Heartfelt Folk. Music. `Blog
“...if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
Your music is woven from the substance of your life, from your most intimate feelings for beauty and meaning. Therefore, in music, or whatever your art form, it’s essential to tend to the artist that is at the root of artistry. It’s your own resonant body and vibrating heart strings that find expression through the resonant body and vibrating strings of your instrument. (Artists using non-stringed instruments, please excuse my string-centrism and adapt the metaphor accordionly.)
A musical venue is another kind of resonating body, and the connections that form between the hearts of musicians and listeners act as another set of vibrating strings. As the music plays through this wonderfully interconnected network, 10,000 different forms of connection and shades of emotional meaning can emerge and grow in abundance like flowers in a fertile garden. Of course, what emerges in the temple differs considerably from what emerges in the tavern or on the street, though maybe the secrets of the temple are initially suggested on the streets. Who can say?!
To confess the obvious, like the twisting and bowing visible in a guitar needing repair, I tell you that my personal instrument has its own warps and twists. In the light of presence and attention, patterns of interference that tend to distort and bind the musculature of my spine gradually come to light. The culture I live in, which is a kind of overarching venue for this instrument of body, heart and mind, also has its contortions and knots visible to every mindful soul. Everything is interconnected.
By engaging in processes like meditation, prayer, qigong, long walks, or whatever else serves to illuminate patterns of interconnection, it seems to me that we can gradually become more deeply and truly centered, and thereby more responsive, open, aligned and relatively independent of culturally conditioned tensions. By tending in this way to the deeper needs of the artist, through our instruments we can come forward more and more with an art that serves to help open the bodies, hearts, and minds of all those who dare to listen deeply.
I love to run, though I'm not particularly fond of 'going running'. One instance in which you will find me happily running (and most probably leaping and singing) is after a qi gong practice in the woods where I was blessed to come into contact with the creative spark. In this case, running becomes a celebration of renewal!
When we touch the creative spark, it opens the wellspring of renewal. I find that this wonderful miracle is most likely to manifest in my own life when I spend time each day devoting my full presence and mindfulness to meditation, qigong, intimacy and music.
How about you? What enables you to touch the creative spark and open the wellspring of renewal?
Making contact can be fluid and dynamic like the shoreline and the sea.
Making contact can be rhythmic and intimate like breathing and the air we breathe.
Making contact can be mysterious and fulfilling like inspiration and the songs we sing.
Fluid, dynamic, rhythmic, intimate, mysterious, fulfilling contact.
And it's happening now, now, now, now, now, now, now!!!
Have you ever biked along a road that you'd been accustomed to driving?
Have you ever walked along a path that you'd been accustomed to biking?
Have you ever stopped along a way that you'd been accustomed to walking?
Slowing down, we discover beauty hitherto unseen.
Singing is inspired by melodies that waft like the fragrance of lilacs on a gentle breeze or the smell of impending rain on a stormy wind that musses your hair. Melody streams like tears down a wrinkled face and scrambles like a mountain goat up a rocky hillside. It curves like a breast, swells like a wave, tumbles like an acrobat and rises like a prayer. So ride on currents of melody like an eagle soaring over golden fields. Take a deep breath and perfume the air with your heart's song!
Dancing is inspired by living rhythms that roar powerfully like a river and bubble joyfully like a spring. Like a lover’s heart living rhythm beats in firefly flashes, soft splashes of sunrise, hummingbird wings and claps of thunder. Living rhythm whirls like a dervish, dances like a flame, charges like an elephant and slithers like a snake. So jump on and ride it like a horse galloping over wide open plains. Grab a fallen branch and extend the pulse of your own living heartbeat into the woodlands!
Living music is born from the marriage between a musician and a muse. Without the muse, both the music and musician are dead things. Idols. Living music will take you in its jaws like a chew toy and whip you around until you don't know who you are anymore. You won't care either because you'll be left with naught but a longing to open up to the profound beauty, deep meaning and exquisite delight of inspiration and in turn to be gradually invested with the power and desire to convey these very qualities. Forget the musician! That's what a musician wants anyway, to forget one thing and remember another. Regrettably we live immersed amongst idols, the living dead. We need great courage and clarity to uncover the ancient pattern of our innate integrity, the vessel in which to receive the muses' blessings that evoke the power to dissolve these dull eyed iDolls, in ourselves first of all.