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Showing posts from July, 2018

Is Your Music Pre-Ordered, Or Is It Improvised?

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Today's blog subject comes from the mailbag. Someone who is new to presenting sound sessions recently asked:


“So the question is, do you have a certain order for sound sessions, or is it all improv?”
For me, it’s a combination of both. While each night is improvised, there are certain musical elements that often reoccur from session to session—things like rhythms, melodies, specific sounds made with specific instruments. I choose from these small gestures for each performance. The actual choosing is an intuitive process. It's not so much a conscious, “I will play this Gong right now,” as much as I feel compelled to move to some other instrument, rhythm, or melody. 




I look at what I do as one continuous forward motion (from start to finish) and I will choose various elements as I move along. The order I play things in varies, and not everything gets played every time (for example, I've had people tell me after a session that I didn't play something—their favorite sound—the…

Ways of Hearing

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Hearing is a strange thing. So often we listen to things—conversations, traffic, music, etc—but we don't hear them. We have become so used to having sounds in the background that we don't really notice them at all. And this especially happens to music. It's playing everywhere, 24/7—at the market, in our car, at the office, at home, etc. We have become so used to this, that when we consciously play music from CDs or downloads, we often use it in the background.

When was the last time you just sat and listened to music and nothing else? Just sat and really listened?

Even at live concerts, people are often so busy checking their phones, texting, taking photos and video; that the 'live' music becomes secondary, just another background.

Whatever happened to listening to music?

Exercise #1 - Sit in a quiet room, make yourself comfortable, and play your favorite recording/s. To help with distractions, turn out the lights if it's nighttime, or cover your eyes with a blindf…