On the importance and abundance of not thinking; also, illusion

I’ve come to the basic conclusion that I’m better at absolutely everything when I don’t think about it. This is, of course, a surprise, utterly unsurprising and completely liberating.

I just royally effed up a piano piece by making the grave mistake of paying attention to what I was doing. It was right at the end – I literally had to freestyle an ending in an entirely different key. This happened because I started thinking about the fact that it was quite incredible that my fingers knew exactly what they were doing and if I was asked what notes I was playing I would have no particular attachment to any particular answer. Muscle memory; gets totally messed up when you notice it’s happening; when your inner voice start remarking that your brain is possibly redundant. The ego kicks off and wants some appreciation, so it slaps down the bigger part of your brain that already knows what it’s doing. Continue reading

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A little chain of song

Nursery rhymes. Utter abandon. Twinkle twinkle little star. Then Disney (every single word to the Sing-along Disney video cassette with my older brother). Later, Nintendo 64, and idle humming – the soundtrack of concentration when zipping along, jumping for coins and racing racing racing (I always came second; I think this was my most relaxed). My favourite was Goldeneye, best game ever, though I don’t think I sang along to that – too scared; my younger brother could jump from behind a wall and shoot me at any moment if I didn’t hold my entire body taut or if I blinked.

Singing in the chorus of Orpheus & Eurydice. ‘Do not listen, Eurydice; Eurydice stay.’

Relentless a capella versions of Destiny’s Child’s Emotions in Design & Technology (the teacher wanting to encourage, but also wanting us to shut up). A 60s-style miniskirt (so short; I still have it) sewn with wild thoughts of becoming an internationally famous girl group (my friend was posh enough to have actual singing lessons at her house, which I was welcomed to once or twice when I was at her house after school. We sang two part harmonies which I can still remember to the T. She had a deadly serious idea that we could compete for the title of ‘most roly-polys in one minute’ and made us practise on a garden mat. She sucked a dummy. Her Mum served desiccated coconut with pitta bread at dinner time; I thought it was incredibly exotic. She is now, I think, an actual singer.) Continue reading

Bundle of Perceptions

I am absolutely convinced that some people will only ever view the urge to travel as wanting to escape or run away from reality. I sit here with flutters in my chest, blood pumping, that familiar restlessness that has hit me over the last couple of days – come sooner than I expected, this time. I don’t want to go away because of hating my life – I love vast swathes of my life and many of the tiniest moments that make them up, I’m very happy, in fact – I’m not in search of anything, unless you count being in search of experience. I always want that – to know how everything feels. I think I want to greet or acknowledge my other possible selves. It is a strange thing to feel that you are made of so many components, and that you have scattered those components around the globe. There are parts of this planet that I genuinely feel I have stayed in; that to drop in to a particular country or revisit a recent place would be akin to catching up with myself; I see myself still in these places, getting on with things, living differently and looking up in a garden, casually, upon my arrival, face to face with myself, saying – oh, look at these flowers I planted; look how I started a band. It is these possibilities I chase or want to revisit.

It’s not just about myself though; it’s about this enormous, preposterous thing we live on; this earth. Continue reading

‘So you can see me, I put make up on my face’ – Modelling Zen, or ‘Am I thick enough yet?’

Sometimes people ask me what, in my opinion, makes a good art model. I have roughly a zillion different answers to this question, depending on my mood, but one thing remains (and I think would apply to more ‘mainstream’ modelling, as well): you’ve got to be thick skinned.

This isn’t as simple as it sounds.

The obvious things are these: you have to be prepared to see yourself as an object. I go through a flurry of indecision about my beliefs on this; are you objectifying yourself by modelling? Are other people objectifying you? If so, is that OK? Continue reading