Today I will mostly be writing in the spirit of Thelonius Monk who said, ‘There is no wrong note, it has to do with how you resolve it’. My plan: to keep typing whatever comes into my head until I have finished my bottle of beer.
Yeah, when you listen to Monk play you kind of see what he means.
In this age of targeted marketing, with its seamless soundtrack of endless over-dubs and auto-tuned vocals, how refreshing to hear and see someone flying by the seat of his pants! And returning to William Blake’s idea that without contraries there is no progression, surely here is an example of discord enhancing our appreciation of harmony.
Why have we become so risk-averse? I vividly remember the leader of a blues harmonica course telling us that we were only ever a semitone away from musical safety. In other words, improvise like your life depends on it and trust your instincts. How else are you going to get good at escaping from music’s, or life’s inevitable impasses? Those who only play by the book tend to get most lost when things don’t go to plan – which is often.
I once had an argument with a roomful of musos who reckoned Jimi Hendrix was over-rated. Yes, I had to admit, the guy played bum notes … but look how high he could fly! Maybe there’s a connection … what do you think?
The theme opens up like a kaleidoscope and my bottle is nearly empty. Without mistakes, no true creativity. Maybe it’s time to cut ourselves some slack and learn to play again. My two-and-three-quarter-year-old grand-daughter began our game today with, ‘I’m a baby penguin … ‘
You’re never too old to visit Antarctica! It’s surprisingly easy to find. Just turn left at Non Sequitur …
Image: Critter Babies