Monday, 17 December 2012
they make it look so easy
You often hear people say this when they're watching very skilled musicians, or perhaps an artist doing a portrait on the spot. But I read somewhere once (probably in Indirect Procedures?) that the reason that very skilled people 'make it look easy' is because for them it is easy. They don't push beyond what they can do easily. They don't strain for notes that they can barely reach, or try to play faster than is comfortable; they play completely within their comfort zone. Which seems to fit with Paul Ortel's idea about 'following the juice, following the fun, looking for the stream that is open'.
It all goes against the cultural grain about practice and effort and strain and difficulty and misery and depression and impossibility. But perhaps all the torture and strain arises out of not understanding how you get in your own way with all your intentions and trying; all your concepts and plans and desires.
The more I abandon any idea about making art that I can explain, or hold up against other artists, the more I feel free to explore. And the more I stop thinking about whether or not the songs that have started coming follow the form that songs are supposed to, or use progressions that accord with music theory, the more they start to become free just to be themselves.
It's like thinking that you saw a bird of paradise flit across the edge of your vision. My most recent song is pirouetting in delight that I'm no longer asking it to be good or bad. It suddenly feels so free...