QUOTES & USEFUL INFORMATION
This page is dedicated to useful information about Zen Music and is also a place for quotes from really inspiring artists and Zen masters.
“Life is a lot like jazz. It is best when you improvise.” - George Gershwin
Zen Music - a subtle mix of relaxed beats, smooth guitar, laid back West Coast 'surf rock', a shimmer of light, a splash of colour, an angle, a fragment, some tonal texture, the pulsing of Latin rhythm, and the improvisational freedom of jazz... its all Zen Music.
Minimalism - the essence of my music is minimalism - this is an important principle of Zen: to reduce everything down to its most simplest form. Why use 100 notes, when just 3 or 4 can convey a feeling more effectively? To use 100 notes is to waste energy and feeds the mind with external distraction. Distilling the essence of a music piece down to 3 or 4 notes, helps to focus the mind on the internal essence of my mindful message. And that message is: It is this... Not that! Listen to the importance of this simple internal minimalist message... and let everything else go!
This is opposite to what I call busy music, which has a profusion of notes - my music is un-busy music.
Ambient Music (or Relaxation Music, whatever you want to call it) is the soundtrack to our life - the movie soundtrack, or soundscape to underscore our personal journey. I have a degree in film music - though I do not set out to create music for films (although I have done for my own productions). The knowledge and training in film music composition and production helps me to create emotional journeys through music and soundscapes - to develop, promote, trigger and manipulate human feelings, senses and emotions to create higher awareness through sound.
I create ambient music - which can be from the deeply meditational pieces to relaxing jazz, and even adstractual avant garde jazz (which is regarded as very useful in the practice of Zen, as mindful awareness, opening up higher levels of consciousness, or conscious expansion). The expansion of consciousness through music (music as non-verbal language), is communication of ideas, feelings, emotions, through the aural sensory receptors in the brain.
Expanded Awareness - creating an altered state of consciousness, a state of higher (expanded) conscious awareness - naturally, through mindfulness meditation and karma yoga... and music.
Zen Connection - my work is about finding peace within. I work with sounds, and musical tones and rhythms to create a peaceful inner resonance that is synchronous and harmonious with Nature. Zen is about finding harmony with Nature. I ask the universe to grant me the aural space in which I can receive and interpret the sonic concepts that naturally flow to me.
In that space provided by Nature, the vast Cosmos - I meditate on these concepts to find creative ways to bind us with Nature, as one - in harmony.
I am just a simple Zen Yogi who likes to create relaxing music for myself and others to enjoy, and to enable the inner being to find peace and harmony with Nature - with all things, all beings, all spirit in the Universe.
Creative Approach - I find that a lot of comments and quotes from Bill Frisell very helpful, and descriptions about his music inspire me greatly in my own humble work and believe these word-descriptions are easily applicable to my own approach: Sparse, minimalist, economy of notes, simple melody, make every note matter.
My daily advice to myself is… Don't be restricted or confined by the man-made ‘boundaries’ of music as art - break free, and create from the heart without limitation.
I think John Coltrane best sums up my feelings about my approach to music creation…
“...I think the main thing a musician would like to do is to give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things he knows of and senses in the universe. That's what music is to me - it's just another way of saying that this is a big, beautiful universe we live in, that's been given to us, and here's an example of just how magnificent and encompassing it is. That's what I'd like to do. I think that's one of the greatest things you can do in life, and we all try to do it in some way. The musician's is through his music.” - John Coltrane
“I have to tell you, it is so amazing what you have done. This music will be here on earth long after you are gone and provide joy and comfort and clarity for many generations of people to come. It was really beautiful to sit and listen to each one. I loved them all!” - Amy Wheeler, Ph.D. – C-IAYT / Yoga Therapist
“Silence is an integral part of all good music” - Aldous Huxley
“Picking only the important notes, and get rid of the ones you don't need.” - Jim Hall
“Music is the silence between the notes.” - Claude Debussy