Monday, July 26, 2010

Up For Grabs

A new seed has been planted for sharing the wild and creative ideas that come to us without the means to manifest them. An offering up to the gods and to our fellow artists. Check it out and see what you think - feel totally free to share thoughts on streamlining or any other helpful ideas. And please, drop an idea or two to add to the pool.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This Morning's Lesson

Earlier this morning (and still now) I learned a lesson. Of course, I learned it through fucking it up some, but that seems the most efficient way for me to learn.

Leadership and support are interdependent. The leader/support system is not the same as teacher/student. Certainly not the same as master/apprentice. Leader and support need each other in order to reach a mutual destination, while the teacher is trying to bring the student closer to himself. Leadership doesn't require submission, it requires an empowered body to actively help it stand. This seems frequently muddled. Alexander and his army needed each other for success, but a guru doesn't need a student for mastery. This moves beyond the model of the lone wolf leader carrying everyone along toward servant leadership.

Effective leadership is empowering, not subordinating.
Effective leadership is empowering, not subordinating.
Effective leadership is empowering, not subordinating.

Humility on the part of everyone is requisite for Success; is requisite for Quality, particularly in Relationship.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A new way to be socially responsible

I'm totally geeked about this iPhone app I just found out about and I don't even have an iPhone! A friend of mine has this amazing manual on how companies rate based on environmental issues, social justice, philanthropy, and a handful of other good ones. I went to their website and lo and behold, you can access their database and rankings in your hand! (Provided your hand has an iPhone or iPod touch in it...) If implemented, this could totally be a game-changer. I think Bucky would be proud.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

henry threadgill speakin truth

People are blazing their own trail. That is what seems to be important. I don't care to follow and to do what the mass is doing. That is not doing anything, to be doing what everyone else is doing. Everybody is unique. The funny thing about people now is that people don't really understand or really appreciate how unique each individual on earth is. You see, Fred, I understand that uniqueness and I worship that uniqueness. People short-change themselves thinking that I am not as good as so and so. Yes, you are. You just have to discover what you're about and what it is that you do and what you are good at, what you love to do. If it is sweeping the street, making an omelet, writing poems, whatever it is, rather than try to be like everybody else and do what other people are doing. That is not important. Do we really pay attention to people that try to be like Michael Jackson? Or try to be like Beethoven? Do we really?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New paths...

I feel as though I have started really listening to what the universe is trying t tell me, and it has proven to guide me along some pretty profound paths recently that I have only just begun to travel. As one might expect, these paths are in the forests of my musical experience, yet both are incredibly unique to each other.

The first series of calls from the universe were essentially in the forms of opportunities that "fell into my lap." I use quotations because I'm not really sure if that ever really happens, but... I digress. The opportunities involved both my teaching of music and being a session musician for recordings. And there were multiple instances where these opportunities arose .... from presumably nowhere.

Now I have been having issues with the idea of session work for a while now, feeling as though my participation in these endeavors only prove to "feed the machine" that is the music industry, something I don't really care for in the least. However, I have been able to step beyond this rather crippling ideology, no matter how true it may seem, to realize that I have spent many, many years honing my musical craft, so why not take advantage of opportunities that utilize these skills doing what I love: playing music? (and strangely enough, I do really enjoy session work in the studio!)

And considering there are over 500 professional recording studios in Nashville, only 3rd in the US behind NYC and LA (and not all for country music thank god!) than it seems like a truly viable way to make money, connect with a music community, and ultimately do something that I am good at and enjoy (and isn't that the aim of any career?) So I am opening my world and pushing in the appropriate directions to see what comes of it all.

And with regards to teaching, I have one, potentially two trumpet students, without having looked for any! And I don't teach just trumpet... so I can't help but feel this is the universe asking me "what if you actually put some damned effort into it?!"

Now for the other musical path I am beginning to travel. The yang to my musical yin, or rather, my creative musical fulfillment.

It started when Ellen and I were in NYC a while back and I happened to see that one of my good friends (and easily one of the sickest musicians I know) had posted an invite to a gig he was playing at a bar called Nublu that night with Butch Morris and the Nublu Orchestra. Nublu is a club I had been to a number of times while living in NYC because a) it was literally only 3 blocks away from my apartment and b) it had some of the most fun, innovative, and truly badass music of anywhere in the city as far as I was concerned. So obviously, I had to go!

I had actually seen this ensemble once before and remembered begin moved by it. But that night I was moved in a way I don't think I have EVER been in my life. And I say that because although I enjoyed the music immensely and was incredibly inspired (as is often the case having experienced a wonderful show) this time a lot of puzzle pieces to my musical voice started really coming together, and I left the club that night feeling more purposeful than perhaps I've ever been. It was one of the few times I truly felt like I was merely a vessel, fulfilling a purpose I had been called to do. Dramatic, I know, but it's true.

So upon returning to Nashville, I immediately, and without hesitation, sent out emails to every musician in Nashville that I respected and felt might be interested in this new project. So, after countless hours of research and conceptualization, I've already had one rehearsal or "collective" as I like to call them with nine people, all of whom kicked ass, had fun, and seemed genuinely interested. And we already have the 2nd collective scheduled for next week, with musicians offering up their help and advice.

Now I am fully aware of course, that as purposeful and almost destined as this project may seem, I know it might not live as long I would hope. And I have come to terms with that. But to experience even the slightest glimmers of power the universe can show you, and to open yourself to that power, allowing your personal quest for bliss to convene with that which calls to you in the series of moments that make up your conscious (and unconscious) existence ... then you start to see traces of that light with burns as brightly as the center of our star and the essence of our souls.

Tally ho!