Meditation Of Music Creation
The first formal session of musical improv occurred 17 years ago. I did a long work session with a spiritual guide wherein he helped me to release my mind and flow into a musical space. Initially, a musical idea appeared after a few minutes, and we wove in and out around it. New melodies began to arise spontaneously as an astonishingly beauteous and harmonious musical array unfolded over the course of the evening. After having tapped that liberating/enlightening current, the muse seemed to go dormant in me for a while.
About 9 years ago, I would periodically "fool around" at the keyboard and sometimes something nice sounding would suddenly manifest. And just as quickly disappear. I didn't know what to do when the "lovely moment" left, so I would repeat it several times. It was like a captured energy, a timeless moment hovering in time/space. One evening I had the opportunity to meet a very fine musician who had been creating music for decades. When I told him about the inspired musical bits lasting only a few seconds, he assured me that they would lengthen and grow. "There'll be more," he said with a kind smile. He was right.
Something more definitive clicked into place when a dear friend/computer mentor hooked up some high end recording software (Performer Sequencer) to the digital piano. We would have "Performer Parties" together. After a lovely dinner, I would feel very relaxed, open and willing to have some explorational fun at the piano. With these emotional ingredients in place, the music started to flow in a steady and coherent fashion. I started producing long and involved songs of inner journey and experienced glorious wonder in the heart at the feeling that was pouring through it. It felt like being granted access to a deeply hidden sacred space. Following the completion of every song, gratitude is given for the privelege of having been present for its birth. Sometimes I would be sitting, or busily occupied, when a melody would play inside of my being. I soon learned to turn immediately to it and start playing, or at least to write out the notes so as to explore them at the soonest possible time. If I waited, the melody might drift back to eternity...
Often, I sit down without any knowledge of what is going to play -- the hands start moving and the journey begins/continues. I listen deeply and allow the heart to lead. The mind is present but becomes more silent and transparent as the playing proceeds. It functions as a witness and interpreter of the voyage. Currents and flows of emotion cascade through my body being, often culminating in magnificent creative peaks where all sense of identity is washed away in a joyous dance of being. One has become the music and that is ALL. These are amongst the deepest moments of satisfaction in my life.
August 25, 2003
I don't wish to infer that it took little or no preparation to just sit at the piano and have music come pouring out. Literally decades of training (4+) have built the foundation and established understanding at a far deeper than mental level. I am fascinated to see what arises now, because at the same time new music is manifesting, I can glimpse its roots, its origins in my various stages of training. At one point I didn't teach for a number of years didn't even have access to a piano so I wasn't playing either. What I Did do was listen, listen, listen to all sorts of music, and I found I could look into the soul of the artist by doing this. It was my meditation, to just get very relaxed and open myself up wide............ just allow in all of the impressions from the music. It wasn't merely sound; it was each Being unveiling their state of evolution; it was their Heart singing of their perception and placement in the Universe; it was their path, their journey laid out in front of me and I could see so much of it - their ecstasy, their anguish and whether they had communed with the Divine, or were more interested in the offerings of the world.
When we become aware of the unfathomably deep ability of music to influence our minds, hearts, spirits and bodies, we tend to become more discriminating and conscientious about what types of music we ingest, and would have others ingest as well. Music can downscale our consciousness...... just listen to much of what is currently deemed "popular". How closely do we listen to the words and the states which generated them? Jarring, harsh, mechanical music filled with violent lyrics, possessive sentimentality or selfish negativity will correspondingly affect our vibrational frequencies, and perhaps not in ways we really wish for. Sound feeds us, in particular our emotional bodies, which some state is the vehicle to the astral level of human being. Just as junk food may taste good but is not necessarily good for our physical bodies, so also with the junk music of everyday life.
Our souls, or Beings are like beacons of light and energy vibrating at all sorts of frequencies. There is music that has been drawn down from higher spaces which vibrate at higher frequencies than our human world does. So, in effect, a lot of composers are actually "channels" for more subtle frequencies. Our being is like a tuning fork. When it encounters certain vibrations, it will begin to resonate with them. Basically, it is energy setting energy into motion. Different soul frequencies will be affected by different kinds of music frequencies. The inner awareness of our Being will instantly re-cognize any vibration that is congruent to it and will quicken its own vibrations, often causing "energy rushes" at times described as shivers, or elevated emotional levels, or increased awareness/understanding different phenomena for different people.
For example, objective sacred music (very very hard to find) affects my heart completely differently than say Tchaikovsky or Beethoven. Beethoven stirs and inspires a powerful exaltation and will in me. I am profoundly moved in my solar plexus. Particular pieces like the last movement of the Ninth Symphony are more ecstatic and uplifting literally pulling me up to my 6th chakra and away into the universe. With the music I do, I feel myself expanding in all directions into endless space and dissolving into this magnificent nothingness. Some music is all power and punch, some sets the heart free I experience mine as bringing one into the endless now here......... nowhere.