Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Always Ready for Tea Time.

I realised that the majority of pictures in my 'wish list' folder are related to tea time. Tea time is my favourite time!


Unpopularity, Lack of Money and Frustration.

I'm reading this fantastically thought provoking book at the moment, brought for me by the wonderfully read Nicole Williams, "The Consolations of Philosophy". I'm in the midst of the third chapter, "Consolation for Frustration", after reading "Consolation for Unpopularity" and "Consolation for Not Having Enough Money". Obviously, this book was written for someone just like me to read :)

I shall share some of the wisdom of the book with y'all now:

"Though the terrain of frustration may be vast- from a stubbed toe to an untimely death- at the heart of every frustration lies a basic structure: the collision of a wish with an unyielding reality."

"Consolation for Not Having Enough Money" is definitely my favourite chapter so far. It explores connections between money and happiness. Yeah, it turns out there aren't too many connections. So my future isn't so bleak after all! It's so obviously true though, I was a happy child while my dad was studying- living on the basics ain't a curse. Happyness is in freedom, relationships and thought.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Take Away Show.

I love these "take away shows"!! The sound and ambiance they capture is just perfect. As if Iron and Wine needed to be any more hauntingly beautiful:

And I had no idea The Shins were so much fun! Now I understand a little better why their music is at the level of awesome that it's at:

A new perspective of Vampire Weekend:


Monday, March 7, 2011

No Enlightenment on the Topic of Enlightenment.

This semester at uni, I'm taking a class on World Music, studying music's relationship to different cultures through religion. It's pretty sweet. Today the lecture was on Buddhism. I know a little about Buddhism, as I based my year 12 artworks on it a couple of years ago, and I found it absolutely fascinating. So much so, that I did a fair bit of unnecessary research on it, before deciding to work with a media that I had absolutely no experience in and making a pretty mundane project. But that's another story.

So yes, the lecture. We were going over The Eightfold Path, and the idea behind 'Right Mindfulness' got me thinking. My (wandering) thoughts tied it into something we were discussing earlier, about music fusing time and space to reflect eternity and freeze the flow of time.. it's a very confusing concept, and I brushed it off as mumbo jumbo when it was first brought up. The basic idea behind 'Right Mindfulness', is living in the present, and really experiencing your sensations and thoughts. It's a beautiful idea in theory, but practically impossible to stick to!

Music is used in some religions to go outside of the boundaries of the mind. Outside of 'rational' thinking and pure logic. It 'fuses time and space' by bringing the past and present together, forming one whole thing. A piece of music is the reflection of someones mind state in the past (when it was written), while also reflecting their mind state in the present (when it is performed); neither being of more importance. So as the writer and performer of a piece, you're in a kind of limbo! As a listener, however, you're in a different place again: your present is the result of someone elses fused past and present.

The concept of 'Right Mindfulness' in relation to this is quite interesting. As a writer, you can go back to the past and essentially reembody it. While I'm playing music I've written, I feel as though I am in the present more so than usual, as I'm experiencing my senses to an extreme level, and am focused on my feelings and thoughts of that exact moment. But does this reembodied past count as present? Does it change when I'm playing something I haven't written?

As a listener, it can be the two extremes. I've been to concerts where I can't bring myself to pay attention. I try to listen, but get distracted by contemplative thoughts of completely unrelated things. On the other hand, there have been concerts where my attention doesn't leave the music it's entirety. The first symphony I ever witnessed went for 2 hours, and I heard every single bar of it.

Unlike Buddha, I have not reached any level of enlightenment on the subject of music and time. However, it continues to fascinate me, so I shall continue to ramble about it to anyone who will listen. If you actually read to the end of this without losing interesting or having your brain explode with confusion, come and collect your prize.