Lay it DOWN: Techno-Spoons & Embodied Musicality

My friend and flatfooting buddy, Alex Barron recently sent me this video.

Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to learn that I freaked the heck out. I have watched this video many, many times in writing this post and I am still in awe (and “aaaawwwe”) at the simple, beautiful spirit that this man is living. His timing is impeccable. His phrasing is perfect. He is dancing as he plays. He is joyful and so expressively ALIVE. And he is living proof that the spoons (much maligned and with good reason) really CAN be an instrument.

Mostly, what grabbed me is that you can SEE the music in this man’s body. When I teach, especially in the context of teaching Irish music on the bodhran, I talk a lot about the idea that the music is not in the drum or in your hands but in your body. Playing well demands that we not only listen to the music, but actively hear and express it with our very molecules. This embodying of the music is something I see in all of my very favorite instrumentalists and dancers, regardless of musical form or idiom.

This is also one of the great challenges of being a student of music. To embody music in this way, you have to learn not just how to listen to the music, not just actively hear it as you are playing… you also have to learn how to make it a full-body, physical experience. I would offer the opinion that any good musician does this after a point, without thinking, whether they realize it or not. It is what makes their music exceptional.

I really cannot get enough of this guy. Spoons Playing Man, I salute you.

Well played sir!


~ by matthew olwell on May 4, 2013.

3 Responses to “Lay it DOWN: Techno-Spoons & Embodied Musicality”

  1. A revelation! The artist known as Simon Spoons (here and there on YouTube and now on Facebook). You’re spot on, Mr. O!

  2. This is great! Thanks Matt.

    Sent from my iPhone

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