What are you proud of, Ikigai and 2020. <3

There exists in me a desperate yearning sometimes that I wonder if it exists for others. It is not that this thought soothes me… but that I find the threads of grace in the knowing that… I’m not alone in this. There’s a kind of grace in the shared stories and histories that can exist and intertwine between our worlds. There’s a kind of grace, in seeing you as you are. 

She said… what are you proud of? 

And the word pride seemed too yellow, too much, too uncomfortable… to frame my words through this lens. I did try… and when it came to the page in front of me and I, I discovered this was my relationship to pride. 

Nothing ever dies. Although, I speak of death candidly. In this context, I think, death simply re-animates, meaning. Takes something apart, disintegrates it… and soon enough, it will be something else. It will coagulate again… be part of something else, be different in its new expression… be more. Renewed.

Nothing ever ceases to exist… nothing… what does this word mean? No thing? It seems ironic, that here I am really referring to everything. 

Repressed pride in my shadow still exerted its influence over my life. The obvious… felt like a moment of realisation, long in coming… and with it, memories of childhood, now infused with sadness and acceptance. 

The way you see someone may not be the way they see themselves. Is it the years that are bringing on this sense of expansion? Or that I’ve arrived at a point where the pain of not expanding this exceeds the growth pains? 

I’m not averse to the pragmatism of life… or the practicalities of reality… when in rhythm, I enjoy them greatly… like the making of a meal and the maintenance of a sense of structure… for the purpose of joy and clarity. I love structure when it serves me, when it works for me. It has been a joy to re-learn what structure means to me.  

Some ideas haven’t blossomed and come to full fruition yet. Give it time. And in the meantime… find joy and daydream away. Because when the ideas do ripen… the action and the manifestation of them flows effortlessly. 

I am feeling this decade come to a close. It was an intense decade for me and I wonder if I will experience this level of intensity again in my life, or if, it will always be the darkest decade of my life… with its lessons and beautiful moments but also its pain and darkness. I’d rather like to hope so.

I don’t feel like I have given up anything that matters… but I have given up a great deal of what does not. I really don’t know what the future holds and I don’t really… care to know… yet… like growing fruit… it hasn’t ripened yet… but I can feel the seeds have been planted, and what do you do… but tend lovingly to the watering and growth of what you have planted? ❤  

2019, I am proud of:

– Quiting my role/job/work at the end of 2018

– Putting uni on hold at the end of 2018

– Spending 4 months in Spain 

– Spending 6 weeks alone in Peru 

– Getting a tattoo over my scars (nearly a decade long decision I finally commited to)

– Showing up on the yoga mat every day 

– Commiting to meditation 

– Dancing my traumas free 

– Having the courage to show up to be seen

– Letting go of shame 

– Letting myself cry – often

– Letting myself feel the pain fully 

– Finishing uni / final portfolio 

– A new role/job and work bringing and encouraging growth and expansion 

2020 themes/desires:

– Confidence, Integrity, Alignment, Empowerment 

– Acknowledging needs and boundaries 

– Exploration of the esoteric 

– Deepening yoga practice 

– Continued commitment to meditation 

– Courage, showing up, embodied dance

– To love my work and all that I do

– Flow and creativity 

– Deepening roots, classical music, L.mus.A 

– Seeking new ways of working with music and its connection to the emotional body 

– Abundance 

– Travel fund  

Books I read in 2019 for which I am grateful to, in shaping my thoughts, inspiring me and inviting growth:

The Road Less Travelled – M. Scott Peck

Awakening the Heroes Within – Carol S. Pearson 

Blue Truth – David Deida 

The Magic of Thinking Big – David J Schwartz

The 4 hour work week – Tim Ferris 

The Richest Man in Babylon – George S. Clason 

The Law of Attraction – Ester, Jerry and Abraham Hicks

The Instruction – Ainslie Macleod

The Holy Wild – Danielle Dulsky

2020 Goal: Ikigai 

To wake up fulfilled and to enjoy a sense of warmth for the day ahead. To fill the day with beautiful moments and reasons for being. 

What are you proud of? What is your ikigai?

🙏🏼💛

Abstract music | entry. #1

It’s 7.48pm at the time of writing this. I’ve spent nearly the whole day working on a piece of music for my tutorial. I feel like it’s a quirky piece. Unusual for me. Learning it is going to be difficult, but fun. I love the polyrhythms and the syncopated feeling here.

I feel like I need a stronger grasp of harmony… but it was fun, writing this. It was like, a culmination of things I’ve learned.

The teacher at the composition seminar said that harmony was key to emotion. That really got me thinking… and halfway through writing, all the voice-leading exercises I once had to do for music theory came back. It was so strange, to combine this analytical way of going about it… and it worked. To some degree.

After falling down the rabbit hole, I came across this book on Harmony by Walter Piston. The introduction brought on a fresh perspective for me, that that I never considered,

But if we reflect that theory must follow practice, rarely preceding it except by chance, we must realise that musical theory is not a set of directions for composing music. It is rather the collected and systematised deductions gathered by observing the practice of composers over a long time, and it attempts to set forth what is or has been their common practice. It tells not how music will be written in the future, but how music has been written in the past.

Mastery of the technical or theoretical aspects of music should be carried out by him/her as a life’s work, running parallel to his/her creative activity but quite separate from it. In the one he/she is following common practice, while in the other he/she is responsible solely to the dictates of his/her own personal tastes and urge for expression.

Walter Piston

I added the pronouns there. I also wish… I could pick up any old book where the writer had miraculously decided they wanted to solely use the female gender, and instead of that being sexist, we’d all think it’s normal.

Anyway…

That blew my mind a little. I wish it didn’t, I wish I’d been better equipped. But I love how empirical, truthful and honest it is. Simply, in that quote, Piston talks of music purely from the perspective of the craft of understanding music… and the art of creating it.

Yet, in the deep end where music meets academia… the books did once, feel stuffy.

Life is funny like that. Presently though, I am neither here or there. I’m in a liminal space.

It’s as though… all the smog and the fog has cleared… and my own desires and priorities have crystallised into clarity. The truth, is there, without needing anyone’s permission to be there.

Yesterday, we went over synthesisers… and for the first time in my student life, I was interested. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent a lot of time getting used to the DAW LogicX, that I’m now finally more curious about what’s under the hood because I could understand it. It was good. The possibility of being able to create ambient soundscapes using only synths, intrigues me. But also, just the very idea of being able to control sound on such a minute level. Even Ableton-Live, no longer feels counter-intuitive to me. How interesting. I went away, thinking about Nils Frahm’s music, Says, and it struck me, that I suddenly had an inkling of how his music worked and that the buildup towards the end had something to do with opening the filter on the synth. Maybe? I could be wrong.

My teacher asked me to bring in a brief.

I thought… that I’d really like to explore the realm of electro-acoustic music in a performance setting.

To be honest, that scares me.

Originally my desire was to write music I could perform, period.

It often feels like, learning never stops. And I am the slowest learner I know. It’s kind of comical. I finally realised, writing a piece of music was not the same as improvising, in fact, the two couldn’t be more different. It makes me feel wistful, because I also realised, the process of writing is never linear. Much like writing a story, it also feels like putting a puzzle together. And yet, I had this assumption that… creating music was somehow linear. Because… it is an artform that unfolds over time?

Writing in LogicX was like working with bits and pieces of data… midi information. But it meant that, in a way I was less connected to the music because it’s one thing… to manipulate data… and another thing to work with notes. But it also felt like… the music was more internal, having so much control over the sound and sense of space, made the music different. It was more of an experience, but writing in Sibelius… puts the focus on the music and its relationship to all the other elements in the work itself… there is no sense of space to manipulate and work with. At some points I was intensely aware of myself, listening for the patterns, following what intuitively felt right to me, but also asking, I wonder what this will sound like if I do this. And several hours flew by and I felt like no time had passed at all.

Still… I feel like a fresh new beginner. A little childish excitement. I am a beginner. I probably always will be. I like this mentality.

This piece, also, reminds me of a recent dream I had. I dreamed someone I knew, was playing a piece of dissonant jazz and I loved it and I envied their skill and talent.

I don’t think my piece is dissonant or at all jazz, but I know I probably have a stronger taste for dissonance than the average listener.

I’m thinking that I’d like to present my work in class at the end of week 11 or 12.

In the meantime… these posts on abstract music will be a good way to note down my thoughts for my final report.

Sand