8th of June 2015 

Today I read a few pages from Dropping Ashes on the Buddha the teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn and I felt an intense extended moment of clarity, where everything made complete sense and I perceived everything in a new peaceful, tender and loving light. I do not remember ever having felt so present. I'm relatively new to Buddhist philosophy and in particular I felt profoundly influenced by the following passage: 

"all things in the universe...have different names and forms, but they are all made from the same substance. The universe is organized into pairs of opposites...But all these opposites are mutual, because they are made from the same substance...Names and forms are made by your thinking. If you are not thinking and have no attachment to name and form, then all substance is one."

How I feel within myself often affects my musical process and product. Having reached a moment of peace and calm before sitting down to write, I began to play the opening rain drops motive and discovered that I wanted to stay with it for a while longer. The change in the music came too soon and I felt that the simplicity of this motive was "enough" and could be developed further. This made me think about the fear of simplicity as a concept and how our society praises and affirms business and constant engagement in productivity. On the other hand, rest and taking time to pause or slowing down is often viewed as lazy and wasting time. I've been thinking a lot lately how similar the human brain is to a computer hard drive. Computer hard drives need to de-frag occasionally and computers need to sleep and be rebooted or they don't function as well. If you put too much on the hard drive, it can't work properly. This is also true of human brains. The mind is much more fragile than we often allow for. So today I sat down to play my rain drops motive and I expanded this section giving it and myself more room to breath, and more time to be simple and peaceful. I also began adding extra expression to the music by using dynamics, articulations (accents, rolls) and pedal. 

Figure 13.1: expanded rain drops motive 

© Katherine Rawlings 2015

© Katherine Rawlings 2015


AuthorKatherine Rawlings