February 8, 2011

Phil Lewis Quartet CD - Status Update

As I write this, the new record is in the mastering stage. As you probably know, mastering is last stage of the production process before duplication. With any luck, we're hopeful that the record will (finally) be ready for duplication within the next couple of weeks. Which means that if all goes as planned (it could happen...), the CD should be available sometime in March. So keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned for details.


I sincerely apologize for the lengthy gestation period and want to thank you all for your contributions, support, good humor, and patience. =PL

February 1, 2011

Why Play?

During my morning drive I was listening to the second Michael Meade CD, The Light Inside Dark Times. (Have you heard this? It's wonderful.) Meade's talking about how in dark times we need to move closer to the soul at the center of our being; that as the culture comes apart it becomes necessary for us to become more centered. And he talks about how most arts and spiritual practices are designed to do just that. He gives the example of spinning a pot. The potter, he says, has to be centered in himself in order for the pot to stay centered on the wheel. Otherwise the pot comes out uneven. What's more, Meade says, this is the actual purpose of spiritual and artistic practice; and it's true of dance, and music, and painting, etc. The purpose of these practices is not to achieve celebrity, riches, or accolades. It is, simply, to center ourselves.

Suddenly the necessity of playing my instrument became very clear: The meaning of the activity is not "out there" as in getting across to an audience (although that may be a side benefit); the meaning is "in here" and not in the traditional tired old Romantic notion of "self expression" (although that also may be a secondary benefit); no, it's "in here" as in moving closer to the center. Playing music is a form of meditation and that is the only real and genuine reason for doing it. Because it centers us, and when we move closer to the healing soul we become a healing agent in the world. If we happen to do that in the presence of others, they cannot help but respond. And if we do it alone, we still carry that healing into world, whether or not we are consciously aware of it. And the fact is that it's so simple to do, to connect with the center -- all that is necessary is to breathe. In fact Meade says something like, "music when combined with proper breathing", or something to that effect, is the way to do this.