Wednesday, June 25, 2008

From the Mountains

I finally took a vacation and the only place I wanted to be was in the woods. The nature here is stunning. I can't help but to spend hours doing little more than look at the beauty here.

The natural world really is the best teacher. The trees are alive but silent. They do not worry about having more leaves than the next, or being closer to the lake than another tree. They are not concerned if the birds have or have not built nests in their branches.

In looking at them, I also can't help to notice how they don't organize themselves. There is a supreme beauty in the natural chaos. Nothing is totally worked out like in the manicured parks of New York.

It reminds me how in playing music we can fall into the trap of having all our ideas planned - every musical idea, every color, every rhythmic nuance. Our minds want security by knowing exactly what will happen next. This can be helpful as we learn the craft of playing, but eventually we see the Joy in NOT having everything worked out. You let the details come through present inspiration, not through formulaic planning.

At first it may seem hard to let go of the musical control you've fought so hard to attain, but if you consciously let go a little each time, you'll see that it isn't so scary. In fact, it's quite liberating when you are comfortable with not knowing all the details of your interpretation. In this way, a classical guitar performance becomes free and improvisatory in nature.

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