Saturday, July 23, 2016

FBSMC8, Recovery Series, Video 4

Three weeks of playing have gone by! It is most definitely getting stronger and more stable. One of the things I bring up in this video is the confirmation of certain aspects of playing I have known for many years but know can appreciate and understand them at a deeper level. Time away from something and then coming back to it has always interested me. Think of times when you have been away from home. Maybe first going to overnight summer camp or off to college. Then remember how it felt to come home again. I know for me, it had many different feelings not one. There was happiness along with the sense and knowing that I had changed from the last time I'd had been home. Plus a whole bunch of other stuff!

I felt the same way coming back to the horn this time. But now there is a greater sense of ease and freedom. I don't feel I have to prove anything or be under strain to be at a certain kind of playing level. So it is still in the 'we'll see and take it as it comes' stages. Perhaps part of that 'stage' is healthy to always be in. Once again it brings up the question; why do we do what we do? It is certainly worth a good ponder everyday, for it might be simple and complex all at the same time! It will also keep us connected to the reasons why we do what we do. This is vital for it is easy if one is not aware of it, to drift from the core sentiments of why we play and are in music to something more egotistically based which is further away from OURSELVES AND THAT WHICH CREATED AND NEEDS ART.

Video 4

Thursday, July 7, 2016

FBSMC8, Recovery Series, Video 3

Welcome to week two of the FBSMC8 the Recovery Series. This third video was made nine days after the first two videos were made. It shows me in week two of playing and I talk about some of the discoveries of the first week. It really has been a fascinating journey let me tell you! My sternum is almost 90% healed. This makes a huge difference in how it feels to hold the horn. It is getting easier because for a while holding the horn straight out was putting a slight strain on my arms.

As the video will point out, I am letting things happen organically. There is now more stability in my sound because of the strengthening of my embouchure and support systems. Because of the gradual nature in which I am letting things develop, there has been no strain mentally, emotionally and physically. I have no expectations or timetables as to when I should be able to do this or that on the horn.

My usual equipment for most of this past year before the surgery was my Shires heavy weight rose brass bell, gold wide slide and a Greg Black 4G-5G mouthpiece. Now I'm playing my old Conn 88H with a Greg Black 5GS mouthpiece. It feels really good to play this smaller equipment!

I just want the art that is in me to lead the way. And to let my Soul summon the Art that needs to come out of me at this point in time. Art is a living thing and should be free to grow and develop according to its life.

Video 3

FBSMC8, Recovery Series, Video 1 and 2

Hi Everyone!

I can't believe that this is the 8th year of the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection! There are many of you who follow this blog and many others that just look at the videos when they are put up on YouTube. Thanks to all of you who email me and leave positive comments. It makes it so worthwhile that there are some that can hear the message that is attempting to be transmitted.

FBSMC 8 will be focusing for the most part on my recovery from having a quadruple heart bypass surgery in April. There was a video put up on YouTube in late May I believe called "From That Little Guy After Heart Surgery." You might want to take a look at that just for some insight into the circumstance of the surgery. Video 1a of the Recovery Series does speak to the circumstances of that first five weeks in South Carolina a bit as well.

I have been shown many times that life is not always a rehearsed script! This heart bypass experience certainly pointed that out. But I feel that there is a reason for everything that happens in life no matter how difficult it is or how hard it is to understand. By getting all the varied experiences in life (the good the bad the ugly the joyful the painful etc.), we have the opportunity to discover more about life and ourselves in it. We have the choice for those experiences to strengthen ourselves or weaken ourselves.

Videos 1a and 1b (which is video 2) are really the same video because I had an accident with my mic and had to make a cut and continue where I left off as best as I could on the second video 1b. Life is not a perfect recording! There are mistakes and those mis-takes are all part of the ongoing movement of life and the possibility for continued development as a person. In the first video you will hear my very first notes on the horn with almost three months off. In this series my hope is for the viewers to not fear recovery of any kind but to let it happen organically.

Video 1a

Video 2 (1b)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

"From That Little Guy in the Corner," video 8,
Making Music Where It Is

As we get in older in years, it is natural for the body to change. But the body is not the only thing that changes. We have experienced more of life and those experiences alone can cause huge changes or subtle changes that affect us, the person. Greater knowledge puts us in a very different situation than before we came into that knowledge. Experiences mold us, and what we want as a life goal governs us deeply. This video 8, "Making Music Where It Is," is primarily for older brass musicians (but certainly for the open minded younger person too) and gives valuable tips on how to handle that which inevitably will come.

There is nothing wrong with getting older, even though our culture does not really embrace it and does everything under the sun to make it that if you are 65 you should still be like you're 25. Well, that denies the incredible gift that getting older is. Therefore, youth is just not physical; it is a state of mind. Plus there are many things we can do to keep ourselves physically and mentally fit well into our senior years. I believe that making music where it is, meaning to be open to adapt and find new ways, will promote the music that needs to come out of us now. Perhaps the music we need to hear that we don't' know we need to hear. The video gets into this quite deeply.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"From That Little Guy in the Corner," Video 7:
Arbans and Oatmeal

How we think about anything shows up in our actions, in one form or another. If our attitude is, "This is a boring unimportant part," then it certainly will contain that frequency when it is played. Imagine if the majority of an orchestra thought that about pieces they'd played a lot…. Those pieces would result in uninspired performances, at the very least! In reality, there is no such thing as an unimportant part! Every note, and corresponding attitude of the musician, contributes to the whole of the musical atmosphere and vibrancy -- or lack of vibrancy for that rehearsal or concert.

The title of this video was inspired by my brass orchestral rep class. I love working with them because this example points out how our music-making is directly related to our feelings, thoughts and attitudes.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

"From That Little Guy in the Corner," Video 6:
To Buzz or Not to Buzz, That is the Option!

Boy, has this topic been the 'buzz' around the trombone world for the past several months! For someone to say mouthpiece playing is bad for you, or not useful, shows they have a lopsided view of the subject and have not come to the realization that different people have different needs. It is that simple. If it works for you, great. If not, then don't do it or discover times where and when it might be useful for you. The dynamic (loud, soft, etc.), in which you play the mouthpiece, can make a big difference in your results. Mouthpiece placement is in interesting topic in itself,  and some of that is talked about in the video. This video is meant to encourage people to find out what they need. It is not a 'one size fits all' situation. It is an option, not a question to be answered in a 'yes' or 'no' way. It is a tool for our physical trombone playing development. HAPPY DISCOVERING!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

"From That Little Guy in the Corner", Video 5:
Nuance & Vibrato

Nuance and vibrato are very personal. Listening to many artists, whether vocal or instrumental, proves that right away. Now, if someone comes from a school of vibrato, you will most likely be able to hear that in those who are staunch supporters of that particular school.

In this video, I demonstrate a few different kinds of vibrato. Since the name of the video is "Nuance & Vibrato," I am trying to highlight vibrato as a kind of nuance. More to come on this topic!