Repetitive tasks don’t bother me, like the restringing of my guitar. Like jogging, cooking dishes, driving from A to B, even the ripping of hundreds of compact disks that I am still doing. Therapeutic activities open up space in my mind allowing me to think quietly, in the absence of the constant distractions. Just me and the activities that only I am doing. Same goes to blogging and reading my friends’ blogs.
Professional musicians restring their guitars at least once a month, to maintain the brightness of the sound quality. I wish I am at that level to spend S$10 a month buying the strings. To be frank, I don’t enjoy restringing guitar that much and I always end up with a good sweating. Some people can do it really well, like a piece of art. All the strings tugged nicely as though there is an aura of musical professionalism by merely holding the instrument. I don’t have that skill. I am a pragmatic artist. Handicap in a sense that I focus my limited talent to the heart, and not the form. As you can see in everything thing I do or create.
I wouldn’t even notice that there was a broken string had there be no jamming session this Sunday. My 5 years old Alhambra classical Spanish guitar occupies one sofa seat space (one good thing about having a blog site is that my life is digitally stored and I can recall the dates quite easily provided that I can find the entry). Whether it is a less than hundred buck guitar or a S$1,500 Alhambra guitar, I leave it outside the case and within reach. My band‘s guitarist would flip if he was to know that I so harshly treat my Alhambra guitar – under direct sunlight from my windows and the daily change of humidity as I turn on and off my air conditioner. The hassle of taking my guitar in and out of the case will certainly dampen any desire to practice or write my music.
Life as a blogger as such. This morning I woke up having a strong urge to write something along the topic of “practice as though you are performing and perform as you are practicing”. I remember I have read it somewhere. In no way I am that smart to figure that out. It is either from a book that I have read long time ago, re-read as I worked overseas, or from one of the business books that I have read. These days, as a humble McGraw-Hill book reviewer, I do have access to more business books than usual. After internalizing the idea, I find it hard to remember the source.
So I nearly hurt my back trying to find that one book, which inspired me as an amateur artist, which I intend to share the title with my readers. I have so many books but they are all piled inside the wardrobe of the common bedroom. There is a need to build my dream bookshelf, I know. “Breakfast is ready!” shouted Cynthia from the living room. Just give me a moment, I know it has got to be somewhere. I just know.
The title is “The Art of Practicing – A Guide to Making Music from the Heart” by Madeline Bruser. I am not sure if you can still find it in your favorite bookstores. But Amazon.com is still selling it. By the time I found the book, excitedly satisfied as I was, I forgot what I was trying to write. I guess I wanted to confess that I have not been writing or practicing music as much as I wish to. Disappointment with myself? Certainly. Maybe my band has not been progressing much, maybe my abstinent to alcohol for close to 18 months has rid all my creativity away, maybe the increased number of hours of joint activities Cynthia and I have limited my practising opportunities.
Or maybe my current job does not give me the same level of pain as my previous one. I still take pride of writing that song “I Erase Your Face” at the tail end of my career with my previous company. I miss songwriting. And I hope to write at least one song in the year 2009. Now that my guitar is reborn with awesomely bright and shiny new strings, there is a strong magical attraction between its space within ready to be filled with some good sound vibration and my urge that needs to be musically articulated.
But first, I need to sort out the day 1 of the photos taken in our Spain holiday trip for tomorrow’s publication. Life as a blogger as such.