Under The Bodhi Tree

 

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I always thought the phrase "Once more to the Bodhi Tree" was some official Buddhist quote, but a quick search, at least, does not reveal this to be so. What I know about Buddhism fits easily into a thimble, one already filled nine-tenths of the way with sand, so no screaming if I get this wrong, but essentially, the Bodhi Tree is the one under which the Buddha meditated until achieving enlightenment. So around Casa Fretboard, with its population, at last census, of not one but two adult humans constantly navigating the Scylla and Charybdis of art and commerce, the phrase "Once more to the Bodhi Tree" is shorthand for "yeah, I knew this truth [don't read the news after 10pm / don't wait for external validation / don't get into a land war in Asia] but I clearly need to learn it again." Once more to the Bodhi Tree. Or, if there are no kids around, "Once more to the f**king Bodhi Tree," accompanied by much stomping of feet and...

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Mistakes Were Made

Western Swing Chords On The Blues

I was listening to Leo Sidran's podcast The Third Story this week, in particular his interview with pianist and harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy. It's a great interview, including, among other things, Levy's explanation of how the proportions found in common Western scales can also be found in various Afro-Cuban rhythms, and his demonstration of one of his favorite practice techniques, namely, transposing entire Bach inventions through all twelve keys the way some musicians warm up with scales. And this is after talking about and playing through his revolutionary technique for making completely chromatic music on any diatonic harmonica. By that point in the interview, what I really wanted to know was: how does someone find the time to even think about this many things, much less practice them with this kind of depth and detail? And it's not something obvious, like "trust fund, no kids," because he also explains in the same conversation how he left...

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