Day: January 18, 2010

Old Time Zen

A friend from Philadelphia recently sent the following quote to me via email: “A year or so ago on the bluegrass mailing list, one of the bluegrassers was comparing their custom of playing a tune until all the verses had been sung with the old-time custom of playing the same tune ad infinitum. He remarked that the object of old-time music was to bore people. I explained that the object of an old-time jam session is enlightenment (satori, if you will)—boredom is only a means to that end.”  Charlie Bowen This led to a search online (shouldn’t all posts about zen include some reference to a search?) and took me to the original source: an information sheet about a Hillbilly Zen workshop at the 2006 Solfest.  Other bits of wisdom from the workshop: The violin music is important because we play it. Repetition of the tune in the groove leads people to an absorption, a place of clarity which most old-time musicians like. And my favorite: Respect for tradition is a kind of filter. People …