2017 Blog Drafts —
As part of saying farewell to last year by letting graciously go of material belongings, inspired by “the Minimalistic game” and a great Skype friend with the best sense of humor, I am letting go of my unpublished drafts here.
I am glad I am writting again. Most happy, I am to share. Although not all the gracious ideas came out as I would have like to, hence lack of time and hence my perfectionistic side telling me again and again not to publish something which was not done, I don’t see why they should not be put out there, in their uncomplete, drafted and sometimes even ridiculous expression.
I feel it would be a pity to let them be there. Even though I tried to use some time in writting them with a refresh tone, they just seem to work just fine like they are.
So here goes my naked drafts to you.
Types of Presence
In October, These series of drafts were supposed to be a weekly release, a theme within the bigger theme of Presence and my personal persception of it through the experiences of the week and the different shapes it seems to take for different people. Monday to Thurday manage to make it-ish, although Monday and Tuesday are eventually the most detail reflection I had.
— Monday — Selfexploration
A key word presented itself during these last 14 days.
Exactly two weeks ago, as I was having my flute lesson, it called itself:
Which on itself means: Existence. Being there.
The word somehow seems more closer to my heart in danish:
To be close to the moment, so close it doesn’t matter how many people are spacing out in the room they will still feel your presence.
Two weeks ago, an agreement to take the word in as the new Mantra shaped the work and interaction with the world the following days. And so, during this 14 days, I saw it develop itself as a red threat pulling through the different situations: in lessons and meetings, while traveling by train or riding bike, while talking and listening in conversations, while sharing a moment with people close and far.
Through this red threat, I discovered presence has many layers and perspectives which one can explore in infinate different ways.
I decided to write for each day, during these next couple of days the findings of these layers, which presented themselves in the various situations the two weeks offered me. I hope you can use it as inspiration for finding your own way of perceiving presence for the nexts days to come aswell.
MONDAY… presented me with THE PRESENCE OF SELF-EXPLORATION
I was ready. The morning was off to a good start and I felt ready.
Ready for my meeting with my mentor, ready to play the pieces for an audition, ready to give my best with what I had worked and hopefully find good feedback, find new ways.
My excitement was clearly noticed from the very beginning. After a run through of the pieces, my teacher gently nods, then makes comments on where I can improve to make the ideas clearer for the listener to understand.
Then comes run thorugh as round two. But suddenly, as the tricky passages comes near, she stops me and tells me to breath.
“You are thinking too much ahead. So much, you are falling over your own feet…”
I laugh. When I get overenthusiastic I do have a tendency to fall over my feet.
“ Take a moment and tell me: What is the meaning of this passage? I know it is difficult, but yet, it must not sound difficult. It has to sound as if it was the easiest thing in the world.
Light and playful.
For that to happen, you must feel light and playful. If you don’t, even if you play all the notes correctly and with virtuosity, you fail to send the right message out. So you need to work on the feeling you transmit. For each piece, for each passage… and keep yourself present in that feeling.”
Mondays lesson left me with the weeks goal:
To find the right “presence” for each piece I am working with. This means to work with the right characters and feel the emotions and actions as physically and mentally as possible — Feel them with a blist of honesty in heart and mind.
Afterall, my work as an Interpreter of music from different periods sets me in the role of a medium. Connecting the past and future through the present.
— — -
As a good Quest to find these feelings, the process sets some bumps on the road that might discourage yet at the same time leaves you with most experience. Nothing new there.
My bump on the road came in the form of one little orchestral excerpt, one of the ones I am currently preparing as a standard piece for auditions.
The excerpt is so simply written somehow it is the most difficult one for me.
It carries a small melody written as an Intermezzo for the opera “Carmen”, which reveals itself between Acts, right before TRAGEDY with capital letters, hits the storytelling.
Written with extreme simplicity and as little information as possible, the intermezzo itself sounds as morning fog, lifting up to reveal something we do not see coming. And because we don’t see it coming, we are left contemplating the lifting fog and it’s pure beauty.
A beautiful melody expressing a feeling of naiv pureness, so light and bright and happy, it is floating in the presence of a childlike tranquility.
For the performer to play it with the honesty it deserves as all good music, the need to find a way to figure out this feelings just described are imperitive for the melody to come through.
A good interpreter will first look and prepare the text — find the phrases, the lines and the colors, correct any small flaws as tuning, entrances, breathing, etc.
Then comes the part of feeling it’s naivness with pure honesty.
As simple as it is, failing to feel it, the piece leaves you naked to be a static, aesthetic beautiful prop. Good for looking, but it is not what music is about.
Most composers want to see and express something far more deep than aesthetic beauty. Bizet, the composer of the Intermezzo is not left out.
For the message to come forward, there has to be a space for inner work.
To find the part of yourself which feels that sort of purity. Of course the feeling is different for each of us, yet, it is amazing what in finding the key words and putting it together with the written music can tell once it syncronizes.
Somehow, the naivness of it seems a challenge, and so I seek in my experiences, visualize it, imagine it. Digging into myself and discovering how it might feel. Put myself in situations where it might pop-up. It is a journey of self-exploration in that sense.
For recall the presence of the feeling, musicians can seat for hours, days, weeks trying to find ways and rituals to recall the feeling for the present minute.
The ridiculous beauty of it comes with me working hard for 14 days to call the rigth message out of this little melody — for it to come forward in a matter of no more than a minute.
It is one of my favourite types of “presence” — If I manage to understand myself in each emotion statement, I might have achieve to create the right message, as written in the music, to create an honest story for the audience.
My point. — Music as the asset of self-exploration — in the right presence of curiosity- finding yourself — Th presence of the right emotion.
— Tuesday — FLOW
Tuesday called for another type of presence — THE PRESENCE OF FLOW
Being in new places gently puts you automatically in the “present” moment.
Not knowing the place, space and people, your senses seem to sharpen as the try to ackonwledge this new situation and give you comfort by connection dots of association.
A new situation makes us shy and careful, taking notice of every step to scan the place. So motivation in the start of this kind of presence isn’t so much curiosity, but rather security. Find a ground to stand on. Or learn how to stand on this new ground.
A New ground I had the privilege to explore tuesday was teaching. It seems to become a bigger and bigger passion for me, as I set myself in situations of a mentor.
A one and a half hour of travel outside Copenhagen, I found myself in a little building in a small town, in the presence of three little new flute students.
For a brief moment, before entering the room to meet them, I travelled to the past, to my own time when I started with the instrument. I remember the excitment, the over-enthusiastic frenzy of my 11 year old self as I picked up the flute and made the first tone. I remember the commintment and presence of my teacher. I have him as a role model for a great teacher.
Back to the moment itself, the situation was very new for my experience. It was a group lesson, with three children, actually younger than when I started and with some weird looking children’s flutes — ones I never saw, as they werent available when I was a child.
Presented with this new ground, myself took comfort in the presence of my love for the instrument, the meeting with them and their own intuitive and curious manner of taking in the lesson. And through that initial comfort, to open up and explore through games.
One thing I found fascinating is how children have a level of presence, very light, no heavyness of any overthinking.
Even though focus could become a challenge, in the small bits of it, they allowed their enviroment to come through them. And they take everything in.
They jump around in the presence of the environment and of what more concrete it is being presented to them. They change quickly between the panorama and the focused spot and seem to enjoy, amuse themselves with the changing transition.
In a sense, that is what we all do when presented with new experiences in life. To gain overview and get as much information in to become comfortable with the new idea, we switch out and in of focused to panorama, to focus.
Somehow, the older we get, the less amusing we find it. As we get older, we seem to enjoy the lingerness of panorama, or focus, but switching makes us nauseous, so most people avoid it.
I wonder why did that happen? is it because we like to believe the level of energy within us goes down the older we get? Is it really true though?
That is why, it is so important. To switch your presence between panorama to a more concrete situation, person happening in the new experience. We do it automatically really, but if we manage to become aware until some degree, our sense of what we are doing becomes really more present.
That gives us a self-confidence, childlike — which will motivate us to striver for all kinds of life adventures.
— Wednesday — Body
Meditation has for many years now, specially today more than ever, being acknowledge as A MUST for a healthy lifestyle — mentaly but more than ever, to come into communication between body and mind, as a tool to work with the presence in yourself, in your environment — a game of tension and relaxation.
Wednesday surprised me with a call from my body.
As much as present I was in my work, somehow I manage to fail to be present within my physical self.
By the end of noon, my mind was going at 300% while my body was at 60. And around 15 o clock I was a gonner. My body refuse to do any kind of work.
I laid in bed in complete exahustion. As this was being to be too much of a tendency the last couple of weeks, I did the adult thing and called the doctor to make some blood tests. Turns out, my body was trying to tell me something.
Hence I was so focused on being present for others, for the mental part, the hypothetical - I forgot the visceral part, the physical part…in few words: to take care of my temple called the human body.
Should sound simple to take care of it right? - you need to give it propper energy for it to work: by sleeping/resting ( restitution and to do inner cleaning) exercising (inner cleaning, hardware function trial) by eating ( right fuel for the right car, right nutrition for the right life style). Let’s not forget thoughs aswell have a great deal to say. I wasn’t doing myself a favour by feeling frustrated with something which is part of the human process — to rest, before going on.
As wednesday went by, my body set myself to restart: it obliged me to stay in bed by putting me in such an exhaustion mode, I had no option but to rest and reflect on meta mode: Was I eating enough? was I eating properly? Sleeping enough? resting enough? Was there a good balance between active work and restitution?
Yes, doctor told me what I already know: Health deteriorating — low energy — mind at 300 while body at 60.
The balance of presence calls for a time out. Observe yourself in the moment — are you taking care of yourself? Resting enough? Eating well enough?
Also, Maybe, stop thinking too much and just listen more properly to what the gut is saying. Not intuition, but rather the physical gut. It wants food, and then a good siesta!
— Thursday — Sharing
A Meeting on presence called thursday for interesting ideas — specially for my project 4divertimento — creating a space to give the opportunity for kids to own the project themselves. As the creator, serve as mere medium, guidance of connection rather than telling them what to learn. Let them tell theirs stories through the art of expressions (are those hard to master? sorry beautiful art, music, dance, litterature, fashion — creative academies, I do have to disagree on that one ;))