Monthly Archives: May 2013

Caught in the Storm


Caught in the storm. This is the only way I can accurately explain the way I’m feeling these past two weeks or specifically 4 months. If you’re a constant reader of this blog, you might have read “The Year that never was part une & part deux” After basically losing everything I’ve worked crash and burn in my professional as well as my personal life, I haven’t well in every sense of the word. I don’t feel ~as bad~ since what I will now start calling “The Second Great Depression (2008 edition)”… it’s been bad. On top of everything that I’m passing through it doesn’t help in having more or less a family that supports you when they please or better yet say they support you and then stop.

Right now I’m in limbo mode. I have to start preparing to leave the island to start my masters. I can’t do as much as I would like for I have to visit where I’m staying to actually have an idea of what I can take and leave here. I’m equally utterly terrified and completely excited of being in a new place, new people, new experiences but at the same time I don’t want to leave home (mostly because of my friends). I don’t know what exactly I’ll be doing as a Graduate Assistant, but I’m most utterly grateful for the university in giving me the opportunity. So in these next two months I have to, go to the Open House, start packing, try and not get “the support system” to me (as I have done before and it’s not good), try and not get myself killed by two of my friends, try to move on and start living the way I would like to.

He told me I was in over my head, I didn’t want to say yes but I know I am. I’ve bitten more than I can chew (as I always do). Not going to lie, throwing myself like this to somewhere I’ve never been to, alone, with a very limited (to almost no) budget 2058.63 miles away from what I know… it’s not going to be easy. I know that if I come out victorious from this… nothing will stop me. I just have to wait for certain things to resurface, try and maintain calm and let this storm pass.

Hear it thunder
And I wonder
How long can I hang on

I’m caught in the storm
I’m caught in the rain
I’m caught in the rush that hides this pain

I’m ready to drown
But it’s coming down
But I feel so alive
(…)
Let me wash away
You can find me after the flood
Let me wash away

Caught in the storm

100 love sonnets


“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way
because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest ismy hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

The stage


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Atlas


Upon this sable skin
life slashes against me
disappointments
loss
rejections
plights…

I have become an Atlas
but worry not…
your skin can heal me
one line at a time.

-mp 2013

Ave Maria (Bruckner)


Sung by: Schola Cantorum

If Music is the exaltation of the mind…


“Music is the exaltation of the mind derived from things eternal, bursting forth in sound.” Thomas Aquinas

Now, if Thomas Aquinas, a 13th century Italian priest, said this 8 centuries ago… what can we say about Literature? Most of the quotes you will find about Literature is on how language is used to create worlds, galaxies embedded in a piece of paper. I’ve read many quotes on Literature, but they never express Literature as “one of the highest forms of creativity that can withstand time and space. Literature, just like music, is an extension of the author’s very soul. A piece of a life lived. The victory in a defeat. The death of a life that never had the chance to live. Literature is a form of art which can exude, exchange or digress emotions with the reader and writer. Literature is an exaltation of the soul, creating itself from the most vulnerable part of it’s creator; embellished in a piece of paper so that it can be shared with humanity.”

-musical poetry

 

 

How to achieve a state of mindfulness & relaxation when you’re a musician.


Let’s face it, if you’re a musician you may be in a constant state of stress. This may be because of too many rehearsals, deadlines, concerts, too many scores to learn, and or teach. Sometimes we even have to bring our work home! To everything that may be happening in our professional lives, we have to add this to the stress we may encounter in our personal lives. So what can we do to relax and achieve a state of mindfulness? First of all we must properly define those two terms.

  • Relaxation (noun): the state of being free of tension and anxiety.
  • Mindfulness (noun): inclined to be aware
  • Aware (adj): having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge

If we were “normal people” (and I use this term for non-musician or artsy people) we would do what “normal people” do when they want to be stress-free, turn up their music and drown the world. Now, I’m not saying that this works, because sometimes it does but this may be counter-productive. Why? Because as musician’s a chord progression, motif in a song or a bands name may remind us about all our stress from our work.

How to achieve mindfulness

In zen, the way to approach mindfulness is by breathing and in quietness. So what we must do is to stop, before or after a rehearsal or project and do the following

  1. Find the silence

    As musicians we know what the power of silence can do. It can create tension or release, it prepares for a new theme, in short, silence is good. If you’re like me I over think things (a lot) and these random (and not so random) thoughts can hurt us more than they should. We have to stop, and “look” or distance ourselves from our thoughts.

  2. Balance

           We must achieve a balance between our personal and professional lives. We have to start asking ourselves: am I biting more than I can chew? Do I have too many projects running at once? What are the pros and cons of each project? What is the priority right now? Remember to do this objectively and distant. As you were an observer of your own life, instead of actually living it. To achieve body balance also helps. I remember my choral conducting courses and Prof. Ruben Colon always told us that as a conductor you must align your body so that you feel no tension anywhere. To achieve this I always think of being as relaxed as a rag doll and slowly widening and stretch my back.

  3. Breathe my child! Breathe!

           I’m an asthmatic. I am also a singer. When I get in stressful situations I feel like I’m about to drown! When I feel like this I always curse (inwardly, of course) and ask “Where the hell (or other nouns) is my inhaler?!” Then, just when I’m about to drown I listen to that annoying little voice in my head, and he screams BREATHE MY CHILD! BREATHE! Allow yourself to breathe! I’ve noticed that if you’re a musician, even know that we KNOW the importance of breathing, when we’re not what I like to call “musician mode” in a magical way we forget that we have to take deep breaths. We have to permit ourselves to breathe and connect our body, mind, and soul.

  4. Accept what we can and can’t change.

    In this year where I have  called “The year that Never was”, where I made plans and every single one of them failed, I realized that I have to learn to accept things, life and it’s difficulties. I have to learn to accept what we can and can’t change professionally as well as in my personal life. I had to acknowledge my failures as well as triumphs, the sorrow, pain, sadness, happiness. We must put (want to or not) some things past us so that we can grow.

  5. Accept resistance

    You may want to kill him/her because they don’t do their job. You may want to think of all the negative aspects of your life and the dreadful “What if?” All of this may happen but life is full of resistance. We must always try to make a conscious choice as well as try to maintain that distance between thoughts, especially when you’re going to make important choices in your life.
  6. Hobbies

    We must, must, must, MUST find a hobby that is non-music related. In this year this has “evolved” in devouring series such as Doctor Who, Survivor, Merlin, Sherlock, and many, many more. Try to do this with friends. Maybe go out on a walk. A friend of mine started to do 10-mile bicycle runs (a little extreme for me), but find something to do when you’re not in “musician mode” or just want to relax.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

by: E.E.CummingsOne of my favorite poems. My soulmate dedicated this poem to me not so long ago…

A musician’s job


“A musicians job is not to entertain. Our job is to soothe souls, melt hearts with harmonies, and arpeggios which transports you to another world. Our job is to make you lose your expectations and let imagination run wild only for a moment… it is then, when silence resounds, that the harmonies die with the symphony of elugies”

A musician’s job
-Musical poetry

Second-Hand Advice


Just write it.

Not Necessarily Relevant

“Just write it.”
Put pen to paper in that intimate ache
Like a lover’s thrust
And write.
Let it flow in ways you never dreamed it could
Just tear down the flood gates restraining rushing tumbling words like swift salmon
Fleeting and silver in the half-light of my head.
Well, I’m writing now and
I’m caught in the slipstream of furious expression
I don’t know where we’re going, but
Anywhere has to be better than here.

Nicole Best

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