting and directing were successful, but then I noticed how another habitual use of my right arm that I have had some success with changing had arrived once again. And so it goes ...