Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Training Oneself Out Of the Technique Equation - Part 1

Currently, my highest idea of perfecting "technique" -as a general concept- is to essentially train oneself out of the technique equation of making music.  The intention in study and practice is to assimilate concepts and establish efficient habits so concretely, that one is thereby enabled to freely utilize mechanics as mastered tools, to serve an artistic and musical imagination.  The aim would be to get oneself so far out of the way that music(-making) is the performer’s sole experience, and the only experience the audience has as active listeners.  This could be likened to the concept of communicating an idea through language vs. merely speaking words or, even worse, being distracted or occupied with the physical demands of forming words with one's mouth while speaking.

What this means in practical terms is not a matter of resisting or setting aside the study of formal concepts and training, so as to allow the imagination and intuition to remain "free from restrictions and rules."  In some ways it is exactly the opposite, though I admit that the lines between sufficient training and squelching one's imagination are possible to cross.

As a performer, the goal is to crystalize these concepts so purely and distinctly, that sharing them during performance enables the concept to be stretched, transforming hard crystal into malleable clay, and for the expression to move forward into a more advanced idea than before it was set into tone-form for hundreds of receptive ears.  It is something like taking a seasoned, life-long concept of love, and just before exiting the earthly scene, sharing this concept with loved ones through words for the sake of it prosperously living on.

As a teacher, the goal is to take the most cyrstalized and advanced concepts, and think in retrograde motion down to square #1, with the aim of helping learners -even complete beginners- to establish a solid foundation that will support their highest musical imaginations.  This can be similar to taking the highest concepts found within great poetry, and incorporating their essence into teaching toddlers the fundamentals of the alphabet and word formation.  This is no small task. 

What these mean together is that a fundamental genesis of technique must be found, and this fundamental genesis is ultimately mental, not physical.  To train oneself out of the technique equation then, is ultimately mental, too.

Article written by Karli Krueger