Thursday, July 12, 2012

On Learning Music... and Everything Else

I have been playing guitar for around 6 years now (well sort and on with little practice) but I haven't progressed a whole lot. I can play some simple things like Neil Young songs and things of that level. I really wish that I had a deeper understanding of music though because I would like to improvise over a wide variety of things eventually. I have created a mental block for myself by idolizing some musicians without acknowledging that they are so great because they have put a lot of work and practice in their music. The belief that people are naturally gifted is harmful because it can keep you from believing in yourself. You need to realize that most things are attainable with enough practice, just realize this might take A LOT of practice. This is really obvious advice, but if your self confidence is shit like mine is, you might need to be reminded a lot. Yesterday my boyfriend spent about three hours training my ear by playing intervals on piano. At first I couldn't get them right, but now I can easily do it which is something I didnt think i could do. Now music seems just a little less daunting and I feel more confident.

Speaking of musical intervals... Ella Fitzgeral is a pro. Most singers only sing notes nearby one another but she makes big jumps with her singing. She approaches vocals the same way coltrane approaches the sax. She is really great. Doesn't she make you smile?

Ralph Waldo Emerson says the main point of my post and applies it to everything in his speech, "The American Scholar", when he says, "Meek young men grow up in libraries, believing it their duty to accept the views, which Cicero, which Locke, which Bacon, have given, forgetful that Cicero, Locke, and Bacon were only young men in libraries when they wrote these books." He is telling everyone that the people they idolize (for this crowd famous economists and and philosophers) started it just the same as anyone. of course we can apply this to music, art, science, and ANYTHING that you can think of. So thanks for the advice, Ralph.

  It's playlist time
  1. Valentine -Fiona Apple
  2. Planet Caravan- Black Sabbath
  3. Wizard Turns on - The Flaming Lips
  4. Summertime Clothes- Animal Collective
  5. Two Weeks- Grizzly Bear
  6. 'Gangsta'- tUnE-yArDs
  7. Ponta De Areia - Esperanza Spalding
  8. Ms. Tinkle's Overture- Umphreys Mcgee
  9. Chameleon- Herbie Hancock
  10. Ritual Dance- Michael Hedges    
Youtube them all you won't be sorry! They are all completely different because I like all sorts of stuff. Thanks for Reading! Also, please give me blogging advice, I'm new.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's incredible to think about how much each person's idea of reality varies. We are all born into a relatively small bubble of people. They all have their own idea of the world that they have created from what they have been taught and what they have experienced. As a child, you begin creating yours. It is ever expanding and evolving (at least for most of us). It really bothers me that most people view their little sample of life, or their perception of reality, as the absolute truth. This leads to ignorance and close-mindedness. So many things don't make sense and haven't been answered. How can you seal up your idea of reality when there are so many existential questions that will probably never be truly answered for you? Like what is it to be? And how the universe have an end? or how can the universe not have an end? These sort of questions made me let go of religion. That's sort of besides the point though. What I'm trying to say is I get angry when people aren't tolerant of other people (am I being a hypocrite right now..?) because we are born into what we are born into and it is inevitable that we will be very influenced be the the "bubble" of people we are around growing up.

  I do not know if we have free will, but if we do it's limited. Think about a suicide bomber. They are so sincerely convinced that they know the will of God that they are willing to give up their life. Like everyone, they were born into some small bubble of people and they started to base their idea of reality and their ideo of "right and wrong" from what they were taught and what they experienced... all of these things so different from what we have experienced and been taught. If they were born under different circumstances it is really unlikely they would be the same...but i guess I'll save my nature vs. nurture post for another time. My idea of reality has changed a lot the past two years. It's not concrete anymore... I let unresolved questions float around in my mind and they don't give me the existential anxiety that they used to. In fact, I have learned to embrace them and look at the cosmos in awe.

The music video is Bluish by Animal Collective. And the artwork is by Francis Bacon.