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“…in a place where the stone wishes to blossom..” – Linda Hogan

March 14, 2016

I was watching the great Canadian songwriter Gordon Lightfoot in concert a few years ago when it struck me that his performance was scripted. Every musician played every note in the same place each night. This made me think about the notions of scripted preforming, in this it wasn’t written down, but was certainly recorded in Lightfoot’s brain. He listens very intently and knows how everything fits together.

We often think of classical music as being scripted since it is written down and other less written forms of music as being more spontaneous. One of the ways people like to distinguish jazz for example is that is contains improvisation. But, as jazz performers play more concert type venues for larger numbers of people, solos tend to stay the same. Great musicians give the impression that they are improvising, when in fact they are playing something that is the same night after night.

In a sense, Lightfoot’s group was playing chamber music that was tightly organized. There are stylistic differences between what he and the group played and typical classical music: the pieces were all on the shorter side, had verses and choruses and comparatively simple harmonic patterns. On the other hand, every piece had a different orchestration and every sound had a place.

Many facets of our life are scripted, as a cashier half-heartedly says “have a nice day”, I find it hard to resist repeating the same words back, even with no honest interaction. Sometimes in domestic life I miss the script entirely and my wife tells me what I am supposed to say: “That is a very brave thing you did dear,” or, “ I am sorry that happened to you.” Scripted dialogue in everyday life can be mindless or comforting.

So I pick up my guitar to play and think whose script am I following, do I want to amaze, enchant, or maHaliburtob Sculpture Forest (30)ke you dream?

It had been a long time since the village had had a feast so they told Nasrudin,

“Tomorrow it is doomsday, we can all go for a picnic, roast your lamb and have one final great meal together?”

“My lamb, is my pride and joy,” Nasrudin said. “I can’t kill my lamb.”

 The villagers were persuasive, “Nasrudin, it is the doomsday, we are all going to die and so will the lamb.” They finally convinced Nasrudin to give up his lamb. The next day they all packed up and headed to the riverbank for a joyful feast. First, they built the spit, then lit the fire and started to roast the lamb. Then they took stripped and went into the river to swim. While everyone was splashing and laughing in the water, Nasrudin gathered up all of the clothes and threw them into the fire. When the swimmers returned, the lamb was deliciously roasted and all the clothes were burnt.

“ Wha, what happened to our clothes?’ they asked.

“I needed them for the fire, as you know tomorrow is doomsday, you won’t be needing them ever again.”

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