Lord of Discipline

Alexandra, my friend from the “Frozen North,” imparted to me kindly words to ponder by way of comments to my post Needed: A Lord of Discipline, and she was spot on to predict that I might be totally surprised by my ruminations.

In this 2012 post, I posited that it’s the musical journey that matters to me—not necessarily the destination. I’m a seeker of enlightenment, a passenger of this reality who is driven to view things through a Zen lens. My practice room is my meditation hall, a sacred place of musical spiritualism and discipline, a sanctuary where I approach my practice with humility and personal resolve to seek enlightenment through deliberate acts of repetitive exercises. Indeed, each practice session has a goal, a set of objectives that target specific areas of performance, technique, and expression. New material evolves from first contact to development to refinement and finally to inclusion into my repertoire, musical pieces that I can play with confidence and artistic expression.

My guitars are as sacred as the practice room; they are truly instruments of discipline. It is better to pluck one note with clarity of mind and a humble heart, than to strum a chord with nebulous intent and maniacal arrogance. What I do musically is neither for the pursuit of fame nor glory, but rather it’s to make a difference in my life, and should someone find value in what I do, then that is all that truly matters at the end of the day.

My primary musical goal may be to compose, arrange, play, and produce original music, including songs and soundscapes; my secondary goal may include covering my favorite songs from classical, country, pop, and jazz. Performing live is not necessarily a goal that I contemplate, however the door is open. It is my passion to achieve this goal because playing music requires discipline and provides a medium in which I can express myself where words and imagery do not suffice. But in my heart, down in its deepest regions, I do what I do to honor my father, a great man who left this world too soon. It is not enough to merely write about my father, for words, no matter how eloquently they’re weaved into prose, can’t express the profound loss that I feel.


Dad and Hank

Like that rattled old clock hanging over the piano
My heart skips a beat when I think of you not here
The sum of what was once you sits inside an oak urn
But I know somewhere you’re listening to my music
Music connects me with you since you’ve been gone
I do what I do because you shared Hank’s old vinyls
Tell me you found him and the PBR is pouring cold
If you run into Miss Cline tell her for me she’s hot
Keep a watchful eye over me as I tame these guitars
For you’re my muse now dad and I thank you for that


 

2 comments

  1. What a powerful, humbling and yes, very moving post, Kenny. And I am humble, humble that you even mention me as in some way giving you any help. If anything, just a gentle reminded that what we do is for many reasons, and has many rewards and obstacles on any number of levels. And whatever path we’ve chosen, and for whatever reason, it helps to sometimes stop and look, and just quietly listen to our hearts to be reminded.

    You honour not only your father, but yourself too. Thank you for sharing your words and yes, part of your world.

    And your music? Had me choked. Beautiful!

    • Kenny says:

      Thank you for the warm words; they are appreciated in many ways. This was an emotionally difficult piece for me, which became harder to pull together as I put more effort into it, but eventually your timely words nudged me in the direction that I needed to go. I saw my dad smiling, too!

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