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Mal, December 1, 2011 in General Discussion
Yeah, music is a very important part of my life. I play no instruments and I promise, no on would want to hear me sing, but I am a good listener of most musical forms.
And yes, music does move me.
I'm pretty sure this subject came around once before when I launched an "alchemy and creativity" thread. I'm remember the musicians Steve F and Ya Mu plugging in some good points.
My early musical career was derailed by booze but I picked up my trumpet when I was a 40-something college student and took all the performance classes I could get into. It was a frigging blast. But this was still 7 years before my intro to taoist alchemy practices and I only progressed so far.
I couldn't bring my piano when I moved to LA, and I stopped playing the horn because of other projects, but my wife and I did buy a couple of acoustic guitars three years ago, and like you, Mal, I am a little blown away by not only the mechanical progress I've made in those few years but my inner musicianship. Since nei kung and water method meditation, I find it vastly easier to resolve chord progressions, decipher chord structure and isolate bass lines. I think it's safe to say that internal alchemy practice simply rewards one's natural talents, including those of musicians. I've discovered that I get a lot more emotional when I listen to music, but it could be that what I have discovered of late in the sounds of vince Mendoza is simply some of the most beautiful and emotive music I've heard in quite some time.
Here's another taste of Vince Mendoza's arrangement of Azure Moon, a 5/4 peiuce by the YellowJackets. Enjoy.
I've played around with musical instruments since around 12 years old.
My father used to hate it and would yell and scream and slam the door and once smashed an amp!
It wasn't so funny at the time but I stuck with it anyway (maybe out of spite!)
Guitar --> Bass --> String Bass --> Cello --> Classical Guitar --> Bass --> recently I've gotten into some Brazilian percussion instruments: the cuica and the berimbau - lot's of fun!
I listen much better than I play but I have fun.
My son is a wonderful musician, completely self-taught.
Music is certainly food for the soul whether playing or listening...
Cooking - I recently developed a desire to learn to cook well. It's coming along very slowly. I made the stuffing for Thanksgiving this year (first time) and was very proud of it. Hopefully, I'll stick with it and develop some skills but right now I have very little confidence in the kitchen...
Here's a long but neat piece of classical guitar music by one of my favorite player/composers, Dusan Bogdanovic, Dusan is on the left and Gyan Riley (son of Terry Riley) on the right. The piece really gets cool at around the 5 minute mark -
Lifelong Ambition - Achieved
Ever since I started learning music as a child I've wanted to be able to just get up on stage and play without music like a "proper musician". I've performed in orchestras and bands but I had never been able to just "do it" without rehearsals or written music.
So last night I did my 1st open mic on the sax. Played a 12 bar blues improv with keyboard backing and it went down very well. Lots of applause, but I had told the audience beforehand it was my 1st attempt
Then played some harp backing on a few songs. I knew I would be able to do that once I worked out the right harp to use for the key of the song, just never had the chance to try it live before, so that was pretty cool. I remembered not to play over the top of the singers and got a nice little call response going in one song.
The keyboard player asked for requests and someone shouted for more sax so I played backing on a Leonard Cohen song I'd never even heard before, managed a few fills and a nice simple instrumental over the break. That was a great experience as my Dad tells stories of my Granddad playing along with him without knowing the song or even hearing it before. When Dad asked him how he knew what to play my Granddad would only say "you can just tell" and yes it really is like that. When it's happening it's effortless, when you're trying to make it happen it's really hard work.
Also played hallelujah, which is a song I love trying to sing with on the radio but I've never tried to play it before. Not that previous practice would have helped, I was a bit confused at the time as to why the keyboard player sounded apologetic when he called the key but when I went and looked up the music the next day turns out we were playing in a different key for our singer. While I couldn't quite make the changes on this one, the singer covered for me when the solo started to go south
While there is still LOTS of practice needed, I feel I've been focusing a bit too much on being able to play triad chords in all 12 keys. For now I think it will be more helpful to become much more familiar with just a few keys on the sax, and really get into how the various chords are built from those scales. I'm just really happy to have managed my "holy grail" of music... just getting up there and playing.
To be honest I just didn't think I was ever going to be good enough, just goes to show everything's possible if you never stop trying.
i play keyboard... learned how to play piano from my mom, and grandmother before she died when i was very young. she had a profound impact on my ability to play for such a short time she could show me.
I still cant play chords, i still cant read sheet music, but i have learned to play many songs by ear, and enjoy learning a new one... even if they're all video game music!
But in my experience, videogame music is some of hte most powerful music on earth. they dont have lyrics, so you dont get a prefabricated message, you just FEEL it.
you just FEEL it.
you just FEEL it.
the FEELing is what's important IMO.
the FEELing is what's important IMO.
Its funny how improv'ing is such a heart-expression