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Embrace: The Mind, Body, and Soul

 
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Embrace: The Mind, Body, and Soul
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WritersBlock
Seven
Rank: 6


Joined: 15 Jun 2008
Posts: 89
Location: Australia

Post Embrace: The Mind, Body, and Soul Reply with quote
As I'm first and foremost a musician, I'll start my point with a song;
"Embrace" by Pnau: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo2aOEhlqfQ

It's catchy as all hell, but what it represents, through the title and through the ambition of the musicians, is what intrigues me the most. To embrace something, to truly devote yourself to a higher goal, or experience, is to be truly alive and in sync with the world. I've felt it as a growing experience, primarily with my music, but with other things as well. I've felt that as I've grown and matured, I've gained the self-confidence to lose myself in a performance. Last month I performed a piano solo of my own composition in front of parents, teachers, other performers, critics, and the music appreciating community. And I embraced the music, and I loved every minute of it, the feeling was exhilirating, pure and simple.
But it's not unique, in fact, I'm sure many musicians get lost in the moment, and embrace their music as a total appreciation of the medium of music in its entirity. And it's not just musicians, writers, artists, they can embrace anything, provided that it's a vast enough category that you can immerse yourself in the bigger picture.

As with my music, like others, I've grown towards what "sounds good", but I've also grown to accept and even like some of the stuff others might dismiss as garbage. There's been quite a few times when I'll play one of my CDs, and my parents or my brother will say something along the lines of "turn that shit off". It's all a matter of perspectives, I guess. But I've taken it upon myself to embrace many different styles. Where I've previously looked at hip hop and cringed, I'm a little more open to it now. I grew up listening to mainstream punk, but now I listen to various forms of electronica, classical, rock, metal, it's all music, and it's all good. Personally, I hate genres. I'll create a song and put it under "Drum and Bass" or "Techno" and people will say "oh, hey, that's not (insert genre), that sucks!", but when you give a song a genre, you're pretty much saying that the song should sound like this, and it needs to have this, this, this and this in it. It's all about boundaries and rules. I'm not a fan of baroque music (approx. 1600-1750) simply for the way that the composers so tightly stuck to their rules on how to write a song. They'd have so many categories and sub-catoegories which were just templates that only needed the notes put in, whereas the music written closer to the 20th century aimed at evoking emotions and breaking away from the predictability of the music in the past. Baroque music and classical music do have their place in my CD collection, but they don't compare to contemporary compositions that redefine, and expand upon the totality of music.



Only a few days ago, I watched quite a good movie, called "Into The Wild". It follows the journey of a man who gives up his education, and all his worldly posessions to live off the bare necessities in the wild. Based on a true story, we witness Christopher McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp) transform into a resourceful hunter/gatherer. It becomes apparent throughout the movie that the reasoning behind his actions is simply to embrace nature and to live away from the corruption of money. If we take the act of embracing to mean to accept something whole-heartedly, the good with the bad, then you could go on to say that it takes a certain willpower to have that whole-hearted acceptance of something that could be percieved as "flawed" or "imperfect", such as how the beauty of the natural landscape cannot be embraced without being there and living there, a place that is deemed unfit for human living. To brave the elements, to be at one with the land, to take the pros and cons of living a life in the wild and throwing them away, and just being there for the sake of experiencing what precious little is left of the nature world, is to truly embrace nature in all its glory.



But don't think you need to go outside to embrace life! I've found that most of the time, you just need to get in tune with yourself and your own mind and go with what you love doing. For me? I love exploring and learning more about music and literature. I finished high school last year, but I've learned a lot this year, I'm constantly composing, and working on the mistakes I make there, trying new styles, experimenting, listening to new stuff, commercial and non-commercial, getting right in the thick of it. I've also got back into reading and writing some good fiction. I'll do a little bit of research to get some of my facts straight, I'll go on to dictionary.com to expand on my vocabulary, and check that I'm using words in the right context. I'm just experiencing the creative media and learning more and more about my own imagination. I'm embracing my own mind, and trying to make the most of it. People are so full of doubt and negativity, all this rubbish about self-image. Sure, you should worry about your weight, and remaining healthy, but it's as much a mental thing as it is a physical thing. Do you complain about it, convincing yourself of your own depression and wallow in self-pity? Or do you do something about it, and prove to yourself that you're better than that? The human mind is a powerful thing. So many people get lost in their own lives, shrink away into routine and live an ordinary life. Hey, my life may not be all that amazing, but I create, I'm constantly exhersizing my creativity, and I'm embracing wonderful new thoughts all the time.



One thing in particular I've found interesting, is the complete open-mindedness of the main character of a book I'm reading, called "The Broken God", by David Zindell. The main character (nicknamed "Danlo the Wild") moves to the city in his adolescence, with his neanderthal upbringing being the only one he's ever known. He's taken in by a Fravashi elder (they're an alien race), and taught about the city, and lectured about the ways of the Fravashi. That is to learn of different religions and beliefs, or "world-views" as they are called, as the knowledge of these different ways of perceiving the world and the different ways of living helps to understand of a more universally accepted way of life. Now, Danlo took this form of learning upon himself, and went further. He went out, and joined cults and churches, experienced devotions to various Gods and various beliefs, experiencing each one fully, before letting it go for a new religion. Now, as a work of fiction, his actions are remarkably ideological, but the idea of accepting these various perceptions of the world, and understanding and empathising with the people who believe in Gods or believe in rituals, it rings true of a universal embrace, a spiritual embrace, a soul searching experience.



As I mentioned near the start, a lot of musicians can get lost in the moment, such is their embrace, an utter adoration for the one thing that makes them truly happy. It's in these creative outlets that people can freely express their love and enjoyment for their work, because it's so much easier to express through your creativity and imagination. There are so many people who don't have that creative ability who actually have to think hard and work hard to find what really makes them tick, that they'll probably never really know the feeling of the adrenaline of a full on, no holds barred embrace.
So, FourthPerspective users, what are you waiting for? You've got a talent, you've got a passion for literature, now go on and embrace your talents for all that it's worth.



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"If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't."-David Zindell: Neverness
Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:00 am View user's profile Send private message
Michael Danton
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Very true, although you lost me in the more prosaic parts, I can support those ideals of losing yourself in your work and doing it for no other reason than some form of self fulfillment. At least those sentiments were true for me when I was your age, since then I've been somewhat hardened by life and now I view the world with a critical eye. It's surely a joy to do things simply for the wonderment of it; however now I'm a mercenary in it's strictest sense -- What's in it for me? What can I get out of it? Is it worth my time... And there's the bottom line right there... Time. Something that becomes more oppressively finite with every passing moment.

Now that I think about it, I do enjoy writing more than other forms of work so I sought to make it my profession; however now I no longer see it as a hobby and take it very seriously indeed. I'm a Speculative (screen)writer and I've explored a great many avenues to remove the "speculative" part from my title. I've tried competitions, investigated online publishing and continue to attempt successful collaborations with animators, comic artists, VA's and Musicians... I've run the Gamut and the fact remains that self appreciation is delusion, mediocrity and ultimately retarding without public appreciation. That's why I started FourthPerspective and that's precisely the reason I'm so irritated that it didn't eventuate at all the way I'd planned, and continue to plan.

Our time may come with this musical, but it's not going to be ready this year I'm afraid. Like you, real life -- in the form of our educations has reared it's ugly head and effectively doubled my workload- something I didn't expect to happen and came as a great shock when it did...

I guess what I'm trying to say is, when you're dedicated, there's always a way... But it won't be through some nebulous ethereal appreciation for education or literature -- it's going to be true grit tempered to a razors edge that's going to drive through all the bullshit and see things through to completion. Maybe then you'll feel some need to look back glassy-eyed and marvel at your own magnificence

M.

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"I wouldn't say abrasive. I'd rather say you're a cool soothing groove with a hint of jazz..."

-Alpheez
Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:29 am View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
WritersBlock
Seven
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Joined: 15 Jun 2008
Posts: 89
Location: Australia

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Yeah, not many people pursue big dreams and ambitions because of time and practicality. I'm facing these decisions at the moment, I'm just fortunate to have a lot of time on my hands in which to pursue my hobbies. But you can have a fulfilling life without turning your hobby into an all-consuming occupation. I'm just a humble cashier at my local Bunnings, but I haven't let that turn me into Boris McBoringperson. I come home to my computer, which has a keyboard hooked up to it, I'll have some decent speakers to hook up to my computer when I move out of home, and it's all working around my life and my plans. And I guess that's what it's all about, if you can't reach that ultimate goal, then you comprimise, you factor in whatever it takes to keep that hobby going. I could have just stopped with music all together when I was failing year 12 music, but when it comes down to it, music is just music, and you don't need grades or a degree to make music. Sure, it may help, but it's a base instinct thing, I keep up the music, and I'll keep up a happy, healthy lifestyle.
That sounds way too simple to work, but what can I say, I'm a passive person. I can play the tough critic card when need be.
True, you can't just float around and expect things to just happen for you, but if you've got your feet firmly planted in reality, you'll be able to work your way through your problems and reach your goals. As much as my post sounds like "if you dream big and wish hard enough, anything can happen", I'd like to believe that I've got good practical skills for my age and life experience, and I know that following some miracle textbook formula won't work out all peachy in the real world.
As I've said, it's about your perspective. If you have that positive outlook, and if you have your realistic goals, then reaching those goals doesn't sound like a daunting task, and it's not like you're lying to yourself thinking that you can achieve them.

Well, let's see how I feel about this when Uni starts next year, and I don't have all the time in the world to mess around with music and literature and junk. Razz

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"If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't."-David Zindell: Neverness
Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:38 am View user's profile Send private message
nairo
Two
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Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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Post Reply with quote
Maybe you'll like this song as much as I do. Also quite catchy

Called Angelica by Lamb,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIX8cqbmK5s
Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:06 am View user's profile Send private message
Michael Danton
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Sometimes there's a great value in being Boris McBoringperson as you put it. Boris to me is a person who knows what's going on, has a plan and consistently moves toward it unflinchingly. I like Boris a great deal, he's someone I can rely on to come through and do exactly what he says... To me he represents substance and means and I find him vastly more impressive than his brothers "Spliff McHippy" and "Flash McPan".

I've spent far too much time being the latter pair so I'll ask a direct borrislike question. Can you and will you turn my play into a musical?
M.

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"I wouldn't say abrasive. I'd rather say you're a cool soothing groove with a hint of jazz..."

-Alpheez
Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:43 am View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
WritersBlock
Seven
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Joined: 15 Jun 2008
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Location: Australia

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On the contrary, you're not a very Boris person at all in that you're attempting the musical and striving for something more than the desk job, something more than mediochrity.
To take a roundabout answer to your question, I have attempted several music/movie collabs in the past, however there have only been few that have worked. Why? Well I hate to sound so negative towards those I've worked alongside, but they were just people who had a really good idea at first but then interest faded, and they lacked the technique and the know how to make this sort of thing work. Inexperience and a lack of realistic ambition. They'll either try harder next time, or become Boris and stop trying altogether. Me? I'm very inexperienced. On a professional level, there's no doubt about that. Musicals? I've performed in one, I've seen a few, but it ends there. Aside from seeing my own guitar score for the music, I haven't got much experience to go on. As far as composing goes, I've spent the last 2 years meddling around and learning a lot of new things, but it's all a matter of trial and error for me. If you give me a script to work with, you'd be better than all the other people I've worked with, and that should give me the drive to come up with some music. Can I deliver you a musical? Judging by the compositional standards I'm working with now, I'd like to say yes. Will I? Well it's hard to place a giant green tick in that box, but I think with time, perseverence and good communication, if you deliver me a script, I'll deliver you a score.

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"If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't."-David Zindell: Neverness
Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:40 am View user's profile Send private message
Michael Danton
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That was precisely the answer I was hoping for, as in the end it all comes down to a mutual trust and understanding. As for previous collaborations, I believe we may have worked with the same people. It's a tender trap to embrace your romantic ambitions and allow your reach to exceed your grasp.

Although you profess your personal experience to be limited, I feel you've understated yourself as you've created dozens of musical compositions seemingly for the hell of it. As have I created more than a thousand pages of scripts and perhaps the same amount of prose for speculative purposes -- not all of it is attributed to myself on this website. Since we've proven ourselves adept at our chosen craft, all that remains to be seen is the partnership and quality of our respective work, please clarify that this is your only reservation as Boris does not mix his words... that's Flash's job.

I can guarantee you're going to get a play and I assure you it's going to be magnificent from start to finish entirely on its own without music. Music is so important to me is because the second you add it, we're immediately stepping on all the other playwrights/musicians heads as it's immensely more attractive and marketable.

M.

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"I wouldn't say abrasive. I'd rather say you're a cool soothing groove with a hint of jazz..."

-Alpheez
Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:03 am View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dr. E. Worm
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Joined: 12 Mar 2007
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Location: St. Louis

Post Reply with quote
Quite the inspiring post, and it's interesting to me because I've kind of been starting to work on a lot of the ideals you're talking about. As soon as the college application process releases its stranglehold on my sanity, I'm going to be diving right back into my creativity.

Which reminds me: concerning this musical you're talking about. If either of you need any lyrical assistance, I could take a crack at it if you'd like...

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"No, I don't mind being the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -Ozymandias, "Watchmen"
Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:50 pm View user's profile Send private message
Michael Danton
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As you can see, WB certainly has a way with words and I welcome his input in regards the script and lyrics. Similarly I hope he will be as equally receptive to my suggestions regarding the score.

As I said before, it's an even partnership between WB and myself; however I wouldn't be opposed to giving you full credit for the lyrics if we decide they're better than our own efforts. My biggest goal right now is just to make it as good as it can possibly be.
M.

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"I wouldn't say abrasive. I'd rather say you're a cool soothing groove with a hint of jazz..."

-Alpheez
Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:49 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
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