Monday, January 31, 2011

Reflecting Relations

beneath pigeons on the Millennium Bridge

Again applying the Alexander Technique, specifically looking at Sandra Bain Cushman's The Five Relations, to my music making tonight.  Allowing my body to let go of my day, to let go of the strain from my recent encounter with the flu, to let go of my notions of myself.  While thinking about these relations, I wondered where have my habits of use come from.  Certainly from reactions to events in my life; mimicking others that at some time I deemed worthy of such; and from a lack of thinking about, studying, and understanding how to use myself.

When I am alive in the moment, the hold of my habits lessen.  As my relationship to my body develops, my relationship to the present moment deepens.  The Alexander Technique is a practice of being mindful of my movement, which is another path to the present moment.  I find my breath in this moment, my "length" in this moment; I experience harmony and beyond in this moment.

So tonight as I reflected on my relationship to my habits, I found myself focusing on the relationship of the notes I was playing.  Working on a section of Broken Wing, I found myself allowing some of the notes in the arpeggios to lengthen, just like me spine and arms.  Letting the relationships between the various chords be more fluid, releasing the beat, and allowing breath into my playing.  Looking at a photo of my friend Jay, to whom this piece is dedicated, my relationship to the world and the beyond "lengthened." 

As this section of music came alive, I found that my emotions were engaged in my playing.  My heart supporting the music; reaching out to soothe me, to honor Jay, to touch those who loved him.  Where am I in relationship to the room, to the world?  Am I breathing?  Am I thinking about my actions, alive to my experiences?

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