24 March 2006

A busy but unstressed day at work. Despite sleeping the whole night I’ve woken as tired as if I’d been up all night. Later I take a ten-minute nap using a self-hypnosis technique I was taught by a hypnotherapist years ago. It never fails to refresh me. I’m surprised and rather chuffed at the dedication … Read more

11 January 2006

Final day of GC, a good day for learning and a bad day for the ego.

Over breakfast, a discussion led by Hernan on last night’s performance. Not the musical aspects but the organisational ones. ‘In 21 years of Guitar Craft, no-one has started a performance by tuning in front of the audience’ remarked a bemused (and, I think, amused) Hernan. Well, he’s never seen the Incredible String Band. It was a mistake, was purely mine (Bernhard was mouthing ‘no! no!’ as I began), and goes against all common sense. H went on to draw out the importance of preparing the performance space.

At the morning’s guitar circle I discovered I couldn’t play what seemed a simple cross-picking arpeggio.

We were given the task of taking one very small action, practising it, and performing it individually in the evening. I resolved to play one bar of a piece called Hope from one of the California Guitar Trio albums. Just one bar. After a session with Leonardo and one with Luciano I realised that wasn’t going to work and settled for the arpeggio from the morning’s session.

Come the demonstration, I completely ballsed it. More lost pride!

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8 January 2006

The range of personalities here is fascinating. The Kitchen Team (the more experienced GC students or ‘Crafties’) prepare the meals, simple vegetarian food cooked and served with care and not a little love. Especially the desserts. I probably eat half of what I’d eat in a normal day but never feel hungry. At lunch the … Read more

6 January 2006

Up at 5:15 staying with friends Moira and George in Troon. George drives me to Prestwick Airport. He’s just started a new job teaching English and Maths to convicts at Kilmarnock Prison, and enjoying it. Smooth flight to Luebeck and taxi to the station. Was going to walk around but it’s very cold (just been … Read more

16 November 2005

I make a point of not planning what I’m going to write here until my cursor has arrived in the input box. In doing this blog I’m influenced by, but not a strict follower of, the journal practice in Guitar Craft. The first statement there of theĀ  practice is:

Public Aims:

  1. To engage the listening community at an earlier stage of the creative process than is commonly available.
  2. To inform the listening community of the practicalities of that process.
  3. To de-mystify the process which is, essentially, practical.

Private Aims:

  1. To encourage the Diarist to recapitulate their experience.
  2. To provide the Diarist with a pointed stick.
  3. To expose the Diarist to public ridicule.

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