Friday, November 11, 2005

ICMD, Deep Blue, Thoughts on the Written Note

Hello again. It has been another good week in the world of music. Last Thursday I played a small gig with the ICMD crew at the Michigan League Underground. It is a nice little venue in the basement of one of the old U of M buildings. There was not much advertising, so there was not much of a crowd, but it was good to perform and prepair for the big upcoming ICMD concert on Sunday. I have played in their concert for the past 2 years and this one is shaping up to be one of the best. Everyone has been practicing for a couple of months as opposed to the usual 2 week scramble. I really think it will show through on Sunday.

I was at Cafe Felix again on Friday with Deep Blue. That gig is getting to be more and more fun to play. I feel like we are really starting to gel as a group and the musical ideas are starting to take shape. It is very difficult to expand and explore in music when everyone is stuck reading from a page, which has been the case for over 2 years, but lately, it seems, I can sense that the page is becoming more like a reminder of ideas rather than the primary source of creation. I truly believe that music does not develop, grow, and take shape untill it is in our minds and bodies. When we have to engage in a very mechanical act of making the written note a sound on our instrument, it gets in the way of our true understanding of what we play. You would never see an actor on stage with the script in their hand, and if you did, what would you think? I do believe that their is merit in written music, ecspecially if you need to get a hundred plus musicians playing something complex, however, when you work from the page you no longer work with a person, you work with a very sophisicated musical robot. The experience becomes soley about the music itself. Hundreds of people are now dedicated to the idea of one, the composer. This, I believe is just as valid, beautiful, and worthy as individual creation, but it does not make for a complete human experience. The idea of being in the room and even on stage with great musicians and not being able to share ideas, puts us in a state of stagnation for the good of the music. Instead of sharing our time, space, ideas, and souls, we end up merely presenting a product for consumption. I am not saying that this product can not serve to inspire, I just think the inspiration is at best seperate among the composer, the listener and the perfromer. The experience is not a shared one. I will always strive to be away from the page, which I find harder and harder to do as I build a career in music. I believe however, that in the long run, it will allow me to be the musician I have wanted to be since the first time I fell in love with music.

Thanks for reading,

John

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