|Posted by Thomas J. West on March 3, 2012 at 9:00 AM|
Returning to this blog series after a hiatus, I offer this quote from be bop jazz pioneer Charlie Parker:
Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your own wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn.
Music, as an expression of humanity, relies heavily on own experience and perceptions. We are all familiar with the vast variety of tastes and tolerances for different kinds of music. We tend to enjoy music that speaks to us at a certain energetic level. Music is energy, and our own experiences align with that energy in a very personal way.
As a performer and composer, we have the added facet of using our own bodies and minds to create musical energy. Everything we know and have experienced are channeled through that creative process. As a jazz artist, Charlie Parker not only channeled his experience through performance, he also instantly composed it in his pyrotechnical improvisations.
As a music teacher, the greater my experiences grow, the more I can share with my students. As a performer, the more opportunities I have to perform, the greater my personal connection to the music and to my fellow performers becomes. As a composer and arranger, the more opportunities I have to write and to hear it performed, the better my offerings become. And, as an improvisational musician, I have opportunities to create spontaneously, which can provide some of the most sublime musical experiences.
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