Crossing the border – art and designAugust 9, 2009 | 2:10 pm
This year I celebrate 10 years as bass player. I haven’t blogged much about bass playing or music lately, but my band is quite active and keeps on playing at restaurants and parties in our region. I started with music because I wanted to try something new. I had no particular experience from younger years and it was scary in the beginning. All the other guys in the band had several years of experience, but all turned out very well.
Learning new things
This musical journey did something for my life, besides giving me a fun hobby. It showed me the possibilities and the joy of learning new things. It is easy to get stuck with the things you master or are familiar with. You operate safely within known limits. Dare to step out! This will keep your life fresh: every once in a while launch out into unfamiliar territory. I challenge the view that the older you get, the harder it is to learn something new!
Another thing bass playing did for me, was to open my eyes to wholeness and systems thinking. This may sound strange to you, but it is true. Music is primarily a right-brain activity and much of the ability to see the whole resides there. My first approach to playing music was a typical left-brain approach. I learned what to play piece by piece. My “linear” mind was very present in every step. I kept myself like to a rail road track. But as I moved on I found something different. I noticed that there could be a creative flow, birthed in each moment in which I could express myself. Together with other musicians you are part of a whole and your flowing together creates music. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. This is an incredible interesting area. I believe that by participating in musical activity you nourish your own ability to understand and navigate in the systems that surrounds us, a much needed ability in these days.
Giving attention to music opened up a new perspective for me. It enhanced other areas in my life, like creativity and problem solving. Some time ago I asked myself; what if I push this a little further? Music is just one form of creative expressions. I suffer from a slight degree of colour-blindness (green-red). One day I realized that I hadn’t really paid attention to (man-made) art and design because of that. When it came to design I often let someone else do the work. I chose to handle the functional and practical aspect. I have always enjoyed nature. Walking slowly, just looking at all the beauty around is so refreshing. But man-made art has been a white spot.
I said to myself; what new perspectives will open up if I start to pay attention to form, colour and beauty. Perhaps there is a border possible to cross here. So I started paying attention and you know what …here is new, exciting territory I haven’t visited before. Fascinating! It is strange how you can look at things and don’t really see. Art has been an inseparable part of human history for as long as we know. Music is one of the expressions of the heart of man and art is the same. It is like a palette with many colours. I believe that art is a very necessary part of our culture and of our lives.
I am not limited by my background or by already discovered natural talents or absence of talents. Who am I? I am crossing a border. I am changing. Anybody out there doing this journey also?
Other posts about this subject you might want to read:
Musicians and systems thinking