I know I stand in a small group when it comes to music, from a Player perspective. I love the way It pushes emotions from deep inside my soul, out through the tips of my fingers. I am not always Blue and I don’t always Feel like Dancing the Night Away. I am not mostly performing in front of a crowd, so I can’t draw off of what an audience might be craving at any particular time. I think what makes me a part of a relatively small cross-section of musicians, is that Improvisation is what drives me the hardest.
I am not always playing. I have always felt I have been a Listener, far longer than I have been a Player. But, as I also realize, I don’t always play what I like to listen to.
Complimentary to that, I don’t always listen to what I like to play, genre-ally speaking. Part of the reason, I believe, is because when I am playing, I am expressIng how I feel at any particular moment and when I am listening, I am choosing to hear what I want to feel like, or how I was feeling like.
The thing I like most about Radio, is the variation of material from song to song. There are Rock Stations, Country Stations, and at one time Jazz Stations 😎, but I often tire from listening to one particular genre for too long. Maybe tiring is not quite the right word. Perhaps complacent or uninspired is closer to how I feel.
My own recordings are perhaps an exception, not because I am an egoist, though like most artists, it’s probably true to a certain extent, but because I am also very self-critical. I am listening for mistakes that I can learn from…something I did, which may have worked, but had not intended.
In music, mistakes are not always a negative thing. Some are called Accidentals. I have expanded that to include what I call, Intentionals, which are like intentional accidentals. I’m not sure if that is a real musical thang but if it isn’t, it should be.
Finally, with regards to my own recordings, I am listening for technical faults. For me, it is part of being a Musician. It doesn’t matter that you’re playing the right chord, if your instrument is out of tune or your amp is cranked and the speakers are crackling. As a Listener, the satisfaction comes after the sound enters my ears. I get very distracted by sonic infidelities and other residual interferences. How I intended the song to sound, as a Player, does little to satisfy me, as a Listener.
I often do things I didn’t intend, musically, that is…and it isn’t all bad… I think it is those times, when I feel most content, when playing music. I learn something. It is somewhere between not knowing what I’m doing, because I have never done it, and knowing exactly what I am doing because while it is happening, it seems quite logical and ordinary, as though I have done it a million times.
Improvising music, if I were to try and describe it in a physical realm, is orgasmic. While my heart is bleeding emotions, my soul is being massaged by the sounds.
When improvising, I am less concerned about making mistakes because mistakes are inclusive.
Does it mean I don’t like playing songs? No. Often that is how I come up with songs. Sometimes I am Blue and I start out that way and before long, maybe I do feel like dancing.
I’m just saying… Improvising music is fun.