Keep Listening

I continue to play the guitar because I take pleasure in the creative process; I enjoy the challenge of performance without knowing what is going to happen next.  When the creative process is going well; it is deeply satisfying to look up and find a smiling face with direct eye contact, waiting for a ‘nod’ of understanding.  The ‘nod’ is that almost imperceptible non-verbal sign of acceptance between two humans.  The smiling face has taken a moment to communicate to me their acceptance of what I just created.  For the communication to happen, the eyes usually meet, the heads move slightly, and for a brief moment — and we exchange a non-verbal greeting.

On the surface, my music is a simple juxtaposition of Blues forms and Pop structures, there is nothing truly profound about the songs I create.  But I know, at the foundational level, music can reflect universal ideals: our struggles with mortality, our losses, our victories.  The phrasing, the blending of tones and timbre, the frailty of the guitar; these elements provide a modest expression of what I feel about being human in a world shaped by God.

Do I think about this every time I play?  No, not really.  Sometimes I lose sight of the goal, I just lament about the discomfort in my hands and arms after several hours of play or the lack aural qualities in the room.

So I work at it, I try to remember the art form, with its limitations, allows me to explore the challenge of playing without knowing what is going to happen next.

It seems to me this approach to creating music imitates life.

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