Tag Archives: Music

Awareness of Music and Creativity

Colored Bubbles

I’m taking an online creative writing course, Courting the Muse, offered by Cassaundra W. Bennett. One of my writing assignments suggested that I listened to music with which I am unfamiliar. I listened to a musical arrangement that was a bit different from my usual listening choices.

I listened to an a capella piece performed by Anna Kendrick using plastic cups as “accompaniment. At first listen, I didn’t care about the cups. Anna has a good voice and I was totally engaged by the lyrics.

I’ve got my ticket for the long way ‘round
The one with the prettiest of views
It’s got mountains, it’s got rivers, it’s got sights to give you shivers
But it sure would be prettier with you

I like the tone of her request for this person she’s singing to join her. She doesn’t beg; there’s no angst or anger in her voice. The person she’s singing to means something to her but she’s strong enough in herself to go without him.

Her offer is almost off-the-cuff. Or perhaps simply relaxed. Maturity and a bit of humor,  “you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone, you’re gonna miss me by my hair, you’re gonna miss me everywhere, oh, you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”

I hear hope with enough experience to know that she may not get what she wants this time.

After a few listens, the cups relinquish their side. She is someone who has just enough to get by. She doesn’t need any more; doesn’t want any more. She’s playing cups. Would she play something else if she could?

Letting go. She’ll let him go. If I shift how I listen, I can hear a mournful tone. She knows she’s already lost him, but she has to ask anyway. She is brave enough to ask and courageous enough to hear the answer. She’s willing to be vulnerable; strong enough to be vulnerable. She is strong enough to resist following another.

How vulnerable am I willing to be? Am I strong enough to be as vulnerable as I am?

I got my ticket for the long way ‘round
Two bottle ‘a whiskey for the way
And I sure would like some sweet company
And I’m leaving tomorrow, wha-do-ya say?

I’ve got my ticket for the long way ‘round
The one with the prettiest of views
It’s got mountains, it’s got rivers, it’s got sights to give you shivers
But it sure would be prettier with you


Scene from the movie Pitch Perfect, Anna Kendrick – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcl_FkA0qJA

Entire song; song only – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n06IejXZZFs

Sensation of Hearing Workshop Tomorrow

My new ‘vision’ for workshops and labs.

Exploration through Sensation, Awareness and Playfulness.

Reconnecting Mind and Body through Nature – our Senses. Reconnecting Spirit and Emotions through Play.


Fun, delicious and unexpected music.

You’re invited to be the instrument through which sound and music vibrate; through bones, muscles, blood – through every cell.

Bring your playful heart, I’ll bring mine, a few toys and you’ll get fit without even realizing it!

There are still a couple of space open.

To Register: Niaspirit@yahoo.com or 630-290-4814

Why am I offering The Sensation of Hearing?????

After months of incubating this piece, after weeks of defining, refining and seeking concreteness that would slip elusively through my fingers each time I sensed a touch.

As we lose Gabrielle Roth, in corporeal form, I finally feel a sense of connection to this piece.


Through sound and music to:


those around us,

our community,

the world.

Music reminds us to feel.

How does this sound make me feel?

What is the voice expressing?

What does the artist want me to hear?

In the lyrics (if there are lyrics)?

Instruments that were chosen?

Timbre of the sounds?


Is it a celebration?

Can I celebrate?

Does it grieve?

Can I grieve?

I move.

How does all of that help me create movement?

 How does it help me to sort myself?

How will this experience open me up, without force and violence, but with tender fingers? Invite me to become more accessible? For myself first. Within myself, where I create a safe place to feel.  Accessible so that I may participate more fully in every moment by feeling more deeply now that I have established safety in myself?

In that safety I know what is mine to own, to move through and to release. Sound lovingly reminds me to feel and move on and I know that I cannot move on if I have not allowed myself to feel. I will not heal if I don’t spend time. I’m not healed if I’m not functional, no matter what I tell myself. My dance knows this. My body’s response to the music speaks. Clearly if I am willing to hear. Others may feel sorry for me. I may feel sorry for myself. I may convince myself that what I’m doing is ok – but my dance knows.

Through sound…

Ofcourse, I won’t communicate much if any of this in the workshop. First, it’s a deeply personal experience. Second, this is not a therapy session and I’m not a therapist. Some will discover this whether I make it a point or not. Some will refuse to discover it. I will only bring the opportunity to uncover something new.

Through music.

The Sensation of Dance

I took Ulrich Schnauss’ piece, Monday to 6:15 class Thursday, after listening to it pretty much the entire day.

Normally, for me, when I fall in love with a piece of music, I can’t sit still. I have to move and better yet, dance to it. This exploration was different. My initial sensory experience kept me in stillness, rapt – with a huge recurring smile of systemic delight.

When I got into the lovely space that holds Nia twice a week, I turned on the music. At first my body just wanted to be still and let the sounds swirl and swoop around me.

Then the drums pull me in, drawing me close and teaching me where to move and when to wait.  Wisps, pulses, murmurs and voice of melody invited my body to relax and listen with different ears.

“L i s t e n,” spoke the sounds, “and F e e l.”

What had at once felt so familiar and unfamiliar began to melt into trust.

Bends in the music became bends in direction. Liquid percussion became liquid art. From vibration to flesh and blood.

Loose, joyful shifts into the pleasure of discovery; simple, open discovery revealing knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, hands and eyes. Alone and in relationship, my spine slips into the dance and a new conversation begins.

I am not pieces; bits and parts listing and rolling without consciousness.

I am a biological community; a nexus of cells and creativity. My boundaries soften and blur as sound and solid collide, and blend.

Now both more than the sum of parts, essences spill over and what was separate and discernible is no more.

The Sensation of Music

This post is going to be a little more personal. Music, for me is deeply personal and what has come this morning wouldn’t be organic if I changed the frame of reference  in which I received it

I grew up in a household in which there was hardly a moment without music. There must have been, but that’s not how I sense my childhood. My mother was a professional vocalist and pianist. That meant that if she wasn’t practicing at home, she and I were headed to a rehearsal during which there was something playing o the radio. If she wasn’t practicing a piano piece, I was. Or she was practicing a vocal piece, or I was. As for my father, at the time he did not play, but his passion for my mother drove him to learn to appreciate the music she loved so much and to participate when he could.

I did not inherit my mother’s lyric soprano voice nor her gift for the piano.  My ear is not bad, though and my body responds to music like crazy!

 I was preparing for class this morning with a desire to pull a mix of music together specifically to support the focus of awareness of body sensation. Interestingly the song Monday by Ulrich Schnauss popped into my head. While I’ve listened to this piece a few times, it’s been a little while and I haven’t yet used it in class.

I clicked play.

The first thing my body told me was “this isn’t regular”, “you’re going to have to wait for it to tell you how to move to it”. This piece has alot going on, but it’s layered with such finesse that it works. By that I mean that I receive it consciously in The percussion is attention-getting and almost distracting, but I can’t let go of the haunting melody that caresses my nervous system.

What makes me tingle is the places where the drums drop out and I’m left, as if in mid-air, or mid-breath, my body suspended in anticipation. Pure, unadulterated Joy. Musical details fill the spaces and whisper promises, drawing me into the feminine. But I still find myself holding my breath for the drums to start again.

Simply listening to this piece became in itself, an exercise in awareness.

The tickle of anticipation. My own movements of response to the wave – like quality of the delicate almost crystalline sounds.

Listening to it repeatedly opened the door to creativity in terms of how I could tell the “story” of the music.

The first few times, I was mesmerized by the breathlessness of expectancy and let that experience wash over me again and again.

This time, I’m inviting the drums to take a different role. Is that what I’m doing or am I inviting my nervous system to process the sounds in a new way?

Now, the drums are focused, decisive, even insistent and demanding; they speak clearly without hesitation or apology. The sounds that co-create this piece with the drums are not running to keep up. They are patient. They speak up, but not to be noticed or heard but rather as a gesture – an invitation for an auditory pas de deux.

Over and over into the warm ocean of sounds that wistfully lap against the sides of me. Wistfully. Another new way to hear. I’m never floating; never on autopilot. I’m present to sensation – the sensation of music.

The drums become the heart beat. Each drum stop is a breath. Inhale. Exhale.

At one point I notice a pulsing sound, not unlike the fetal heartbeat heard on a Doppler monitor used in doctor’s offices. Shifting experiences into embryonic.

This time floating is not letting go but becoming.

Through the floating I learn to use my body in the way it was designed. Movements are just the right size and scope; in this place they are perfect. My effort is exactly what it needs to be – not too much to fatigue me, and not too little. I am safe. Everything I do is wonderful. Everything feels good and serves my growth. How could I ever do anything else?

In this place my body tells me what I need to know. Why would I ever listen to anything else? My body knows what I need. Why would I ever listen to anything else?

Thank you, Ulrich Schnauss, for creating this piece of music through which I could take this journey.

Andrew, thank you for sharing this piece with me.

Mom, thanks for all the other stuff. I am grateful.

Photo by Resim and Fotograf