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From April of 2013... From my point of view, we in contemporary Western Society (especially us more rebellious types) undervalue and underestimate the power of sitting in a room of like-minded people for days or weeks, without worrying or thinking about anything else, in the presence of a caring, knowledgable teacher, for days or weeks of total immersion into a subject that we are drawn to and are passionate about. Indigenous cultures, and ancient cultures knew/know the power of this kind of experience, but we in contemporary Western culture only get to experience it sporadically, if at all...sadly.
I've had some experiences over the years that have really taught me the value of total immersion into a subject of passion for a length of time with like-minded kindred spirits. As a result, I've often day-dreamed that it would be a really fun and incredible thing to create an "Ambient Music School of Self-Discovery." The centerpiece would not only be the creation, production, techniques, technical aspects, and sharing of ambient music, but the focus would also be deep and intense self-evolution and self-discovery, deep awareness of one's connection with one's surroundings, and the possibility for deep connection to others that can come from the creative act of making this kind of music. This nexus of experience—making the music, sharing the space for a length of time, sharing techniques, experiences and passion—would cause a kind of alchemical transformation, not in the abstract and just an idea, but in action and evidence in practice.
I think the idea of a school is a really intriguing idea, because it seems that generally speaking, we as ambient musicians can be sort of reclusive, isolated and inward. Not to mention the fact that we are all scattered throughout the globe and only get to meet and greet one another at rare big events or occasional get-togethers...or in chat or blogs. So, just the idea of signing up for a class, traveling for it, extending oneself to others in order to learn and share, could move us out of our inwardness and into a new place emotionally and spiritually, learn and grow—and ultimately bring that knowledge back to our little individual caves of introspection.
This school could be traveling, moving from location to location, or it could be an actual bricks and mortar building, with dorms, a kitchen, a studio and performance space. Of course, as with any class on a creative subject, there would be all levels of participants, from up-and-comers, established artists, newbies, multi-disciplinary artists who want to add music to their pallet of colors, therapists, scientists, etc. All these would be welcome, and naturally, each would be teachers in the classes in their own right, bringing unique insights and experiences that enrich everyone. Because of the highly individual nature of the music and the students, personal idiosyncrasy and method of expression would be just as open—there would be no creating musical clones or a cult or personality. The creative emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of making one's own personalized expressions, relative to one's own life, needs and experiences would be the emphasis. Of course, there would be a nominal tuition, that's how food, light, space, etc., would be paid for...ah-hem.
What do you think of this idea all you ambient musicians, lovers, thinkers? Maybe if we start intending it, it will come to fruition! Does this make your isolationist-indvidualistic-pioneering skin crawl, or does this dreaming-out-loud light you up with excitement?