Brad’s Beat June 2016
Disconnect: verb [ with obj. ] break the connection of or between: • take (an electrical device) out of action by detaching it from a power supply.• interrupt or terminate by breaking the connection.
Yesterday, I returned to reality after spending ten days virtually disconnected from the devices that I have come to depend on for communication with my family, friends, and business partners. To share with others the sights, sounds, and aromas of our trip to Utah, Arizona, and Nevada required an old fashioned device called the postcard. Colette diligently bought and posted dozens of notes to our children and our grandchildren as we made our way from one amazing vista to another. Written words and pictures are effective ways to share our wonder at the world around us.
When Colette and I travel, we often take "foot pictures." By shooting a vista with our feet in the foreground, we are able to demonstrate to the world that we shared this experience together. We have a wide selection of these "foot" photos through which to browse, enjoying sweet memories of our travels together. Alas, most travelers today seem to have found that the "selfie stick" accomplishes a similar effect, allowing faces rather than feet to be displayed in the frame. For some reason, we have decided to keep using the "foot picture" as our selfie of choice. Perhaps this is because we have read many reports of "selfie shooters" who have been injured or killed by not paying attention to their surroundings. Believe me, you want to watch where you are going when the drop off at your feet is over a mile deep!
Hiking along the National Park trails of the Southwest, we often encountered fellow travelers who would offer to take a picture of the two of us together. Those "together" pictures are useful as anchor shots for the videos and slideshows that I produce to document our adventures.
The disconnection we encountered during our recent trip was in many ways a good experience. Being exposed to life without the internet helped us to reflect on things that are most important to us and to reconnect more completely to the world when our inevitable return to reality occurred. To be honest, it seems that being connected was near the top of the things we missed while we traveled.
Playing my guitar while sitting on the porch of a cabin we rented near Zion National Park, I found my fingers covering scale patterns and chordal combinations inspired by the experiences of our travels. I enjoy finger picking melodies over unusual harmonizations, and the breathtaking vistas of our vacation encouraged my improvisations. I fully expect to be using some of these travel- inspired scales and chords in my upcoming compositions.
I hope that you will be able to take some time to travel and disconnect from your normal living patterns during the summer months! It is easy to get caught up in the rut of the daily routine and miss opportunities to grow and fulfill our potential as musicians and human beings. Your students will benefit from your experiences as you look at life from different perspectives. As you peer over the edge of a mountain or look out on a vast ocean, you will be gathering insight into what motivates men and women to create great music and art. Perhaps you will be inspired to write a symphony or to call a loved one and express your thanksgiving at being given the opportunity to experience the gift of life. By all means, allow some time to disconnect from your normal routine and to breathe in the inspirational oxygen that fills us all with hope for living.
That's "Brad's Beat" for June, 2016. As you prepare for your summer activities, don't hesitate to call on RBI for support. We share your passion for helping the children of the world learn to express themselves through their experiences with music!