More from Gwen about the intersectionality of music with other art forms, with coaching paradigms, healthy mental skills, emotional intelligence, creative intuition, self compassion, Interpersonal Neurobiology (Dr. Dan Siegel) and so much more. A little back story about the graphic chosen too.... There are many colours and hues woven and blended together in an abstract way. And at the same time, if you look closely, you may recognize some lines amongst the waves and spirals...integrating both the close-up and panoramic view (Daniel Coyle "Talent Code") over and over again.... both the linear, critical, stepwise left hemisphere, and the spiral, creative, imaginative right (Dr Ian Gilchrist). The effortlessness of the clarity occurs through the linear intention of a plan, critically listening to what we don't know yet - figure it out and fix it. Add in some warm golden fire (what fires together, wires together) of the "lighting in a bottle", "ha" moment, of the imagination, heartmath "felt sense", positive self talk, support, sing, laugh, dance, draw, read), with deep listening to the "greats" but also to our own voice, and the alchemy takes on a life of its own that we learn to recognize, value and love.
There are also golden "threads" visible throughout the Flute Tapestry graphic - they can be what you like - what resonates deeply for you and brings energy into your system. For me, one golden thread is the building of myelin (through struggle, repetition, and a willingness to be bored) which creates the super highway of subconscious mastery...there isn't a by pass to this effort - at the same time, we can bring a sense of joy to it all.
A thread may be the connection between a note which is in tune (according to the tuner) and In Tune Tone (overtones resonate), the connection of playing in tune with ourselves (accommodating flute fallacies) and with others. Another is the recognition of the connection between in tune tone and "difference tones"...how they resonate differently than "dissonance".
Thread of another art form - Kintsugi - the Japanese art form by which the cracks in the ceramics are filled with gold to make in stronger - the process of deeply honouring the flaws. Thread of poetry - "The wound is where the light enters" Rumi. I propose that it is also through the crack by which we may reflect the warm golden tapestry light out as well.
Even more from Gwen...
This project is the culmination of my lived experiences thus far; of nurturing the Pender Island Flute Retreat vision, of Life Coaching, teaching, and performing, as a lifelong learner, new Reiki practitioner, and as a parent of musicians.
My greatest joy bubbles forth when a new golden thread of connection reveals itself, and then the work begins to weave it into the 3+ dimensional, mysterious, methodical, and musical flute tapestry. Here are some golden threads that have taken some form!
The Paradigm(s) and Paradox of our ever changing, yet constant relationship to ourselves, our instrument, our roles, the team, and thestories. My physical body has changed often in my 35 year career, sometimes limiting the hours I can hold my instrument sideways, and at the same time, I've put in my hours when I was younger and that myelin has held up. I've also invested in cross training, pilates, yoga, as well as Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais workshops to keep my physical body ready to play. There is the emotional, mental and energetic body and how they're all woven together with the physical and each other!
We can see it woven together if we look closely, and create/learn a methodology, yet if we're too closely attached to it, we may then lose sight of the bigger picture - the abstract unknown mystery of it all.
This all aligned for me after I had completed my Life Coach training in 2017. There was so much overlap between the paradigm of coaching (Intuitive sensing, with action plan) and the retreat vision/admin, teaching/admin, practicing/admin...with "being present" while performing and practicing compassionate self talk, mental skills, emotional intelligence, creative intuition, and leadership...with letting go and allowing flow/group flow a place - trust the training. So I created a programme incorporating some of these concepts called Musician Wellness and Leadershipand presented it at PIFR for the last few years, across Canada and online.
Ease within the Effort The joy of storytelling seems to be a never ending supply of motivating fuel to keep reinvesting in the music, artistry, and technique. It has empowered me to face what I don’t know yet, while accepting that I’ll never know everything, and has also enheartened my own relationship to excellence. Finding the ease within the effort while wrestling and reckoning with “this is my best in this moment, and it can be better”, “it is through struggle that myelin is built”, and, as my bassist friend Sam Loeck says, ”it's a privilege to get to work hard”.
Honouring the Mystery in the Music,in one’s imagination, and in storytelling, while respecting the methodology of “In Tune Tune” (Wibb term). In this I am inspired by both William and Michie Bennett, who taught at the flute retreat in 2018. The phrases and words that William Bennett used in teaching - “I love you”, “Darling”, “Wonderful”, “Go to there”, “Come away”, “Taxi”, “Elephant” - are the What we’re trying to communicate. Michie Bennett provided the how! TheWhyis In Tune Tone musical storytelling, with character and colour. For more about “how check out Mastering the Flute with William Bennett by Roderick Seed.
Generosity and Graciousness In this I am again inspired by Wibb. For me, he changed the sound posts by which we hear music and the flute! He sounded like a French Horn, and emulated the Masters of piano, voice and violin, incorporating bowings and vocalize into his methodology. Start at 2’30” in this PIFR youtube clip to see WIBB demonstrating a “Brahmsian” piano approach to Dohnanyi Passacaglia. Singing, dancing, and acting “method”, the PIFR morning workshops, breathing sessions, and Laughter Yoga found their way into his Masterclasses. “You know how it goes, now emulate yourself” was a quote from a PIFR 2021 Interview. In my joy filled imagination I envision him waiving his magic flute wand to empower the performers to trust their own musical voice. To me, this is the essence of Wibb’s generous spirit.
I play on an Miguel Arista headjoint, which is the original Wibb Wing model. I love the effortless resonance, and everytime I look at it I think of Wibb and his generosity in allowing me to purchase the original from him!
For more PIFR material, please visit www.fluteretreat.com
There are so many people to thank for the meaningful years together at PIFR, in addition to William Bennett and Lorna McGhee. Faculty Roger Admiral (2015-2021), Colleen Athparia (2010-2014), Michie Bennett (2018), Heather Campbell (2010-2016), Carolyn Christie (2020), Leah Halversen (2014), Wayne McNab (2010-2017), Dr Gabriella Minnes-Brandes (2011-2021), Catherine Sherlock (2017). Administrators/Assistants Dr. Alex Conway (2020-2021), Brianna Jones (2018, 2019), Sarah Gieck MacDonald (2010-2014), Emma Shubin (2015-2018). The chef’s Nora Brolette, Theresa-Jane Daly, Pierre Delacote, Poets Cove staff, and Catherine Poitin. The Calgary and Pender Communities for their support. Annual sponsors Long & McQuade and Altus flutes, Ptarmigan Arts, as well as major donors Mr. and Dr. Klassen, Courtenay Hardy, Dr. Susan Day, as well as granting agencies, Community Initiatives Programme, Alberta Foundation for the Arts. For more please visit.
None of this would have been possible without the encouraging and inspiring flute teachers of my youth, Jan Kocman, Mr. Kujala and Laurel Ridd.
Wellness and Leadership is Incorporated on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who work, create and play in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.
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