I’m taking what is for me a bold step, and offering to you this simple four minute flute improvisation that helped to calm my nervous tummy, and brought me to a moment of peace. Perhaps this perfectly imperfect piece of music could provide you with a moment of peace also, even a moment of healing. I hope so.
Why is this a bold step for me? Because of simplicity.
I’ve worked professionally as a musician and composer for 56 years, and as a healer and shaman for 24 years. In the years as a composer working on albums, film scores, and general tomfoolery, I grew a musical identity that played with dramatic movement and instrumental colors. It took me years to come close to what I heard and felt in my heart.
Now what I am exploring in my head and heart is simplicity.
My inspirations have always come from mountains and rivers, the sounds of water, wind and nature. I’m realizing that what turns me on these days is whatever helps me to be more transparent. To allow sound and light, and the sorrows and joys of being human and fallible, to move through me like wind and water. Mindfulness of the heart and soul.
As I write this article, I realize that my deciding to post this spontaneous piece of music is an act of commitment to simplicity, unguarded and vulnerable.
I’m sure at some point I will write a few more pieces of music with the more elaborate arrangements that were part of my musical voice for many years. But for now, I like this very simple direct expression through my heart and body, through sound, to you.
The path of music and the path of healing often times go hand-in-hand. That’s a companionship that I will be exploring for the remainder of my life.
I wasn’t intending to play and record this piece of music. But my good friends, John and Megan Hughes dropped by to play drums and singing bowls with me. John is an integrative medicine doctor and has helped me in amazing ways when I’ve trashed my body, and Megan is this magical creative soul who designed and manages my website.
My recording setup was fired up for our jam. When my friends left I thought I’d try out a Native American alto flute made by High Spirits that I haven’t done much with. So I put a microphone to the flute and puffed away without much premeditation. This is what you’re hearing. Thank you to my friend Alex who later heard the piece and liked it. I might have just thrown it away.
I’ll end this article with a thought. I think most of us do what we can to find our center when we’re feeling wobbly, and in these spectacularly wobbly times that need for center becomes more important. The center is not a static place. The center is a point of transition from one state to another state, from one focus of energy to another focus of energy. Maybe a shift from fear into courage, from an inner battle to a compassionate peace, to “I don’t get it” to “I get it.” And back.
If this little improvisation helps you to move from wherever you are to a moment of peace with yourself and your life, I will smile and shake my head with wonder and join you in the dance.
P.S. if you’re curious about my earlier music, check out the music page of this website. You can stream any of the songs without charge.