Joy is a natural response to being alive, and music one way of giving it voice. Yet much of life in the music industry is a pretty joyless affair: exploitation, greed, lying, and theft are pillars of the industrial life. Which shows how much we manage to screw up what is both natural and available. How did it come to this?
Arriving on a course involves a transition for me, and a feeling of being unable to do what is needed. And this is how it is: I am unable to do what is needed. What-is-needed doesn’t come from me: the quality of juice is beyond anything I/we can provide. Fortunately, I/we don’t have to provide it.
Music so wishes to be heard that it becomes available to anyone who is able to listen with innocent ears. So, what does it take to be present, available, and willing, to help Music into our sorry world? Similarly, the current that we recognise as Guitar Craft, working in the Guitar Circle and The OCG, is trying to give itself away – all we have to do is open our hands!
So, can we/anyone become available, accept the role, and discharge the function? This is at the level of what we can do: we move from doing nothing, to doing as little as possible and as much as necessary. And then it begins…
One sense of when Silence visits is this: we are being given what we need for the course. The mind doesn’t know this quite, but something changes; and this something is experiential. Being in the medium of the extemporising/improvising player is an excellent preparation/education for life and living. Essentially, you pick up the materials to hand, abandon concern for where you’re going – and go there! – while playing, thinking on your feet, and trusting the process.
Function is what we do.
Being is the quality that we bring to it.
Will is the intensity of our application – or decision otherwise.
Thursday 20th. January, 2011
Monasterio Nuestra Señora De Los Ángeles / Monjas Dominicas
Sant Cugat, Barcelona, Spain