Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Recording as Therapy

As you might have noticed, I've been recording quite a bit since getting back from Portugal. Recording is extremely therapeutic because it documents how I'm feeling while playing the guitar.

I've come to the realization that underneath the notes, dynamics, colors, etc, what we are actually hearing is the way a person feels. There have been quite a few cases where I played a piece "perfectly" - clean, accurate, nice rubato, good phrasing - and yet when I listen back to it I'm not really drawn to the playing. I can tell that I'm not really playing the guitar - there's a subtle feeling of "work" there - a "wanting" to make it clean, accurate, with nice rubato, with good phrasing etc.

There's a beautiful line between wanting something, and letting it happen. Recording has become the study of letting it happen - of letting go and letting myself disappear completely into the play of the present moment.

Check out this video from the great Alan Watts - "Work as Play" It's ironic that he uses "playing the guitar" as an example of playful activity.

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