Experiencing music- balancing stress

Being a freelancer, creating new projects with different partners is exiting, even though not all projects become realized. All meetings that intuitively feel interesting, may give something to ones own journey towards finding ones own truths. I am grateful for having been given many of these special meetings this year.

Yesterday– on the train from Barcelona to Valencia – I had another of these wonderful encounters with a complete stranger. A blond, longhaired woman at my age were sitting next to me, and the title of the book she was reading caught my eye: Connections – Threads of intuitive wisdom. I asked her what she found interesting about this book, and this lead to a 3 hour long, unbroken conversation about the connections between music and life. It turned out that Alison is a yoga teacher of Scottish origin, who lives and works with her husband and daughter in the mountains of Andalucía. The conversation with her, lead me more into my own research in music. This also lead to a intuitive text about how I once again realized that music and life is strongly connected:

Experiencing music– balancing stress
Life is articulated! Life is full of contrasts. What we find in music we also find in our own lives. We experience tensions and relaxations and the relation between these eternal life forces has to be balanced- in music as well as in our lives. If there is too much tension, we suffer. But if there if too much equality – to little contrast, we also suffer. The art of living and the art of a musical composition is about finding the good balance between tension and relaxation.

Tension and relaxation
In music we can separate the different parameters where we find tension and relaxation:
1. Musical tension
2. Harmonic tension
3. Rhythmic tension
4. Dynamic tension

We also have to consider the context in which these parameters appears: Something that creates tension in one situation might create relaxation in another situation depending on the context. There are also exiting moments in music where these parameters influence each other: Like when one parameter relaxes and another one tense. We call this suspended relaxation. Musical contrasts has different degree of tension. Something new, like a new musical theme, is already a contrast and creates musical tension.

The phenomenology of music
Maybe music touches us so strongly because it can fill the gap between the thought and the intuition. Lets admit: Our intellect cannot give us everything. If we are too much in our heads, trying to understand by logic what is the meaning of life (or understanding music), we will never be satisfied. My courses about listening to music is based on a phenomenologic approach that I studied in Barcelona with maestro Jordi Mora that again learned this approach from his maestro, the Rumenean conductor Sergiú Celibicache (1912-1996). It attempts to combine intellectual understanding with direct experience. During fall I will give lectures on listening to music in this approach. And who knows: maybe Alison and I will create a workshop together in the future where she will give examples on how yoga, dance and meditation can also bring us to a deeper understanding of how to balance stress in our lives.

Annabel

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