Keeping our legacy ALIVE & WELL

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Liad Bar-EL, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Jerusalem, Israel
    Just received this message from a friend and I thought it would be good to share it with you all on TM.


    I am writing this post in defense of our musical individuality as trumpet playing musicians...I feel as though we as musicians are being made less human by the encroachment of hi-tech science and mechanization confronting us daily.

    With this increase of dehumanization in the entire world, evil increases, and as musicians we are loosing our own identities and I would daresay our very souls with the advent of sequencers, the VO {virtual orchestra} etc etc. which of course results in needing less and less live musicians. In order to counteract this {evil}, we must realize the importance of recognizing our ownindividuality, our own uniqueness as human beings.

    Don't forget the fact that music is spiritual; it is feeling, emotion,passion and the act of our creating music certainly verges on the spiritual. There is something in the act of creating which is almost like a religious revelation. Music is a sensory experience. The power of music and the feeling that it evokes shows us that there is surely something going on !!. The audience could be fifty percent of the musical experience. The excitement for us as musicians then is the rapport we establish with the audience. Can a VO or a sequencer do that ? My point here is to say that
    it is our responsibility to make this connection with the audience.

    We must ask ourselves if we are truly reaching our audiences. Are we getting to these people through communication with our music We've got to get through to them so that they get the utmost enjoyment from the music that we are playing.

    You want them to go away feeling happy, inspired and having forgotten all their troubles for these few hours. Every note that we play is glorifying freedom of the spirit, in making life happy and positive That is what music is all about. It enables people in the audience to connect to one another. The audience gets this same feeling as the musicians playing get. They feel connected to each other...Consequently, what the music does is enhancing and showing us the fact that we are all connected..........Therefore this connection with the audience {or other musicians} results in the idea of all of this as a "spiritual experience".

    In closing let me ask of everyone...."Let's get away from all of this hi-tech mechanization".

    Let's give the audience more fluid, melodic, passionate, soulful music...something that the VO's and sequencers cannot accomplish. We as trumpet players must realize that our horns are closer to the human voice more than any other instrument. Let us not become so obsessed
    with technical and physical prowess. The singing quality must always be present in our playing.

    The world is full of talented derelicts unable to relate. It's all in our attitude and not the aptitude.

    Our attitude towards our audience is the main ingredient for success. Feel the pulse of the audience. Make contact. Don't forget. Playing music is a "spiritual experience. " Yes, SPIRITUAL.

    Final Thought: As trumpet playing musicians our compelling drive in wanting to express ourselves is this strong, natural desire to be whole in fulfilling our destiny, to become connected and in tune with ourselves and this wonderful universe in which we are so fortunate to live the purpose of the music we play is to give the lives of the people we play for, more meaning and depth. Music brings harmony to this troubled, turbulent world..It balances us all consequently balancing the entire universe...........

    Respectfully, LEON MERIAN
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Great post!
    Because alot of our audience has electronic entertainment on from breakfast to time they go to sleep, they have an aural overdose in any case. I've also noticed at gigs how some people have a hard time listening - they are talking with their neighbor the whole time. At home, they can turn the radio down to "background" level - tough to do at a Tower of Power concert.
    I can only appeal to all parents and teachers out there to teach our kids silence/quiet time. This can be trancendental/spiritual/meditative or just turn off anything making noise.
    At first, 5 minutes is strenuous, with practice much more is possible. After appreciating "nothing" we want to fill the "something" with higher quality - hopefully live music.
  3. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Jerusalem, Israel
    Here is a good post I received from Leon wherein he talks about Improvisation/creating/transcending/spiritualizing


    Jazz musicians play the melody{or the head} and from that new melodies are created over the same harmonic structure.That's jazz--creating a logical beautiful melody which is your very own.You might play that same tune night after night and you will never get bored with it for it will come out differently every time.This engenders creative excitement--energy--because it is a spiritual thing.You are playing in the NOW...this very moment.You don't think about it. When you improvise you are completely in the now...this very moment.No time to think about it!! It has nothing to do with the intellect. As a matter of fact it transcends the intellect. You simply have to "be".In other words jazz carries us as close as we can be to the SPIRITUAL.It sort of forces your mind to go only one way.You must be're not aware of yourself because you are right in the middle of the NOW.

    There is really no mental activity going on.. You are not aware of yourself because you are totally absorbed in the music you are playing.

    Your mind doesn't say to you,"I'm playing great tonight or I'm playing rotten tonight". It is NOT judgmental...please understand is something that is happening with you...something that is taking place and it's EXCITING to be caught up in it !! That's enough.You have become one with the music YOU created...PERIOD!!! Forget Chet Baker,Dizzy, Miles, Hubbard. It's
    Not a tournament or a competition. Have no fear. Just get in there and do it !

    Jazz musicians have no fear of this "unknown world" which can be called the unconscious.We frequent it continuously and have been doing so since our childhood. Children visit it quite often as they don't know what it is to fear it !!! It gives us a much more complete picture of our "self".Our PURE individuality !! Playing jazz {improvising} gives you this childlike spontaneity,energy,enthusiasm which most people seem to loose after childhood.Many times I have felt a part of me which made me turn my back on receiving[taking in]too much information in playing jazz.I think that too much analyzation of jazz concepts and styles can be detrimental.Maybe that's why Erroll Garner never wanted to learn to read music [Buddy also].

    I think that retaining this innocent childlike nature has a very positive effect on our creativity.To have this nonjudgmental state of mind, where we just play--simply play> I think that this is the TRUE improvisational process, allowing anything and everything to just happen.Make things up just like a child.We all like playing just as we did when we were children. It's one of the ways we play with music...and maybe that's why we continue to do it !!!

    Difficultiestanding improvisation arise from the fact that there are different kinds of improvisation. We can't offer a pat description of improvisation. What we all are seeking here ,is understanding improvisation as it has been practiced in performance. A dictionary definition=to compose on the spur of the moment---composing and performing simultaneously.Rhis tells us only part of the story. For me, I would say that improvisation must contain the unexpected,producing excitement and exhilaration that comes from spontaneity... I remember Milt Hinton saying that Dizzy's music was exciting for him because there were things that Diz tried to do that he couldn't do.Aaron Copland said "When you improvise, it is axiomatic that you take risks and can't foretell the results".

    In closing let me please say: Imagination/Intuition/Inspiration are the result of experience and knowledge and in balancing all of these qualities will the spirit of creativity manifest itself. No, it is not a piece of cake...but you must do it as well as is possible must keep on keepin' is good for your musicianship. your facility and your mental health....

    God Bless you all.

    Leon Merian
  4. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    Leon's posts on TPIN are always insightful. He is a living history of America's big band past.
    Yesterday was Leon's 83rd birthday,
    Happy Birthday, Leon :grouphug:
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    I have never read anything by this gentleman before. He speaks with the passion and enthusiasm of one only a quarter of his years but with a timelessness that will outlive us all. He says great things and I hope this post gets bumped up to the top at least once a week so that we're always reminded of how important "now" is.

  6. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Jerusalem, Israel
    You got it Manny!!

  7. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Jerusalem, Israel
    Time for a review of this thread and it's wisdom...........

    Liad Bar-EL
  8. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Jerusalem, Israel
    Another bump-up to the top for everyone's benefit.

    Liad Bar-EL

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