Play

I have been humming and hah-ing about this post for a number of days – unsure of how exactly to synthesize all the thoughts swimming through my mind.

But after far too many hums and hahs, I realized I needed to practice what I preach and just do it (see last post) ... so here I am. 

I have been travelling through Mexico: taking in new sights, sounds and energies, and spending time with old and dear friends that I haven't seen in many moons.

I have been reading, thinking, meditating, laughing, writing songs, playing guitar, practicing Qigong, and swimming in the ocean. (And eating a lot of quesadillas.)

I have been thinking a lot about the creative process (not a new topic for me, but always an interesting one), and trying to put it into practice daily. (Check out my instagram for a process peek, and to hear some new song snippets!)

I have been reading the book Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch, and getting very excited about the idea of centring the creative process around play. 

You see, I have spent the majority of my creative life being afraid to 'play', for fear of making a mistake. It is only within the past few years that I have started to learn about how creation can be joyous and playful, rather than tumultuous and anxiety-inducing. I am only beginning to shuffle off the years of perfectionism, people-pleasing and pressure, and begin to play. 

Speaking of play and perfectionism: 

I have been going through my hard-drive, and re-visiting old songs and mixes that were never finished or 'released' into the world.

It's funny – as I've been looking back on previous creations, I seem to give 'past me' a bit more of a break than 'present me'. The imperfections and raw-ness that I hear in mixes of old feels endearing, rather than frustrating, or in-need-of-fixing.

As I have been re-visiting these old mixes, I hear a sense of play. A sense of awe and wonder at the recording process, and the myriad ways we can sculpt sound.

I've decided to release some of these never-before-heard songs from my past. Starting with a song that I wrote in Beijing about 2 1/2 years ago, and recorded in my basement studio two Falls ago, called 'Scenes'. Here is the link to hear this song on my Soundcloud. 

I am so excited about continuing to play within the realms of sound, and remembering that there is no right or wrong way to do anything. In the end, recording is about documenting a certain feeling or moment. Documenting the ephemeral feeling of spontaneous creation. 

On that note: At the very end of the song (around minute 2:55), something interesting happens. I had a song structure with verses and choruses all prepared. Then, at the end of the recording process, rather than ending the song as planned, my subconscious mind took the lead – and I began to improvise a melody, while subconsciously singing the words from the Desiderata (a hand-me-down from my mom's youth) hanging on my wall. The words are:


Go placidly 

amid the noise and haste.

Remember peace 

in silence.
 

Those moments where the unconscious mind takes control are the moments we live for in the creative process.

I am dedicated to continuously practicing and preparing my mind, body and voice for these fleeting moments of inspiration.

To showing up every day, letting go of expectation, surrendering control, and allowing myself to be a vessel for whatever words, melodies, or sounds decide to make themselves known.

To letting go of my ego and the need to create something 'good', and instead allowing the process to be a game of divine play.*

Much love,

K

*Divine Play  – Lila (Sanskrit) – 'The play of creation, destruction, and re-creation, the folding and un-folding of the cosmos. Lila, free and deep, is both the delight and enjoyment of this moment, and the play of God.' 
 


Scenes 
 

Thought I'd be bold 

A wise man told 

me: this place is but a dream 
 

Faces - they've froze - 

they forget it's their own 

game: this world that we all see 


Why am I afraid to live the scenes I see 
behind my heavy lids of sleep? 


I waited to grow 

a new spine 

to help me hold 

all these moons and galaxies 


The water's so cold, 

but we aren't too old 

to be more than who we've been 


Why am I afraid to live the scenes I see 
behind my heavy lids of sleep? 


Go placidly 

amid the noise and haste 

Remember peace 

in silence. 

Remember peace 

in silence.

 

Leave a comment

    Add comment