I don’t think I am a good musician. I’m not making a show of being humble at all but if it comes down to performance and technical prowess and showmanship, there are others. I genuinely love music and performing and making music but I do feel inadequate and out of practice – maybe I am those who cannot, therefore, teach. But when I do look at myself and the reason why I play the piano and continue to do so for so long is that what’s fascinating for me is the brain’s process of learning something that’s challenging- like solving a puzzle. It’s Bach’s prelude and fugues. Have you heard of book 1 c sharp minor; that 5-voiced fugue and how Bach just plays around with the four note subject with TWO countersubjects is just crazy the genius of it made me laugh hysterically like a madman, or Mahler and Poulenc’s out-of-the world harmony thats just so beautiful that I don’t think how a human brain can come up with a thing like that. What makes me tick is seeing myself go from being unable to do something to being able to do that thing, or understanding how things work. That was why I learned how to ride a motorcycle last year (don’t tell my pastor), am in the process of learning the saxophone, and teaching myself latin and greek. I like that sensation of my brain and body being in the unknown, a foreign terrain, and the stress of groping in the dark, it feels like I am trying to make something out of nothing (or in other words, trying to shit bricks) and the gradual process of saying to myself, “hey, today’s not as hard as yesterday was.”
Bach wrote “I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well.” he must be kidding because I don’t think anyone will be as good regardless of industriousness… but does credibility not follow wisdom and stature of the likes of Bach? In that sense, I think Bach was on to something. I think I want to teach kids that if they take baby steps for a long time, be curious and daring, and take advantage of the many resourses that Bach never had, we may veer close to what Bach was getting at.
That brings me to ableton. I bought myself a second hand ableton during the weekend and just plugged it in to get that wonderful and familiar feeling of, “I have no idea of what I am doing,” I want to chronicle my process of learning how to make music on this platform. During discussion today, Cait was doing a similar research project of what it would look like if kids picked up music through ableton. And in justification to my bad and immature music making, here is Trout Mask Replica – Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band