Archive for the 'nature' Category

21
Apr
14

4.21.14 – Music in Nature

I often get a chance to retreat to local quiet gardens – open spaces untouched by human hand or technology.  I use these times to slow down, take stock – meditate.  And I’m always struck, when the sounds of the city eventually vanish, that I think I can hear a sort of music in these natural surroundings.  The wind in the trees, the bird song, the insects buzzing around, a pool of water rippling from a steady stream entering it, bushes rustling from squirrel activity – it’s all rather a symphony of natural improvisation to me.  If you close your eyes – focus solely with your ears – you can almost work out notes and scales being performed – hear the key of the countryside.  The low hum of a low note that grounds the always changing symphony of subtle close chords – a deep murmuring hush … then a fly buzzes by your right ear – a nut is being broken apart by a squirrel just behind your left ear.  It’s a surround-sound Avant-garde, ambient, experimental, improvisational piece that you’re listening to….  always changing, always interesting music of the spheres – spiritual.

Sitting in this nature, with eyes closed, allowing yourself to believe you are listening to a live concert, it really can become so.  We just have to set our brains to that frequency (the “radio of nature”).

I’ve held a long fascination with experimental ambient soundscapes and minimalistic, abstract music.  I’ve followed the work of artists such as Terry Riley, early Tangerine Dream, Eno, Cluster, Robert Fripp, Stockhausen, Sigur Ros, John Cage, David Sylvan, Steve Reich, Popol Vuh (band), and although electricity/synths/technology are involved, in many ways, I think this style of music gets close to the existential feelings we have in nature – and reflects the randomness, the vibrations, the profoundness of the natural world – the unknowable.  Even minimalist artists such as Terry Riley and Steve Reich somehow for me tap into an elemental truth of raw nature – its circular, ever-repeating, yet still random events.  For me, it’s those particular artists’ way of musically representing something elemental and deeply intense – humans’ response and reaction to nature & it’s terrible beauty – again, completely unknowable.  It’s Zen like, and of course, mathematical, as is nature; there’s a profound logic involved – a spiritual science.

If you get a chance, the next time you’re out in nature – away from the hubbub of the city, close your eyes; let your ears do the seeing.  It’s a real concert.

Cheers,

Martin

“Music is the pleasure the human soul experiences from counting

    without being aware that it’s counting”

– Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz – (Inventor of Calculus)

 

“The ear is the way”

                          – The Upanishads

 

“Can you hear the rushing of the river?  That is the way”

                  – Zen Buddhist saying

 

02
Jul
10

7/2/2010 – Support System – Vanessa Leavitt

            I’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Leavitt, the wonderful girl who runs and oversees my websites at Myspace and Facebook.  Many of you may already be acquainted with Vanessa, as she makes a point of responding personally to the fans who communicate with me through my websites; So, a great deal of you will already know of Vanessa’s warm, affable and accommodating nature.  It’s quite amazing to me that Vanessa was present at my first ever solo live gig in Washington D.C., when I was touring and promoting my debut solo album, “In The House Of Stone and Light”.  We didn’t actually meet up until years later in Los Angeles when Vanessa and I were both guest speakers on my friend’s music podcast (www.audionowcast.com).  I learned then that she had been a great supporter of my music right from the beginning of my career.  We instantly connected, and when I mentioned that I was about to release a new album on my own independent label, Vanessa immediately offered to help me with the set up and organization of a promotional website at Myspace.  It was an offer that I am glad I didn’t refuse, for Vanessa’s experience in the music industry and internet promotion has proved invaluable during my recent adventures as an independent solo artist.

Vanessa got interested in radio at college, and worked at her college station for four years hosting a local music show highlighting unsigned bands from around the D.C. area.  These were special days for Vanessa, as she got to work and meet with some very passionate people within the music industry – doing what they loved just for the sake of it.  During this pivotal time, she also interned with BMG Music Distribution, doing promotions for their college bands.  This then lead her to working for a number of D.C. radio stations as a sales assistant, and a web developer for one of them.  She then landed her current job building websites for groups of radio stations all over the country.

As I have come to know Vanessa better, I have become aware of her many passions outside the boundaries of music.  She is a keen lover of nature, art and literature, and loves nothing better than the warm seasons which allow her to go hiking or camping with friends and family; but her biggest inspiration by far is her beautiful daughter, Kaia, who constantly reminds her how to live in the present moment.  As I mentioned earlier, one of Vanessa’s great passions is books, and she is a truly talented author in her own right.  She started writing stories in college, and she names writers such as Hemingway, Poe, Chuck Palahniuk, Stephen King and Charles DeLint as her strong influences.  She has almost completed her own historical fantasy piece called, “Shaping Fate”, and is presently looking for an agent for the work.  I urge you to check out Vanessa’s creative writing website at   www.vrleavitt.com, where you can view some of her short stories and where Vanessa also talks about the writing process in general.  It’s a great site to visit, and I’m a big fan.

It’s a pleasure for me to work with such an all-‘round, imaginative and genuine person such as Vanessa.  She brings integrity, professionalism and a great work ethic to the creative process.  For her, no task, it seems, is too difficult to accomplish.  And on top of that, she has a terrific sense of humor, which in my book, is a definite Big Plus, indeed!  It is a precious luxury to know as an artist that you have a solid, believing team behind you, and with Vanessa on board, I certainly feel that.

In finishing, I recently asked Vanessa what music artists she likes; she answered that she enjoys all sorts of music from Mozart to Queen to Big And Rich .…. and of course, Martin Page.  Well, she had to say that, didn’t she?!

Thanks Vanessa.

 

Cheers,

Martin