Friday, April 20, 2012

It's not me!

Creativity, the creative energy in life, in the arts, isn't about the person. I believe that we tap into a level that is beyond the individual and we merely add our arrangements to that energy. As a musician I had a very direct experience of this.

Some years back I helped a friend, Wil, take his guitar & equipment from Portland to a farm house in Woodburn, OR. He was joining a Jam Fest a bunch of local musicians put on each year. Not some big to do thing with tickets sales and such, just down home garage band jamming. We arrived early afternoon on Friday of the weekend blast.

Wil got his gear set up and was warming up. I went over and sat down behind the drum set that was there. I made a few pounds and set the sticks down because I didn't want to embarrass myself. I'm a guitarist, not a drummer. As the afternoon went on others trickled in to get set up for the weekend. I messed around a bit on Wil's guitar and when Wil got back on his gear I picked up a set of bongos to play around with. After feeling a groove with Wil I got back on the drum set. I mostly played the floor tom and moved the sticks around a little, but not too much.

Before I knew it other musician joined in on the jamming. Suddenly I found myself kicking ass on the drums to a full band! My arms and legs were moving all over the place as this spontaneous jam took off! At this point I wasn't thinking about what I was doing, I was just going with the proverbial flow. It felt great! When the jam stopped I immediately got up from the drum set and walked away. I knew better than to press my luck. And it was more luck than ability. As I said, I am a guitarist, not a drummer.

Friends came up to me blown away and said how amazing I was on the drums. I just smiled because I was still on the jam high and just as amazed as to what just happened.

The next day I came back down to the full Jam Fest in motion. I enjoyed listening to the various bands and meeting new people. As one band was playing I became astonished because they were doing an original song, however, the music sounded just like a song I wrote many years earlier! The astonishment was in how could the band have ripped off my song since I had never recorded it and it was never heard beyond friends and the band I was part of in Arizona. I called my song, Viking. It was high energy and the arrangement rather different than most music. So how could this band be playing my song!

This is when I fully realized, understood, that music is not personal, it IS something we just tap into and allow it to flow through us. I believe I was able to kick ass on the drums the day before not because of my skill, other than being a musician, was that I tapped into the musical energy that was coming together that weekend. And then to have what I thought was my song being played by another band added to this experience that music, creative energy, is Universal and we merely become a channel of expression.

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