Sunday, August 30, 2015

Playing is like

"When I play the guitar, even when I am practicing, I am besieged with images, memories, deja vu experiences and emotions; and for every chord I play, for every tune I write, there is within me a distinct and unique image, emotion, or feeling".
John Fahey -  God Time and Causality 1977

 Yes, spot on. Writing music is a species of being haunted

Gospel of Fahey (again)
But while technique is very important , it is only part of the story. Music is a language - a language of emotions. The worst possible way to play these songs - and I am not only talking about my own compositions - is in metronome time at a uniform volume. Another terrible thing would be to play any composition the same way every time, or to feel that you have to play it exactly the way someone else, such as myself, played it or said to play it. A good technician must also be creative . Even if a person is not a composer, he can interpret and arrange, and these skills are as important as technique in making a performance interesting. I rely heavily on both technique and interpretation , and I think of myself as a very good composer, arranger, and plagiarist for the solo acoustic guitar.
Interpretation depends on two factors: First is the ability to dramatize one's self, to get caught up in and carried away by what one is doing, especially in conducting and guitar playing. Second is musical background. A broad spectrum of musical interest over a long period of time is ideal. The broader and longer your musical appreciation, the better; and the earlier you start, the better. I grew up listening to classical orchestral music. I later immersed myself in Southern American folk music. For some reason, the best folk music came out of the South , and east of the Mississippi. Nobody really knows why.

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