Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Wrong Beginnings

Is the wrong beginning a tragedy?  At least a process has begun.  One can erase words, lines or drop melodies; but to begin a new process one risks failure.  Bravo!  From failure comings learning, at least most of the time.  Sometimes all of the available options, strategies, concepts are too daunting. For me a wrong beginning is better than no beginning.  Mind you this is not to dismiss qualitative endeavors nor intentional actions.  I'm talking about that leap into the unknown.  How to get there?  

Physics tells us that an object at rest tends to remain at rest.  Overcoming inertia requires force.  The good news is that physics also tells us that an object in motion tends to remain in motion.  This is the good news about making a wrong beginning.  At least I am in motion, and once in motion progress happens. 

In my morning practice I had an idea of what I wanted to accomplish, but first how to warm up?  I returned to the first note of the year, a Bb.  Beginning with long notes, I attacked this Bb in various ways.  Then I added a Db, and a melody began to emerge, one reminiscent of a piece that is unfinished from the past.  I made a note to find that score and work with what's there.  From here I moved onto reviewing five pieces to see where they need work.

When I'm not sure where to begin or how, I find a note, a phrase, or a chord. Pushing off from the shore of uncertainty, I question what I find and play around with the answer. A step, even the wrong step begins to clarify the process.  One choice down, infinity to go. 

Photo by h.koopdelaney.

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