If any of you have a minute, I’d love to hear your input on three songs I recorded yesterday afternoon. They’re the first songs that I’ve written that I’ve really wanted to share with people, and now I am sharing them, through the magic of the internet.
I’ve made a series of observations which, after a variable period time, lead me to the conclusion that I’m largely experiencing eating the candy as if I was a giant deity eating whole landscapes from some kind of light-filled candy universe
Musicians must be both socially capable enough to bare their soul willingly to the casual listener and introverted enough to draw from a private landscape of sound dexterously and without judgement. Musicians sing their soul out into the ether and get back feedback from spirits. They dance and live and share.
Esther told me to start writing out my thoughts. I always believed her when she said it would be a good thing. But once she told me she liked my words, I gained enough confidence to begin to really consider trying to write anything. And then, out of nowhere, i wrote a poem. I haven’t written poetry since middle school! And I didn’t even mean to…but more of that later. First let me empty my brain a little about the contents of the last few hours.
Just an hour ago I was in a re-purposed church, hearing a second-hand account of a beautiful thing- the music of the shona people. The stories that are told in our textbook are incredible, but more telling of the spirit of the shona is the mark the culture and music has clearly left on Professor McDonald. He has always struck me as someone that I, in some ways, aspire to be, but for the first time today I got a real sense of his incredible pedagogical skill. Considering his proximity to Zimbabwean mbira teachers (he calls at least one Zimbabwean mbira champion his “teacher”), I would not be surprised if he perceives teaching as some spiritual mission akin to music performance. I may be projecting. But on the topic of spirits, (spirits = spirituality is a connection I have just made for the first time) the beauty of the professor’s lecture and recounting of Shona poetry/improvised lyrics simultaneously made me think of him as deeply spiritual and made me think much more about the idea of “spirits” than I ever have before.
Back on the topic of Prof. McDonald’s pedagogical abilities - I found him today to be incredibly capable of navigating conversation and choosing courses of action in order to provide an excellent education to everyone. He moved at the exact pace necessary when teaching us the kutsinhira part of Kariga Mombe, the only song we’ve worked on thus far. I also just discovered a wealth of information I was unaware of when I google searched kushaura to confirm my spelling of kutsinhira - a tutorial on youtube came up in the google search promising to teach me both parts to a new song, “Chigamba”. Considering the breathtaking beauty of Kariga Mombe, which is clearly considered one of the simplest songs, I bet Chigamba will be incredible. Now all I need is a friend to play with.