Friday, May 18, 2012

return to the source

(i suppose that shd really be return to the thourthe *1)

finally some nice spring weather. absolutely filthy april. (*2) (don't think may is necessarily gonna bring too much to cheer about either, in that regard.) ok, so in the eventuality it only lasted one day before the rain came back with a vengeance (sigh...), but still, it was a nice morning and i took full advantage of it with a solo walk into the forest (*3)... wave after wave of nourishing, green qi unfurling from the massed vegetation, all just now thinking about expressing itself after weeks of cold rain... i really needed it too, as i have not been well and although my recovery was swift enough in terms of retreating primary symptoms, the foul weather and the full-time employment combined to rob me of chances to do any tai chi (which would surely otherwise have nurtured me back to health /full strength in no time)... that, when set against the noisy background of my continuing struggle to shed some deep-rooted habits and patterns from my own energetic matrix, gives an undesired end result: i still feel as weak as a kitten in the mornings and don't tend to shed that feeling until much later in the day. even then, i am never at more than 50% strength at present. it's weird.

but we'll get there... "we" in this case being the friendly experiencers of this world, because b's music in itself has power to heal... yes, it's true and i don't exaggerate... nor do i suggest that it is only b's music; on the contrary, i'm sure that a lot of free/creative music has this power to some extent, since it (almost) always comes from the heart; but in b's case it is definitely true since the composer has such an advanced understanding of resonance and vibration, and the ways in which sound affects a listener. part of the reason for my weakness (and the above para was actually written a couple of weeks ago...) was that i found myself in one of my "non-musical" phases, just not listening to anything much, and not feeling any desire to do so (despite knowing from experience that i feel better when i do); but eventually i forced myself to overcome this "ear apathy" and just play some damn music, and lo and behold, i did indeed feel much better afterwards. my recovery was much hastened in the end by a couple of days with plenty of creative sounds.

this is not just psychosomatic. i have written before (most notably soon after the birth of my daughter, but also more recently) of this ameliorative effect of b's music, and have noticed generally that it is often enough just to be in the room while the music is playing; but on these recent occasions i tried at times to pay a bit more attention, to go into it a bit more deeply. what i discovered is that the combined frequencies of the music can act directly on the body's energies: it really can make you feel better. this has been particularly noticeable when listening (as i repeatedly have) to gtm (syntax) 2003. now, i never did find out what the precise role is here of the electronics, there being no mention of them on the cd or anywhere else that i can see; but whoever was responsible for them, and however they were generated, they do a lot more than just create a background dreamscape. to a casual ear, the electronic frequencies do not seem to be especially tuneful; they don't even necessarily seem to support what is being played at any time, but this is a misapprehension. if one pays careful attention, it becomes clear that the synthetic sounds provide a perfect foundation for the two musicians at all times - and yes, the overall result provides complex sounds which appear to do more and more, the harder the listener concentrates. tune right into it, you can feel the vibrations raising you up. preoccupied as i was, i only monitored this effect for short periods at a time, and still i felt much better for it. what might the effect have been if i'd kept it up for a whole disc?


like i said above, the first part of this article was written a couple of weeks ago, and i had originally intended to finish it and post it right away. what happened in between? well... i was still gradually recovering, but i was also anticipating a week's holiday from work - nine days actually, including two weekends... and had just assumed that i would get plenty of chances to write during that time. didn't happen!! when i think about this i still scratch my head a bit over where it went wrong, as it were, why there was such a gulf between my casual expectations and the eventual reality; for whatever reason, weeks off in my previous (part-time) job seemed to give me more free time... this time around, it may have been nine days without going to work; but i never got more than a couple of hours to myself at any one time, and the disappointment which settled on me as i gradually realised how things were(n't) going to work pretty much ruined the entire week. it's definitely the case that i still don't seize my opportunities, don't tend to make the best use of my time when i do get some; but i expected more, in any case. (yes, i even thought i would get back into the braxtothon after all this time... but i'm tired of hearing myself talk about that project rather than getting on with it, so...)

things have been happening in the musical world: thb has a new sextet album out - actually it's been out for a few months now, i just didn't find out about it until very recently - which comprises the suite which was played at saalfelden (as you can see, i still haven't finished the "revisit" article... it is gonna get done, it is it is it is!); and just in the last week or so, mary halvorson has put out her second quintet release. i have listened to this one (the website allows one to preview the material) and was very impressed indeed: much as i did enjoy saturn sings, it never really had the feel to me of a proper quintet, as such; the music still seemed to be written for the core trio, with horn parts added on top as it were (and only in certain cases; some of the tracks only featured the trio, which very much reinforced my impression). this new one is undeniably quintet music, and a lot more complex and ambitious... fantastic stuff and highly recommended.

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