maintaining intention

Surface Drifts

Mm. 1-39 – read through, gesture-by-gesture, slowly

Worked on first three gestures (all page 1), focusing on lengthening the spine (AT); worked in 10-15 minutes increments only, with AT work in between (either laying, sitting, standing, or monkey pose), not pushing the tempo at all, not thinking about musical elements, but really trying to move to notes using arms effectively, without straining neck, or misusing the shoulders. It may be that working through each gesture one-by-one like this will allow my brain will be able to teach my arms to naturally play like this. Each gesture gradually gets longer, so the intent must remain longer. Also, these gestures contain a lot of upper and lower body movement, so maintaining intention with spine is challenging. I find myself thinking about how slow this feels (slow progress, I mean), and try to remind myself that it is important to recognize that this is where I am in the process.  The fact is, I am really trying to change my physical and mental approach to the instrument – not just learning music.

Mm. 60-end – worked on playing DV block chords, maintaining long spine intention. This is easier than the beginning pages because there is much less (and slower) motion within the musical phrases.

Mn. 60-end – worked on this section with DV alternating chords, same focus as above… easier to maintain spine focus for several reasons, 1. the arms are individually moving slower, and more importantly, 2. when alternating RL it is much easier to sense the direction and stability of the spine because, in essence, my alternating arms strokes are allowing me to rotate around my spine. I should definitely start all my work on this section of the piece with some alternating DV chords.


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