At a recent artist open house I had a conversation with sculpter Jonathan Becker which is still resonating with me. He had some beautifully intricate pieces with many overlapping petal and leaf-like elements. When I asked him about the process, he said that one small section evolves from another and he is never quite sure which direction the next one will take. The key was that he had to LET the art evolve and not try to control it.
YES, YES, and YES! As musicians we also have to LET our art evolve. We have to be prepared, mindful, and engaged - but eventually we have to trust our preparation and LET our bodies do what we have trained them to do. Make music!
In Body Mapping, we train awareness and movement. We also talk a great deal about LETTING. For example, we map the curves of the spine (Lesson 1-1). Why? Because having an accurate map of the spine will support and allow coordinated movement throughout the rest of the body. We can make our spines move, bend, twist, spiral, but we can’t control the reflexive movement of our spines. We have to LET that movement happen.
If our spine is free, it will LET the rest of our body respond appropriately. We LET our breath respond to the intention of a phrase. We LET our whole body be engaged and responsive during our performance. We use our kinesthetic sense to notice and acknowledge this. It feels good. No, it feels great!
Have you experienced this in your music? Can you invite your singers to LET something happen instead of make something happen? I’d love to hear about it. Send me an email!
More information about Jonathan at theater-masks.com