The Art Beyond Sound

Being a musician and making a sound is a very visceral act. The sound begins before you even strike the instrument. It forms in your mind and comes from your intent. It comes from years of practice so that you know what the sound will be before you even make it. 

Just striking something is not sufficient. You need to know what will happen when you strike it. You need to hear and feel the sound before you make it. And in the context of all the sounds you are making, you need to know how a new sound will fit with the current ones, how it may alter them or add to them. You also need to know how that sound will fit into the room you are playing in and how others will perceive it. This only comes from working on your art repeatedly—over and over and over. 

So many sounds to make…

There are no shortcuts. Experience is the best teacher. And you only gain experience by doing, not by thinking about it or watching someone else doing it, but by doing it yourself.

Even when I'm not practicing or performing, I'm consciously listening to the world around me. I'm paying attention to both the sounds I hear and the environment they are in. 

And we experience sound not just through our ears, but through our whole bodies. I'm sure you've felt your teeth jar, your skin tingle, and your bones shudder from some sound you've experienced. While we hear sound through our ears, we also feel and experience sound through our whole being. So I'm always feeling the sounds around me as much as hearing them.

~ MB

Chop Wood / Carry Water / Play Gongs™ / Make Sounds


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