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Low Self Esteem and Looping
Great topic -
Some random thoughts -
In response to Ted's recent post --
I think we all live in two worlds and although I often long for "purity"
and a one-sided answer to things, my peace of mind increased when I
realized that no matter what answer I found, the opposite is often just as
true. A mandala-type of thinking where any one idea can be placed on a
point on the mandala and is understood to be balanced by its opposite.
Or as Jung says, maturity is the ability to contain the opposites.
Practically speaking, to me this means that:
1 - There is room for both types of creativity - creative productions by
dedicated artists where there IS a "better" and "worse" -- e.g., someone
professing to be a singer is generally better if they can sing in tune (if
that's the kind of music they're presenting), can move an audience
emotionally and intellectually, has a powrful voice, has something original
to say -- or, perhaps in a context like Indian raga singing, can present
tradition in an authentic and accomplished way.
A playful creativity whose point is not to create a refined "product"
I do not use the word pejoratively) but to provide a consciousness-changing
experience that is valid in and of itself. Brenda Ueland, a wonderful
creative writing teacher (I highly recommend her book "If you Want to
Write"), when asked why she taught creative writing to working class people
replied, (paraphrasing here) "Because I know of nothing else that takes
peoples' minds off of being consumers better than creativity."
Looping has led me (inspired by Yon's recent womanly loopers posts) to
give improvisational singing classes for anyone who wants to come, no
their musical skills. My solo looping has many aspects, one of which is
just a meditation for myself, another is a "better/worse" art which I
present in concert and which I hope is an accomplished music and which I
spend time practicing to make it, hopefully, better.
My singing classes are totally process-oriented - this is purely about
creating a space for people to connect in a fun way with themselves and
others. Playing games with music, intimacy and consciousness. "No
mistakes" is the rule. Process, not product.
As far as the self-esteem issue, the best writing about this is Kenny
Werner's "Effortless Mastery"- it's really worth reading, he talks about
many musicians basing their self-esteem on how good their music is that
and how unhealthy that is. My favorite quote -- "When a musician is not
linked to some higher purpose, his natural desire is to impress others.
That desire cuts the depth out of the music."