The ‘less is more’ mentality is well documented in our stressed out society, although perhaps not well enough! Just as many religious people talk of there needing to be a balance between action and contemplation, musicians also require a similar balance. Every musician has experienced the seemingly paradoxical rewards from doing less and trying less hard, yet we still struggle with it constantly.
We discover so much about sound though sitting with it and letting it happen; staying free and relaxed around our instruments and practice time. The number of times I have been urged by teachers to ‘care less’ and ‘let it happen’ are innumerable, yet always I have the urge to return to the try-hard mentality. Perhaps this urge is to do with self worth. I tend to rely on work to give me a sense of achievement and worth, and seldom see sound beauty as the ultimate goal.
This sound series is starting to become just a set of reminders! I know the freedom of sound I am capable of, I need to give myself permission to breathe and trust. Work and practice balanced with breathing and living. I want to strive to create a peace around playing my instrument, not enter constantly into the microcosm of stress and tension.
We deserve to appreciate both the active and contemplative sides to our music making. One cannot come without the other. Giving ourselves the permission to be free and live openly can only do wonders for the way our music speaks.