Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More First Overlay Thoughts

Every time you pick up your instrument you are programing your automatic systems (first overlay). Remember your first overlay, automatic systems are a robotic process. They get programed by your actions, not just physical actions, but your mental and emotional processes as well and repeat them.

For example, if you pick up your instrument and on a regular basis and feel anxiety, frustration, apprehension, or any other kind of thought, like happiness or joyful anticipation, they will become what you automatically think about when you go near or touch the instrument. This happens all of the time in life without our instrument but as a part of living. I remember several years ago I walked past an orchestra tuning. I heard the 'A' from the oboe and the typical little note sequences of people tuning their instruments and I felt the excited anticipation come over me like I would have before a rehearsal or a concert. Of course I was just walking by and not even participating. Pavlov's dog, right? That is the way our systems work.

On the blog post, "More Day 1 of the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection" dated July 21st, I suggested people try putting an addition to their warm up that included going over the reasons they are in music and reconnecting to their love of music and their instrument, before they play a note. The reason being (besides the ones posted) is to encourage the automatic systems to associate themselves with the instrument as a source of joy, musical connection, an inspiring endeavor, personal expression and so forth.

So when our playing goes through a testing time when things do not feel good or we are in a time of change, reconstruction or slump, it is important to feel our love of music that is independent of the instrument and to remind ourselves why we love our own chosen instrument and to be as patient as we can during this passing phase. Not always easy to do! :-)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Clarification of P.A.T. Concert Video and a bit more...

I hope everyone who participated in the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection got something from it. I have heard and Carol has heard from people privately (and on the Facebook "event" page) that they feel it was very useful, helpful and inspiring on many levels for them. Very happy to hear it. Carol and I always say if we can help one person then it is worth it.


A student of mine posted a comment about the P.A.T. concert video and wondered why I was holding my horn the opposite way. Well, I would love to have said that I was experimenting holding it the other way but the truth is the camera that is in my computer takes the videos as if I were looking in the mirror. So now you all know what I look like when I speak to myself while doing the mirror exercise! Anyway, thanks Chris Leone for pointing that out. Leave it to you!

I have other Master Manlon quotes I will be putting out soon. Also, I hope to eventually publish parts of the book "TAC Legend Writings" instead of waiting for the whole thing to be finished. The section from Day 3 where Master Manlon is talking to Julian is a very good look at the overlay system in a practical and integrated way. So keep tuned!

I am still open to those who have questions or would like to share their experiences with this work here on the blog or privately.

REMEMBER, this work will remain on the blog. Several people have written to me saying they plan to take the full 'course' when they have the time. Or a person can do bits at a time. It will be here.

Best endeavors to all!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 5 of the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection, P.A.T. Concert Preparation

Here it is, our last day of FBSMC already. Today we will be playing our Playing Alone Together concert at 4 PM Boston time. This video is a preparation for this concert as well as having some demonstrations of being free while playing. It is interesting if we feel we cannot be free when playing alone isn't it? Hopefully with the work you have been doing this week you will feel more encouraged to try. Make sure you have looked at the directions for a P.A.T. concert . It is on the blog 2008 postings in February. The 9th of Feb 2008 posting has the directions that we will be following for today's concert. The postings before it, explain the inspiration as to why the concerts started. In most public concerts and movie theaters, there is an announcement to shut off all cell phones and peepers. Well for this concert, make sure to shut off all metronomes, tuners and recording devices! (If you really want to record it, that is ok), but not the other two items! :-) Remember you are playing with others. Mentally acknowledge that fact.

See you at the concert!


Great playing with all of you in the wonderful acoustic of freedom and joy of what we do. We were all in tune if we were in that sentiment.

Remember this will be on the blog and you can look at it any time. If you are really trying to put this into your playing life, it might be a good idea to visit this FBSMC on the blog regularly as your schedule permits. A bit at a time and start with what catches you.

Please feel free to go to the comment section of the blog and share what is happening with your work in this area or ask a question if it comes up. There are NO stupid questions!

I also want to thank my wife Carol, for you see it is because of her encouragement that I actually did this. I mentioned to her on Wednesday the 15th of July, that I thought it would be funny if I had an online music seminar called, "Bolter's Bloginar." I meant it as a joke and she said it sounded like a fun and interesting idea. I said, "Really, you think I should?" She said "Yes, I really mean it." So if you enjoyed this, thank Carol too! She was a great help to me in the course of this week.

As you can see, from the time of the thought of it to it actually getting announced was only 3 days! That is how fast things can happen in that freedom and willingness to put it together. Not all music seminars can be born that quickly! But, thanks to our upfront and ongoing work and technology.....there you have it!

It has been very intense at this end for Carol and me and we are very happy if there are some of you who can benefit from this work. You have all of our encouragement. If we can be of any help in this area, please feel free to ask.

Strength of endeavor to all!


P.S. Carol and Master Manlon send their best wishes to all!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection Day 4, preparing for tomorrow's P.A.T. concert

Tomorrow is our Playing Alone Together concert. There will be a preparation video ready for you in the morning and we will be starting the concert at 4PM Boston time.

There are a few postings on the blog I suggest you check out tomorrow along with the preparation video. We will follow the basic P.A.T. concert format as outlined on the February 9th, 2008 posting. There are a few other short postings you can also check out: December 31st, 2007, January 2, 2008 and February 1st, 2008. They are not long and not intense reading, I promise! :-) Give yourself a little time to read these, look at the video (that will be posted tomorrow) and prepare for our concert. It is all in the spirit of the original you, your art and unique expression and being "Brave to Be" able to pursue this vitally important undertaking. It can be done. It is not too late or too early to start. Start with where you are at and with what you can do.Whether you are 19 or 90, it is the sentiment that counts.

There are many people around the world now and in the past that have been in touch with their unique selves. This Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection is an encouragement to keep it alive, especially in face of our changing times. Keep up with the times but don't throw out everything for it. Fashions come and go, but that which is real and genuine always IS. You will be able to identify it, if you use your feeling and not get caught off guard by the many cloaks and styles it takes. Remember this simple but profound analogy: H2O is always the same whether it is ice, liquid or gas, it is still H2O. This holds true for that which is harmful and that which is beneficial. Both ends of the spectrum can take on many different forms and it can be difficult at times to decipher what is what. But if you let the balanced duet of your thinking and your feeling 'speak' and communicate with each other, the truth can become clearer. Remember think-feel or feel-think? Do you have a feeling or thought which one you are more prone to? It makes no difference in the end, as long as they can work in partnership.

'See' you at the concert!

More on Day 4 of the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection

The "TAC Legend" writing that was picked for today has everything to do with BAVE TO BE. You can read this as it was posted on the blog on March 13, 2008.

Think of the strength we need to get through any tough time. We will always have some difficult times. Because of this, one could ask, "Who has the time to take all this on?" There is so much to deal with just wanting to get employed in the music field, whether you are going for a teaching job, freelancing, instrument repair, manufacturing of instruments, sales, administration, an orchestra player, music therapist, and all the music fields. The answer, in my mind, is to help and insure, in whatever way we can, that the living essence of these fields of music does not die. To remember you have choice and to develop those finer skills, wherever they are in us, that are enriching to our lives and to others.

It takes a kind of bravery to be ourselves. But if we want it strong enough, it will come, if we are on a CONSISTENT path to pursue, find and develop it. That takes a regular, consistent effort, just like developing our first overlay. The machine stuff will only go so far, but the danger is, as is put forth in this Sci-Fi part of TAC Legends, that things can go on for a long time before Nature corrects the course. We all know, from looking at certain environmental issues,that there can be a lot of damage done before measures are taken to set it right, with certain things not being recoverable.

*SNAP!* And it will be ten years from now. So, for those who are interested in this work, start NOW. It will pay off. You never know where your life will lead you until you give it a shot. Be practical, don't be to fast or rash. These concepts can be introduced into your playing slowly. Take the time, but engage in the process, if you are so inclined.

The "TAC Legend Writings" are really two stories in one. This section is 200 hundred years in the future. Master Manlon's appearance is really just under 100 years from now. Some of you might have felt some of this work already? :-) Master Manlon, when seeing that his students feel lost, bored or not knowing what to work on, often says to them, "What have you done with the lessons you've been given?"

Not too much later in this Sci-Fi section, Oscar really starts to break down from this incredible pressure at the Academy of Sonic Sciences. This puts him on the journey to discover his Self and those feelings he had about music, but his circumstances would not let him express them. This is a wild part of the story and gets very involved and would be for some VERY SCI-FI. It is there to demonstrate how different life can really be to what we think it is. Haven't we all experienced some of that already?

BRAVE TO BE YOU and grow from there!

Welcome to Day 4 of the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection

Today's topic is BRAVE TO BE. It is so vitally important if one wants to proceed in life and in finding and growing the deeper Art. So, take a deep breath, feel the strength of yourself, shoulders back, chest out and take it into yourself.

Another "TAC Legend" reading. Hang on to your hats, we are taking a trip into the future! Then you can decide how far away this future is.....

Machines, technology, power, they are never bad in themselves. It is the motive behind their use that determines their positive or negative affects. Practicing with a tuning device, metronome, mini disc or audio visual devices can be extremely useful. Back in the day, I used to practice with a cassette recorder or a reel to reel a few times a week. I also used a metronome. Very useful tools. But, if it gets where you are loosing your own sense of trust and find that you can no longer really handle the flexible situation that playing music with others is, that in my humble view is giving up your sensitive machinery and the further development of that machinery and can cause an incredible stiffness and/or stunted growth.

Could you imagine playing a great connected concert where the audience and the musicians were totally absorbed in the music and you went to a tuner and realized that the orchestra's pitch had changed from the first tuning "A" of the oboe? And then be upset?! I have seen this happen. It is called being frozen and academically strangled. In Harry Potter's world this would be referred to as muggle behaviour!  (Carol turned me onto this word a few years ago). What if that was supposed to naturally happen? I know for a fact it does. Why, would that not be alright if it organically happened and all the musicians were just going with it? If everyone were truly connected to the essence of the music, the essence would govern all the overlays because at that point the music would be a living thing.
                                         BRAVE TO BE

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Day 3 of the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection

Here are some quotes from Master Manlon that are pertinent to today's topic on the overlays.

Our extraordinary physical body ( first overlay) is a universe of trillions of lives working together to serve us.

Ask yourself: "What kind of boss (second overlay) am I to my body, my first overlay automatic systems?"

Remember, there is always a simple and a complex answer to anything.

Knowing what something is about doesn't mean you are connected to it or can relate to it or have even found a way to relate to it.

Breathing is a part of our first overlay. But how we choose to use it is a second overlay process. This second overlay process is easy to see from the example of how we plan a breath in our phrasing. Planning is a second overlay process but the PURPOSE of our planning is a third overlay process at a basic level.

Music can be a powerful and effective tool and medium for transference, if the musician is truly connected to the music's essence and the human acoustic of the listener is in tune with the process (receptive).

We can use color as a technology to help us discover more about ourselves, our environment and how the energy worlds work. But never confuse it, no matter how powerful it feels, with whole art.

It's not about technology or over developing one part. It's about why we do what we do and how it impacts the whole of our art and life.

Without the real human qualities of love, devotion, genuineness, compassion, discovery, soul searching, awe, and other qualities, what will be the nature and quality of our art and/or life?

Each person is the hope. We can all grow. We have a second overlay, choice, that is beyond culture and conditioned responses. Our conditioned or 'fall back' second overlay is now located in our automatic systems (first overlay) and is really status quo agreement masquerading as choice. However, the unconditioned overlay of free choice will be for you to discover or not.

Each of the overlays has its own essence. But you can't talk about one overlay without the resonance of the others 'near by'.

It is important for you to know that Master Manlon always says his thoughts and concepts are "fiction until you prove it otherwise."

These topics, throughout this whole Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection, are quite dense. Please do not feel pressure to get it all right away. That would be impossible, for it is meant for those who are interested, to play, dwell, think, toy with, experiment, experience and grow it. It is an organic process. A whole process for the person to find their way in it. It is not really something to memorize or retain in a file. I believe the best retention comes from the reference of experience and an active relationship with something.

Welcome to Day 3 of the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection

Today's topic is the Overlay System. This a big subject and can be a fantastic self diagnostic tool among many other things. So relax, open up your mind and tune in!

Here once again is another reading from "The TAC Legend Writings." Master Manlon shows his skill as a teacher as well as the depth of knowledge he has on the subject of the first overlay of wind playing. Because of the nature of the subject and the amount of it, I was trying to cram a lot into a short period of time, my tempo is quite fast! So, take a few deep breaths, relax, open your mind and fasten your seat belt!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Response to a fantastic question!

More Day 2 of the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection

Good Idea

A student of mine emailed me and said that he and a friend of his are going to do the Summer Music Connection together. This can have some extra benefit as they can work with the concepts together and certainly be able to see the subjective and objective come alive.

For example: One person could read the preparation questions to the other one and then switch it around. Feelthe difference when reading the questions as opposed to listening to them.

They could try to have a free expression time together. This can be done by taking some uncomplicated duets and playing them in different ways like:
1. Have an agreed upon concept then play the duet. After playing the duet, ask each other were we closer or further away from what we agreed upon.

2. Play a duet just focusing on rhythm, then just focusing on pitch, then just focusing on timbre and see what happens.

3. Listen to the other one read or speak something. Then try to listen to to rhythm, pitch and timbre of the one speaking. Feel what it causes in you when listening to the other one speak or play.

4. Find a tempo and do the 'fruit rhythm' exercise together. You might then want to go and make a mango yogurt shake! :-) I've never had one but they're probably really good. Feel the rhythms when you are doing them and sense the difference in your mind and body during each one.

5. Find a pitch you both can agree upon, and go through the vowels slowly. Get into the resonance of each one and feel the vibrations and overtones they produce. Then you can ask each other which one or ones feel or sit the best with you. Which one felt the best together?

Of course if you are on your own, you can experiment with the rhythms and timbres on your own. You can play a note or sing a note and get into the different vowel resonances. Note for brass players: Depending on the firmness and contour of one's embouchure, the vowels will react differently. The firmer my embouchure gets, not just in the corners, but in the lip area, a more open sounding vowel like a very warm air "aah" sound helps the balances in having a fuller overtone spectrum in the timbre of the tone. In the high range, I will have an "E" sound but also resonate it within a more open sound like "HHEE". This keeps the 'E" sound more open so the higher range doesn't get pinched off. If my embouchure is looser, then it affects the vowel sounds to be more in the "U" spectrum of resonance.

Welcome to Day 2 of the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection

Today's topic is Rhythm Pitch and Timbre. Take a deep breath, relax, open your mind and tune in!

Pitch is like super-fast- frequency rhythm. This is easily heard if you can take a pitch and slow the speed of it way down. It is tempo isn't it? And in order to slow it down the 'pitch' goes lower. Through the lowering of pitch we prove that pitch is rhythm or vibration. That is why I called it super-fast rhythm. The acoustical backdrop in which the super-fast rhythm is played into creates the timbre. Have you ever heard timbreless pitch in the physical realms of our hearing? Timbre is the indentification or sonic signature of any shape and its material composition. It gives us a way into the life and feeling of the subjective nature of an object. The next finer level of timbre is in the essence of the person, place or thing that is being used for the acoustical backdrop. This kind of perception of an essence goes beyond our physical hearing into the inner ears of our deep feeling life, our vibrational life. We can see, from looking at rhythm, pitch and timbre in this way, that it is in fact one living life.

Reading from the TAC Legend Writings. Here Master Manlon speaks to his students on tuning with others. There is also a commentary after the reading.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Some last bits on this Day 1 of the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection

I would like to put a word of encouragement in to those who have not yet looked at the preparation questions and to offer some ways to help those who have been getting into them make the most out of their work. They were posted on July 19th. Just scroll down from here and you will soon come across them. These questions are a vital part of this Music Connection and will serve as the human acoustical backdrop if all or at least most of you are working into them.

For example, if you look at question number 3, do you feel music or think music? this question might be difficult to answer right off the top of your head! You could possibly say both depending on the situation. What this question was meant to look at was that some people think-feel while others might feel-think. There is not a right or wrong, good or bad answer to this. It was meant to act as a probe into your process. So you can be more in touch with you for the reason of having greater access to the original you which gets into the essence of one's Self and creativity.

If you have not worked with these questions at all yet, just don't drop to number 3, look at the others as well. The questions could be worked on in a couple of different ways. One way is to work on them in order. Another way is to read through them and see if one jumps out at you in particular. The other is to read it over and over again at different points in a day and see what starts to cook in you about them. You might feel inclined to write your thoughts down on paper. Trying different approaches can help facilitate you finding your way into this discovery process.

Get a good night's sleep tonight. You have had a big day today and there is more on the way tomorrow! Good night all!

Extra curious contemplation: The next time you have a problem, try not to think of it in a negative light. Maybe the word "problem" stands for probe missing links.

More Day 1 Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection

Add this to your warm-up each day

Usually when people begin their warm up routine, if they have a routine, they begin with any range of exercises they feel will move them closer to be in touch with the physical instrument of themselves and the instrument they are playing. This could include doing some breathing exercises, embouchure work on a mouthpiece or visualizer of some kind, or vocal studies, slide or fingering movements and articulation exercises.

Do we ever warm up our mind? How about our emotions? What about reconnecting to our sentiments about music and the fondness we have for the instruments that we play? One could ask why do these things need warming up? Well, if you liken it to a relationship with a person, don't you have to warm into each other by a greeting? Perhaps you had a disagreement the day before and you need to sort that out. Isn't it helpful to say to the other person, "I hope we can move on and I am sorry if I did anything to hurt you," for example. You are trying to warm up to them again and get the relationship back in balance so it can move on and be productive and settled.

Try this: Before playing your first note, take a deep breath and relax. Ask yourself and feel in yourself, out loud, how are you today. Just a simple, "how are you?" Then feel what comes up in you. Take another deep breath, relax and connect to your love of music and your instrument. Then tell yourself how you are going to assess your playing. Say to yourself, "instead of good and bad, I will say closer to what I want or further away from what I want." Then encourage yourself by acknowledging the progress you have already attained in your eyes. Then acknowledge what you would like to develop more of in your playing. This can be done if preferred, while looking into your eyes in the mirror.

Now, when you play your first note, play the way your body feels even if it is not the sound you would ideally like. Then play the way you emotionally feel, then a play a note the way you mentally feel. Or, you can just play the first note any old way you feel like it. You can do that as long or as short as you like. You will find it at least an interesting exercise. You can of course modify it to your own needs once you get the hang of it.

Then see how this addition to your warm- up works for you. You might find you do not want to do it everyday, but even a few times a week will keep you closer to 'all' of you, the physical, mental and emotional and to the purpose of your musical endeavor. It is a useful way to acknowledge and bring all the parts together so they can work in unison towards the same goal.

Feel free to comment on the blog the results of your attempts.

Welcome to Day 1 of the first Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection

The first topic is: The Original You here on this video presentation. Relax, open your mind, leave your judgements behind and tune in!

If you do not 'practice' being free, how do you think your well conditioned responses will let you be different? Remember, you become what you practice. If you give time to be free each day, even for a couple of minutes, you will be able to access that part of yourself because you will build a close relationship with it. This is one way you can be in touch with you.

The meaning of the word free in this instance, means to let go of your usual chatter about what is good or not good, what is in tune or out of tune. LET IT GO for a few minutes each day. Could you imagine refusing to help someone who was truly in trouble because you did not like the pitch and timbre of their voice when they screamed? It is true that timbre, pitch and rhythm give us clues all of the time about human behaviour, especially in the feeling or subjective realms. But if our only criteria is "I like this, I don't like this," we will miss much because those two bars can become our prison.

If you let that overly active concern about technical 'perfection' go once in a while, you will discover a whole new fresh source of energy waiting to be tapped into and used. You will get to look forward to and enjoy your free practice times. It is an excellent release which can unclog the arteries of our emotions and creativity. You might only want to have short free practice periods for a while, then as you get used to the space, you will be more comfortable. This will of course vary from person to person.

This video will look at the subjective-objective relationship of oneself and music and will help to open up the previous video.

Thought: Yes, it is easy to acknowledge the fact of someone lifting a lot of weight over their head. But seeing the real reason why they are doing it might not be so easy. My Grandfather used to play his violin alone in his room. It was his personal time to reconnect to the 'old' country of his youth which was Poland. His family had to leave there and his violin was his time machine. what is your instrument to you?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection Schedule of Events (subject to change)

NOTE: This event will last 5 days, last day will be our 'concert'.

July 21st, Day 1: The Original You

July 22nd, Day 2: Rhythm, Pitch and Timbre

July 23rd, Day 3: Overlay System

July 24th, Day 4: Brave to Be

July 25th, Day 5: P.A.T. Concert 3PM Boston time


Any participant can write in questions when they come up. You can post them to the comment section of the blog. Depending on the nature of the question, it may have to be answered at the end of the event.

During the course of the event, there will be readings from the "TAC Legend Writings". In addition, there could be other things that spontaneously arise during our time together over the next few days.

This summer music event will also be what you make of it. You are not going to get the most juice from an orange unless you take the time to peel it first. To get to any depth there needs to be the time taken. Better to get what you can and work on what sticks with you rather than just flipping through everything quickly thinking you will receive the 'juice'. The peeling and squeezing of the content will yield the 'juice' in time.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In Preparation for Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection

To help those who will be attending the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection starting on Tuesday the 21st, here are some things I would like you to think about before we begin in a couple days. The deeper you can get into these questions the more it will tune you for our time together and it will set you up for getting the most out of the workshop.

1. What is special about you?

2. From that specialness, what could you offer in any musical situation?

3. Do you feel music or think music?

4. What is music to you? Write it down so you can look at it throughout the workshop.

5.What are your problem areas in your technique and your music making?

6. Are you short goal oriented or long goal oriented overall?

7. What do you want for your ultimate artistic life?

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Name of event: Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection

Director: Norman Bolter

Date: July 21 - 25, 2009

Location: Online here on my Frequency Bone blog.

Cost: FREE

Stay Tuned for updates and preparation information.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


If you were on an island by yourself with your trombone to play, what would you do? Hint: If you did not have to worry about getting a job in an orchestra or anywhere else.. think and sense how free you could be with your playing....what would be your measuring stick for your standards??? How would you measure them??? Would you measure them and if so, why???