Saturday, September 20, 2008

Truth or Agenda?
From "The TAC Legend Writings"

Here is another excerpt from my book, "The TAC Legend Writings,
Book 1: Journey to Freedom."

Master Manlon was giving a masterclass when Tersha raised her hand.

Master Manlon: "Yes Tersha, do you have something to add?"

Tersha: "I wanted to relate a story." 

Master Manlon: "Let's hear it!"

Tersha: "A few weeks ago, I went to Sutherland, where there was a workshop with the famous triuna player Wilkus Tordly.

Different people were playing for him. I was really shocked with how he handled people and the manner in which he addressed their various playing issues. It was the furthest thing from your approach and all the teaching staff in 'The Amazing Club.'

Mr. Tordly was very rough on the people, saying they had terrible sounds and had no idea how to properly play the instrument. He kept asking people who they studied with and told them to change teachers and get instruments that were actually playable.

I was extremely upset and was wondering what was the point of my attending such an affair. Then it hit me how lucky we are to be in the TAC, a place where the teachers realize that, first and foremost, there is a human being with a human instrument, and then there is the musical instrument as an extension of the human instrument with the power of what it is connecting to."

Master Manlon: "Well, I guess you learned a lot from this workshop!

It is important to realize, always, that it is not 'who' is teaching, playing  speaking or acting, but 'WHAT' is doing all those things. We have said many times in the TAC that it is not 'who' wrote the music, but 'what' wrote the music. What is the nature of that life force that would want to treat people that way? Yes, Antil?"

Antil: "The ego?"

Master Manlon: "The ego can be attached to certain things that do not want others to succeed. Lots of times we see that a person who is like that was also treated like that themselves. So that painful 'virus' that they were infected with then needs to infect others so it can have continuance and grow.

Learn to recognize it and and make a pact with yourself that you wish to be different to it. Always remember that when you see some undesirable feature in yourself, try to see that it is not really you but 'what' got into you. Then remember that you have the choice to not have it. That is the profound gift of will. And to activate our will, we need to realize we have choice. But do not expect all the choices you make to be received with a resounding "BRAVO!" from everybody.  So, thinking, deliberately choosing and taking responsibility for your choices isn't always an easy road.

When we treat music as a living thing, and ourselves, other people and other life as living things, truth, even in cases we don't necessary want to hear it either, becomes of greater importance to us than any other personal agenda. It is a beautiful life goal and process to be in the music of being all you can be, regardless of how popular it is or isn't."

Other excerpts from "The TAC Legend Writings" can be found throughout this blog. Here is a sampling:

Trombone Sci-Fi
Excerpt from "The TAC Legend Writings"
Blinded by Sound
Another Excerpt from "The TAC Legend Writings"
More from "The TAC Legend Writings"
More Trombone Sci-Fi
More from Master Manlon and "The TAC Legend Writings"

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Where Did August Go?

I realized there was no blog post in August. Life gets REALLY busy sometimes!!! There actually was a lot going on this summer.

Lots of composing, things with the yard and house, as well as getting settled in a new apartment in Amherst. Amherst is 86 miles from our home in Boston. Why do we have an apartment in Amherst? Because I also will be teaching at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, on top of everything else! (Here is a photo Carol took of the old chapel by the pond on the UMass campus.)

I (and the rest of the family, rabbits and parrot included) will be there half the week and in Boston the other half of the week to continue teaching at the Boston schools I am affiliated with--New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory and Longy. That is only part of the schedule!

Carol (who, as you all know, is co-director of the Frequency Band with me) and I are very busy with FB projects. As a matter of fact, we just played at the State House in Boston for the 9-11 Commemoration. All the FB participants involved did a tremendous job in support of this event under very testing conditions. It was a great honor for us to be asked to contribute to such an immensely important event. Seeing and hearing from the family members who lost loved ones on that tragic day in US and world history was something we will never forget.

We are doing other work as well. The FB was asked to play at the Eastern Trombone Workshop. We will be putting on a 90 minute program with the Frequency Band and, also, I will be premiering a new work I am writing for solo trombone and band and look forward to playing this new piece with "Pershing's Own" at this ETW event in March. It will be a very packed week with a masterclass as well! Stay tuned for more details!

So much is on the go and more blog posts will start up again on a regular basis. Some topics will include the "A.R.T. of Teaching" and the "Mystery of the Embouchure-Air Relationship," plus some more of the masterclasses with Master Manlon. Keep in touch, much is on the way.....