It all starts with the piano. Is there an instrument that is more iconic? One that calls us to things that bring life? Anything that draws us into our humanness and away from our warmongering? One that calls to contemporary humanity any more than this?
And, for me, it starts with improvisation. The improvisational mind. And piano improv.
Ah yes: a word about instrumental music titles. Sometimes, the title comes first. Then, the improvisations and composition come out of that title. Other times, the musical concepts come first and the title is an afterthought. For this Suite of music, every title came first.
I've seen so many people — from students to politicians — try to put other people down as a way to raise themselves up. This does not bring life. Quite to the contrary; this brings death, destruction, hate, and demoralization. (I doubt that anyone reading this needs to “hear” me to say this, so obviously, I'm writing it for myself. We must stand up for love.)
So many things can bring us life. And it is different for each person: one person is fueled by technology while another is inspired most readily by nature. The cool thing is to learn what our LifeBringer is and go there.
Once we connect with whatever brings us life (and in many cases brings us to life), we can soar; maybe not every day, but enough to keep feeling alive even when stuff gets us down. I once heard someone say, “the lesson of the hawk is to rise above it all”. That has stuck with me.
Birds of prey inspire me. When I see them soaring, I am drawn into a dreamy state. The majesty and power of these birds truly rises above the normalcy of human existence. I suspect that I still have much to learn from my winged siblings.
Do you ever look at your life as a movie? If you're like me, you would probably appreciate the chance to play some scenes over again with a different result. (No “Groundhog Day” allowed in our internal movie theatre. Unless, like the lead character in that movie, this is what we need to change our world for the better.)
All call those do-over moments “fallen scenes”. Just because they (or I) fell down the first time doesn't mean it has to be our final story. We get to write our stories in a way that they will bring life.
Mellow Two (2)
If you're familiar with my first album, Disappointment and Delight, you know it is a series of improvisations that I then orchestrated with lots of layers of sound. I still enjoy taking this approach occasionally and “Mellow Two” is the latest example of this formula. When you listen to Mellow One and this track back-to-back, you'll hear just what I mean.
Thanks for reading and listening. More than that: thanks for being someone who wants to bring life.