Saturday, December 12, 2020

Crafting & Concerns

 The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. - Kurt Vonnegut

After breakfast I thought about which pieces I wanted to give time to learning today. The gigs are over for a while, so I can return to newer compositions. I selected Exiled and About To Be to work on. I also wanted to review of Searching and What Is This?  to prepare for recording these. First I improvised. Nothing much was happening, then a nugget. An hour later the nugget had opened and borne fruit. After a short break I played through Searching. 

Returning to the new idea, it moved further along. Amazed once again how fruitful this period has been. I’ve usually spent part of my practice time improvising, but beginning with this in the morning began during this workshop. Recently in a conversation with my guitar mentor he told us that everyday he begins with improvisation. Now I’m sold.

The piece I’m negotiating is time. With the craft of my practice I’m good at allocating time. But the composition practice occurs in it’s own time. Then the life concerns - chores, connecting and communicating with others must be addressed and always take longer than I suspect. Grateful for the comfort and joy that the practice of music brings me.  May we all grow as our world needs us.

Photo by Anncapictures

Thursday, December 3, 2020



This steelworkers son

forges disparate melodies

changing hearts and minds.

As we were completing our Qi Gong practice this morning I was thinking of release as the word for the day when my wife offered up Freedom. Close enough. How can I gain freedom in my practice and in the performance tomorrow?

First thing I did was to write the word freedom on paper and place it on the music stand so that I would see it occasionally. Then I’d have choice to pause. The pause could be simply a free mindful breaths, or some constructive thinking ala Alexander Technique, a walk or doing some more QG. Options available to ease the pyshco-physical being that I am and and nourish the being I wish to become. The remembering is the key to a path that works.

Played with the idea that arose around “Edges” on 11/29/20. No further development but there is something there. Focused on rehearsing the set.

Image by Sofia Cristina Córdova Valladares