Friday, October 11, 2019

Very occasional quote of the day: let go lightly

“When I let go of what I am, 
I become what I might be.”
— Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“I used to call myself a free jazz drummer, now I just want to play tight arrangements.”
— Todd Bishop

“Hang on tightly, let go lightly.”
— The Croupier

This is an important idea for me— for developing and continuing to develop as an artist, but also practically for learning how to play. Ambitious students are aggressive about forming a concept of themselves, about getting ideas about how things are done, and about learning what they're turned on by, what kind of art they want to do.

The process is about finding things to be attached to, and then working really hard developing them. You get ideas like I'm an Elvin guy. I'm a free guy. I'm a “hard hitter.” Whatever. “This is my technique.” Eventually you have to let some other things in, or you become one-dimensional. The effect may be to just broaden your range, but you also may end up being into the exact opposite kind of work you thought was irrevocably “your thing.”

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