“To become integrated and healthy … You need to sense the patterns of preparation, stress, and release contained in your scores, and let these patterns inform and animate your gestures, which become varied and adaptable rather than habitual and fixed.”
— Pedro de Alcantara, Integrated Practice: Coordination, Rhythm and Sound (OUP 2011)
I’m really enjoying reading Pedro’s new book published this year. There are a great deal of nuggets of insight that keep me wondering and contemplating. I see the very reading of the book as an opportunity to explore my own relationship with the Alexander Technique and I am allowing myself not to endgain and “try” to complete the book.
Twelve pages in I can sense a broader design for the book that will lead me with real skill through his discussion of practice. The quote that struck me (at the start of this post) made me think: scores are more choreographical instructions are they not? Within the score are a series of physical gestures, and careful contemplation of them will allow effective and faithful performances. Scores are not just streams of notes. I find myself composing physically rather than in pitches – the combination of pitches results from a desire to create gestures.
I think this book will be such valuable reading. I also think its impact on my own practice will be progressive and like the Alexander Technique, cumulative.