ESS Shakuhachi Forum Forum Index ESS Shakuhachi Forum
Practice, Culture and History of Japanese Bamboo Flute 尺八. A Project of the European Shakuhachi Society (ESS)
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Meditation and performance
Goto page: 1, 2  >
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    ESS Shakuhachi Forum Forum Index -> ESS Forums -> The Teahouse
Previous topic :: Next topic  
Author Message
Kiku Day
Moderator

Offline

Joined: 20 Mar 2011
Posts: 865
Localisation: Nr Snede, DK/London UK

PostPosted: 2011-04-13, 16:02    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

PublicitéSupprimer les publicités ?
Hello all

I just came back to London from a "mini tour" where I did 3 performances and also a conference in Cornwall and Devon, Southeast England.
Amazing place - this part of the world!

I have always thought meditation and honkyoku went very well together - well for obvious reasons.

At the last concert at Sharpham, which used to be a Buddhist meditation center, they did a 30 minutes meditation before the concert. I participated as I would normally do... But as the first piece I was playing "Woman with Jinashi Shakuhachi" - a piece written for me and a Taimu by Frank Denyer - and I thought it was very very hard work to pull myself out of meditation mode and into new music rigid precision. And I didn't play so well either.... I have to say that Frank Denyer's music does require a lot of focus and precision.... but still...

Anyone else with experiences like this???
Back to top
Visit poster’s website Skype
Brian Tairaku Ritchie
Moderator

Offline

Joined: 18 Mar 2011
Posts: 635
Localisation: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

PostPosted: 2011-04-13, 16:21    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

I perform gong and shakuhachi concerts for a variety of people. Some of them come expecting relaxing meditative stuff, others are more into having a challenging musical experience. Needless to say it's not possible to please everybody when their expectations are so different.

I get the feeling the "meditators" prefer very delicate gong hits with no musical approach and extremely simple honkyoku such as "Kyorei". In general the high flutes and active stuff is not up their alley. And they do not like contrast, prefer for it to go along at the same dynamic.

People into music on the other hand enjoy the contrasts between actual meditation music and something more driving or improvisational. A lot of times these people say they got into a meditative state.

So the funny thing is I think the attitude of the audience is more important than the actual sounds you are making. The meditators sometimes have preconceived ideas of what meditation is thus get disoriented by anything that challenges their expectations. People who just come for the experience on the other hand can be drawn into a meditative state by the music.

I think "New Age" music which is usually played at yoga classes, massage, etc. has given people a dumbed down version of what "meditation" music is. Many honkyoku, despite actually deriving from meditation, are more exciting than what meditators expect. Generally they like the simple Myoan stuff more than the more technical honkyoku.
Back to top
David Earl
Member

Offline

Joined: 28 Mar 2011
Posts: 9
Localisation: Iowa USA

PostPosted: 2011-04-13, 18:17    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

Hi Kiku,
This is a good question. I have been practicing meditation for many years. If you did 30 minutes of meditation just before playing it is likely during that 30 minutes your physiological state changed. Because the body and mind are interconnected this physiological change influences the mind, influences everything, mind, body, behavior and environment.
I often notice in my practice this phenomena. Playing before meditation and after meditation can be an altogether different experience.
Going from subtler states of experience in meditation into more dynamic activity requiring focus and precision like playing shakuhachi, especially something like a performance requiring lots of breath, head movement and quick finger movement, could prove to be a big contrast and have the influence you describe. I always take lots of time to come out of meditation slowly.
The good news is what your experience suggests is you had a good deep meditation! Very Happy
Back to top
CharlesKoeppen
Member

Offline

Joined: 22 Mar 2011
Posts: 103
Localisation: ny usa

PostPosted: 2011-04-13, 19:27    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

Would running through the piece in your mind, as some teachers suggest sometimes, instead of actually meditating help? Nobody in the audience would care because it would look to them that you actually participated in the meditation.
_________________
Charles Koeppen
Kingston NY USA
Visit my shakuhachi website http://shakuhachi.atspace.cc
Back to top
Visit poster’s website
Kage
Member

Offline

Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: 2011-04-13, 20:00    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

Kiku Day wrote:
I thought it was very very hard work to pull myself out of meditation mode and into new music rigid precision.


Smelling salts....that's the ticket.
Back to top
Jarle Jivanmukta
Member

Offline

Joined: 22 Mar 2011
Posts: 90
Localisation: Gan, Norway

PostPosted: 2011-04-14, 10:41    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

Kiku Day wrote:
it was very very hard work to pull myself out of meditation mode and into new music rigid precision. And I didn't play so well either....

Anyone else with experiences like this???



Yes, from what I have learned and also my experience its very much like you are saying, and the deeper the meditation the more challenging to quickly come "out".
I think it an be quite painful, and give a lot of friction if this happens.

Yogis went to the forrest or the mountains to avoid disturbances and I know some householder Yogis (including myself) who prefer to not do their deeper practices during day to day activites as it can be a very rough experience to face daily life, with children quarrelling and traffic jams etc. One friend of mine was shocked as he found himself getting so angry so quick, and threw alle the casserolls in the wall........

Sometimes if I need some deep focus/rest before giving a presentation etc, I have practices that are more oriented towards "up-time" and not so much about going deep.
I think some of the best athletes are quite good at exploring this, as they learn ways to be extroverted and focused (not to be confused with being stressed) while traditional meditation is more about introvertion.
I always taketime with some simple yoga asanas that are more stimulating to really wake up, or at least some time to just be and finalize the inner work before more extrovert work.

Jarle
_________________
--------------------------
I belive in life before death.
Back to top
Jarle Jivanmukta
Member

Offline

Joined: 22 Mar 2011
Posts: 90
Localisation: Gan, Norway

PostPosted: 2011-04-14, 10:58    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

Brian Tairaku Ritchie wrote:


I get the feeling the "meditators" prefer very delicate gong hits with no musical approach and extremely simple honkyoku such as "Kyorei". In general the high flutes and active stuff is not up their alley. And they do not like contrast, prefer for it to go along at the same dynamic.
The meditators sometimes have preconceived ideas of what meditation is thus get disoriented by anything that challenges their expectations. People who just come for the experience on the other hand can be drawn into a meditative state by the music.

I think "New Age" music which is usually played at yoga classes, massage, etc. has given people a dumbed down version of what "meditation" music is. Many honkyoku, despite actually deriving from meditation, are more exciting than what meditators expect.


I agree very much much, often meditation is understood as
1: A modern relaxing spa experience, "soothe me and take away all my pain and recreate my babyskin, I pay you...."
or
2: "Chill out, smoke some ganja and find a state with absolutely no inspiration or ambition in life...

Personally I find music created for this mentality quite impotent (although a lot of interesting music has been made under influence).
The points above are very far from what meditation traditionally is about (imo), and I believe also not enhancing that curious and alert open mind that will enjoy more challenging music.
Personally I have a lot of favourite music that I can not play as background music, it is to disturbing when I am not listening actively....

So I guess when my family asks me to practice go no ha in another building, you will agree that its because they don't understand true art :-)
_________________
--------------------------
I belive in life before death.
Back to top
Jim Thompson
Professional Member

Offline

Joined: 22 Mar 2011
Posts: 32
Localisation: Los Angeles, Ca.

PostPosted: 2011-04-14, 13:06    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

How much of the problem is that your just not warmed up? No athlete would think of performing without being fully warmed up and mojo working. Musicians shouldn't either if avoidable.
Back to top
Brian Tairaku Ritchie
Moderator

Offline

Joined: 18 Mar 2011
Posts: 635
Localisation: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

PostPosted: 2011-04-14, 16:29    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

Jim Thompson wrote:
How much of the problem is that your just not warmed up? No athlete would think of performing without being fully warmed up and mojo working. Musicians shouldn't either if avoidable.


I do it both ways. Sometimes it's unavoidable to just have to leap in and play without any preparation. The lion sits in wait until it has to chase prey. He's not warming up!
Back to top
Jim Thompson
Professional Member

Offline

Joined: 22 Mar 2011
Posts: 32
Localisation: Los Angeles, Ca.

PostPosted: 2011-04-14, 17:30    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

Maybe that why the lion misses most times. Smile
Back to top
Brian Tairaku Ritchie
Moderator

Offline

Joined: 18 Mar 2011
Posts: 635
Localisation: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

PostPosted: 2011-04-14, 17:49    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

Jim Thompson wrote:
Maybe that why the lion misses most times. Smile


Good one. Warming up is a good idea if you have time. I think in Kiku's case probably the music she played was at odds with the meditation vibe. If she did honkyoku it might have been an easier transition. Nevertheless I know a lot of musicians who meditate before going on stage. I on the other hand skip rope before going on stage. Mort de Rire
Back to top
Jim Thompson
Professional Member

Offline

Joined: 22 Mar 2011
Posts: 32
Localisation: Los Angeles, Ca.

PostPosted: 2011-04-14, 18:18    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

I agree. Honkyoku would be easier- long tones, unhurried etc. Even then, I've heard both Kiku and Daniel talk about doing lectures for 30 minutes then picking the instrument and getting slapped. I guess if one had to do that all the time they could practice just picking up the cold shakuhachi at odd times. Sort of like Kato in the Pink Panther. Me- I'm so insecure, I need to prove to myself I can get a sound right up until downbeat. Everybody deals with it in their own way. Jumping rope? I'll try that. Robert Plant used sex. To each his own.
Back to top
Kiku Day
Moderator

Offline

Joined: 20 Mar 2011
Posts: 865
Localisation: Nr Snede, DK/London UK

PostPosted: 2011-04-15, 05:36    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

Thank you all for your answers! Great stuff! Okay

Brian Tairaku Ritchie wrote:

I think "New Age" music which is usually played at yoga classes, massage, etc. has given people a dumbed down version of what "meditation" music is. Many honkyoku, despite actually deriving from meditation, are more exciting than what meditators expect. Generally they like the simple Myoan stuff more than the more technical honkyoku.


I agree... and the worst thing in my case was that in the beginning when I played for meditation I chose honkyoku that were quiet... but in fact, I realise that even if I play Betsuden Shika no Tone - people actually love it because they also want to be challenged in their listening when meditating. Even Nerisaji or Jinbo San'ya is great for meditation. Honkyoku IS just good for meditation - in my experience.

David and Jarle, yes I do think my inner state changed in the meditation. I don't know if running the piece through in my head during the meditation would help, Charles. I can see your point but also - then I see no point in participating in meditation if all I do is running the piece through my head. I might as well stay outside and prepare myself for it as I would normally do before a concert.

Otherwise... smelling salt - yes! Very Happy

Jim, regarding warm-up. Yes, there is something about that too.. but I am actually now very used to play without being warm. However... being warm is always better. I warmed up before the meditation and I would consider myself and my flute fairly "warm" after just 30 minutes of sitting. BUT with an extremely difficult piece like Frank's piece.... I might just have to stay with it till the moment of performance and not do anything else - including meditation!

I would have had no problems playing honkyoku after a meditation. It might change the way I play a piece but honkyoku is elastic - at least in my opinion (I know not everyone has that opinion) and according to what I have learned.

I have noticed that doing a serious round of stretching before going on stage makes wonders. What about you guys? Anyone doing that or have tried that? I especially noticed during this "mini tour" because I had both so much transport and writing of paper to do and was sitting down way too much. So I felt my body was so stiff and needed to stretch. It did really wonders for the stage - I think. I will do that in the future!
Back to top
Visit poster’s website Skype
Dean Del Béne
Member

Offline

Joined: 22 Mar 2011
Posts: 25
Localisation: Chicago

PostPosted: 2011-04-15, 13:06    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

Honkyoku is elastic--what a good description! My teacher often varies his approach, voicing his playing in the mood he finds himself that moment; slow, fast, loud, soft, changing like the clouds. Someone else also described honkyoku as paradoxically sounding sad yet soothing. I wonder what Sun Ra would have said? Laughing
Back to top
Visit poster’s website
Kage
Member

Offline

Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 9

PostPosted: 2011-04-15, 15:22    Post subject: Meditation and performance Reply with quote

Kiku Day wrote:
I will do that in the future!


I lieu of, or in concert with, smelling salts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5BX
Back to top
Contenu Sponsorisé






PostPosted: Today at 17:28    Post subject: Meditation and performance

Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    ESS Shakuhachi Forum Forum Index -> ESS Forums -> The Teahouse All times are GMT + 2 Hours
Goto page: 1, 2  >
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  

Index | Create a free forum | Free support forum | Free forums directory | Report a violation | Conditions générales d'utilisation
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2017 phpBB Group