Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Art Practice

I just got back from a month-long residency at Zen Mountain Monastery.  I did not have a lot of time to practice, but I did manage to spend some time in art practice doing some composition.

Over the next couple of weeks, I intend to record the two pieces that I wrote.

I began writing "Mountain Thunderstorm" during a thunderstorm while I sat in a cabin up the hill from the monastery.  The first few phrases grew out a call and answer that developed between me and the weather.

A few weeks later I wrote Hosan (during hosan).  Hosan is the "weekend" of the residential community at ZMM.  For 48 hours each week, the regular training schedule is suspended and each person determines how to spend their time and engage their practice.  There are specific rhythms at the start, middle and end of these days.  I sat with my experiences of these times and just let it come through.  This was challenging as most of the song is in Kan, and with less practice during the month, my stability in Kan is a bit off.

Now I settle back into regular practice as I begin to get ready to return to work and deal with some minor flood damage in my basement.

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