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Re: Serious discussion about pot & looping/music

At 12:16 PM +0200 5/23/03, Stuart Wyatt wrote:
>I would be very interested to share my ideas about pot and music, 
>and would be very interested to hear other people's experiences on 
>the subject.

Speaking only for my personal experience with marijuana and music, I 
found that getting moderately stoned would facilitate a certain state 
of awareness that was useful for composing. I found it easy to "relax 
into" a focus on the sound of the music and the act of playing, and I 
found that in some ways my creativity seemed to be enhanced. I 
wouldn't say that "pot makes you more creative," but that relaxation 
and focus certainly do.

Before I ever got into playing while stoned I made a regular practice 
of listening while stoned. In these situations the effects were even 
more pronounced and included an increase in visualization of the 
music. Without the necessity of performing I could relax more deeply 
and place more of my awareness on following the details of the sound 
and in "mapping" the sounds to an internal visual "score."

I did not find that getting stoned and playing with other people was 
such a great success. Unfortunately, I am one of those for whom 
marijuana (particularly certain "heavier" varieties such as 
Columbian) leads to self-consciousness even unto paranoia. I also 
believe that getting stoned can foster an inflated sense of 
significance, so that one's creations seem at the time to be more 
brilliant than they do in retrospect. This could spell trouble in a 
performance situation, and in my bands we always made it a rule not 
to smoke until after the gig. The same thing went for drinking 
alcohol, though we were more relaxed about that.

I've also noticed some interesting effects while playing while stoned 
on LSD, though I did that only once. I felt that my awareness 
extended into other parts of my nervous system, beyond the cerebral 
cortex. In particular, while playing, I felt conscious of activity in 
my brain stem. I practiced Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun" while in 
this state and was impressed by how well this psychedelic rehearsal 
"took" and showed lasting results.

Interestingly, my guitar teacher would also stress the importance of 
focusing awareness on the brain stem while practicing - he told me 
this about a year after my LSD experience, and without my telling him 
about it.

Richard Zvonar, PhD
(818) 788-2202