Relative silence -
May 24, 2007
OK, now for our daily muse:
This is for listeners, and musicians alike, part in response to
comments and complaints from performers, and part just blathering.

Relative Silence

"Do what your heart tells you to do."
That's what she always told me. That loving guiding spirit of
wisdom whom is always there, just under the surface.
She says, slow down, listen, feel, observe, and then...give what you
can muster at that moment.
We are always better off when we listen and allow our inner guiding
spirit to show us the way through the fog of life.

This morning, at around 3:30, I went to sleep after playing music
for a few hours past reason. It just took a while.
The music was there, waiting for me, but I could not hear it.
I was too busy playing music. Sometimes the music gets in the way
of itself. Or rather I get in the way and forget to listen first to
the silence.
There's this space created when the phone is off, everyone else is
asleep, and the mind is quieting towards silence.
Before real music can be channeled, for me anyway, I have to really
hear the silence first. That profound silence is made up of all the
colors of the sounds and vibrations of the moment.
Like the color white, made up of all colors in the spectrum, all of
those little noises, and vibrations of the world, the night, the
critters, the humming of electricity, blood pumping through veins,
breathing, cars on the highway, distant voices, all becomes a silent
pallet for creation of music.

I'm always listening for that silence, not the absence of sound, but
that white pallet, when I perform, write, compose, decompose.

When we breathe consciously, like in yoga or martial arts, we bridge
that gap between conscious body control and unconscious control. We
draw attention to, and bring under our control, a process that
happens automatically, most of the time without our input. The same
can be done with conscious listening.

We can choose to focus on a sound, taste it, and then put it back
into the environment. Or we can hear all sounds as a whole sea of
life in which we swim, trying not to pee in the pool.

Writing songs within the song of the universe is no small task. But,
like jamming with other musicians, listening always comes first! It's
great to know what the conversation is about before adding to it.
On stage, at shows, on the porch, in the studio, in my head, I
always try to hear what is going on first. Sometimes there is more
going on sonically inside my head, sometimes not.
When I do hear it, there is that short "Indra's net" connection to
all things that allows me to participate in the continuing dialog.

Now the question is, as performers, in a society and a world made
up of noises, sounds, loud cars, Disco thumping, drink orders,
cappuccino machines, cell phones, etc., can we consistently create
that pallet of silence in our environment of the moment?
After performing in all kinds of venues for over forty years,
I never expect, I just try to listen and do the best I can, at the
moment. But I have no problem ever, in any size venue, politely
shushing the audience. ;-)

Author's Bio: 

Hillbilly Flamenco Guitarist/Songwriter David Feder has been captivating audiences worldwide with his playfully sensual music for over 20 years. With a warm smile and a funny charismatic presence, this remarkable musician has earned a devoted following. And with his fresh approach to the finger style Classic guitar, Feder breathes new life into the American Gypsy-World Music scene. David also regularly mentors artists and musicians in the business of music.