The classical music world is highly competitive, and snobbishness, bitchyness, and cruel comments are common. I let old comments from music teachers about how I'm not cut out for major symphony orchestras and thus "not good enough" kill my creativity with the flute after SO MANY years of playing. It's sad but true.
I'm now getting back into it and realizing that there's a lot I can do outside of the classical paradigm (which is fun but a very limited place) and am also realizing that not playing much this decade has contributed to creative stagnation as well as interconnected health and emotional problems.
Today I am learning how to practice with joy again and let myself be a beginner when it comes to improvisation and ultimately using music as a healing tool (so far mainly for healing myself.)
The book Effortless Mastery was recommended to me as a resource for learning to improvise and develop a more intuitive approach to music. It's written from a Jazz musician's perspective, but it really speaks to the wounded inner musician in me. It has great advice for any type of musician around self-encouragement, practice habits, and rediscovering the pure joy of music. Finding it has been a true blessing.
Why does one do nothing when one cares so passionately about playing music? It is not laziness; it is a sense of being overwhelmed. You need to know this. It's like the alcoholic acknowledging, "I'm not a bad person, I'm a sick person." It allows one to feel a bit more self-compassion.
Being afflicted by the inability to act, you feel locked out of a glass-enclosed world of functioning musicians. You bang on the glass with scattered practice habits, but nobody hears you. All your attempts to enter are futile. Fear of not becoming great has kept you from becoming great. To find a way out of this dilemma, a thorough re-programming of your mind is necessary.
Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to busk for the first time in front of the Art Gallery before Critical Mass in Vancouver. It's been empowering to realize that I already am skilled enough to do that. Stop by and spare some change :)
Today I saw an ad for a new "doggie spa" in Vancouver where you can get accupuncture, massage, and aromatherapy for your pet.
I wonder what aromatherapy for dogs is about considering the things that dogs like to smell... essence of old shoes, garbage, & other dogs behinds?
This is a workshop I've encountered on the West Coast that has really inspired me and affected my thinking, especially around the future, the importance of personal integrity, and artful communication.
View their video for a small taste.
Crystal and Spore
The Crystal and Spore collective reflects the relationship between synthetic and organic systems - that vital intersection between nature and culture where the future of the human landscape is continually being forged. Crystalline forms represent technology, manifest in the ubiquitous silicon chip that provides the digital means to create and receive information. The spore symbolizes the chaotically complex distribution systems of the natural world, through which living genetic information is dispersed.
seeing the light at the end of this vortex
a wild cyclone of learning about paradoxes
how to relax under such tremendous social pressure to be chill?
though it is not always comfortable
it is definitely worth it
simply another exciting episode of the Divine melodrama
in which I have a juicy role
releasing the anxious semiaware burnout refugee
coming into the calm courageous cognizant contributor
Sunday was the incredible Commercial Drive Festival in Vancouver.
Click on the image below for low budget video coverage...
If I were a "normal" skeptical journalist type I would dismiss this sort of book as a potential source of information. Since I am something other than that I choose to explore even the most unusual perspectives. I follow my intuition when it comes to choosing which books to read.
If you're not into Jesus themed allegory, just ignore that part of it and read the passage below. Whether or not it's Jesus, it's genius.
You have a right to experience infinity from your own viewpoint and to appreciate within its vast potential the values and meaning which support your reason for being. As part of this, you have a right to look above and beyond all structures, to disagree with common assumptions, and to say "no" to prospects and proposals which do not exist in harmony with your life and values. You have the right to exceed any structure that would try to contain you. You have the right to reach into the unknown, and dare to dream. You have a right to imagination, and to the fruits of its creation. In that pursuit, it is your right to experience infinity and establish a viewpoint about your hopes and dreams.
I'm working as a volunteer reporter at the World Urban Forum in Vancouver next week.
It's part of the World Peace Forum and am stoked to be part of it!
A lot of the events are free. I encourage Vancouver people to check out the schedule and attend.
Earth: The World Urban Festival
Earth: the World Urban Festival is the UNESCO-designated official arts and culture festival of the World Urban Forum. From June 21-25, the World Urban Festival will bring artists from around the globe to Vancouver to share their stories and experiences, and help build awareness of the role of art in creating livable, sustainable and vibrant cities. The World Urban Festival will transform an industrial site at the Great Northern Way Campus into a once in a lifetime celebration of international theatre, dance, music and visual arts. There will be entertainment, performances, hands-on activities, exhibitions, food, beer gardens, late-night events, street theatre and a marketplace. Access to the festival site is free, and tickets for events in the big tents can be purchased at Festival Box Office.
The gossip press is fascinating to a lot of people and I admit to looking at the tabloids while in line in the supermarket. However, buying them is supporting that industry so I usually draw the line there.
This week I saw Angelina Jolie pictures that were SO grainy it was obvious she is stalked by paparazzi. After what happened to Lady Di I don't like to support publications that do that financially.
This is why I see fame as something to be willing to take on rather than something to chase after so you'll finally get the Love you deserve. This doesn't work, which is why so many celebrities go mental.
Big props to celebrities who use their power of influence positively.
I admit to being a self-promoter & am also a professional level media researcher so I do study it as primary research towards my career. Usually I stick to the entertainment page on Google News. This way I can keep up with what shows are popular, which celebrity is dating who this week, etc.
Admit it, you look sometimes too.
I just read the delightful allegorical novel Going Deeper: How to Make Sense of Your Life When Your Life Makes no Sense. It's about a man & what he learns during an unusual journey with an unusual dog.
It has been a long time since I have gathered so much new useful insight from a book. If you resonate with the paragraph below I highly highly recommend it. Thanks to the kind spirit who gifted me this book from my wishlist.
The thought waves interact with the three Great Temptations you talked about -- the urges to compare, judge, and understand. This causes another set of interference patterns that gives rise to emotions. The emotional patterns interact with the molecular vibrations of our physical form, causing yet another set of interference patterns. These ultimately embed themselves as palpable ridges of cellular memory and can ultimately show up as pain and disease. The whole cascading spiral would consume us if it weren't for the Higher Self.
My digital camera stopped working correctly for still photos so I decided to start making video.
Here's my first video blog, a short film about renovating an old treehouse.
Click on the photo to see it!