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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

Flying Fish Guitarists And Other Animals

What we can learn from our fellow creatures

Awaking this morning I lay very still, mindful that my-writing-a-blog-day had come round one more time.

From nowhere a thought suddenly entered my head: that observation in a spirit of jollity is the surrogate mother of invention. And although it is not enough by itself, jollity surely oils the wheels of learning too.

Finding myself in a thoroughly good mood, a frivolous question occurred to me: if animals could become musicians which of their natural character traits would be advantageous or otherwise, and which would we, in observing them, wish to imitate or avoid?

Here is my list of likely or unlikely animal-guitarists marked accordingly out of ten as in a school-report.

The dog: obedient to instructions, but pitiless with a bone until picked clean.
Technique: 10
Potential Musical Expression: 7
General Remarks: determined, but needs to develop more ideas of his own.

The cat: wary and curious in equal measure of the unknown, although quickly loses interest and goes about its other business.
Technique: 6
Potential Musical Expression: 8
General Remarks: gives up too easily

The eagle: examines the territory from a distance for a long time, and then dives with certainty.
Technique: 10
Potential Musical Expression: 6
General Remarks: very precise, but could broaden his interests.

The ostrich: buries its head in the sand to avoid seeing difficulties only to run away at high speed.
Technique: 5
Potential Musical Expression: 5
General Remarks: needs to face facts and work harder.

The lion: without prior application turns up at the feast uninvited and goes directly for the most tasty cuts.
Technique: 0
Potential Musical Expression: 2
General Remarks: oozes charisma but so far shows little capacity for hard work.

The magpie: attracted by all that glitters, fills his nest with shiny but incongruous objects.
Technique: 5
Potential Musical Expression: 8
General Remarks: flashy and superficial - needs to organise his work more coherently.

The ant: works ceaselessly, setting itself the task of pushing heavy objects vast distances.
Technique: 10
Potential Musical Expression: 7
General Remarks: determined but needs to develop more ideas of his own.

The cheetah: can outrun all other mammals over a short distance, after which it just gives up.
Technique: 8
Potential Musical Expression: 8
General Remarks: what a pity he is too easily discouraged.

Flying fish: after a long period submerged jumps out of the sea and flies, scattering silver threads of water which glitter in the sunlight.
Technique: 10
Potential Musical Expression: 10
General Remarks: a brilliant player in the making.

Ok, I may have got carried away by the flying fish, but I hope you catch the drift of where I am going. If all of these creatures could play the guitar their characters would either hinder or help them in their work. Of course, no amount of effort would ever turn them into proper musicians, unlike us humans.

We alone are able to harness our best endeavours to do anything we like, once we have made up our minds to do so, making the best of our positive aspects, and improving upon our more negative ones. As the thought took hold I quite suddenly jumped out of bed and grabbed my guitar tearing into a piece with the speed of a cheetah, the tenacity of a dog, the focus of an eagle, the strength of an ant, the grace of a flying fish, and the charisma of a lion.

It was exhilarating. My day had begun wonderfully. To no one in particular I whispered: thank you, animal friends, you have shown me the way forward.

October 2011

Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=743 .
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