To see the video version of this blog, click the link below:
There are two ways to approach music, and hypnosis. One is the classical, stick to what's on the page approach, and the other is watch the audience, or in the case of clinical hypnosis, the client and respond to what they want, what they need.
When I mention I practice at the Flow Center in Dallas, people think maybe I'm a specialist in designing water fountains for municipal buildings. Or I work for the city water works. When I tell them I'm a Certified Clinical Hypnotist, their right hand immediately grabs onto their chin, and they ponder the connection.
The reason I connected with the Flow Center and its methods was probably because I was a sort of commercial jazz artist for most of my life, playing tunes people liked to hear.
In the music world, there are two major divisions of music. There is the classically trained route, and there is the “learn 3 chords and go out and find a gig” route.
On that second, ad-lib, improv route, over the years, a player develops a “bag of tricks”, or a toolbox of devices he...or she...uses depending on the venue, the situation, the players involved.
A player of the improvisational camp develops a very good sense of what notes NOT to play, and if they are played, how to connect them up so it sounds like he played that wrong note on purpose, for flavoring, to spice up the solo. Miles Davis was an absolute champ at this.
If the wrong note is obvious, or he can't cover it up, he must put it out of his mind, ignore it, and move on, or it will interfere with the Flow of his thinking, and thus harm the quality of his
solo, his piece of art.
So, that's the first part of this style of art I wanted to point out. You could look at it in the sports world as “playing the ball from where it lands” or in the gaming world, “playing the hand you are dealt”, or in the acting world, “There are no small parts, only small actors.”
The second part of this style of playing is the concept of the “riff”. A riff is a little piece of melody that the player has previously played at a gig or practiced over and over until it becomes embedded in his subconscious mind. Except for the split-second thought to adjust the riff for the key of the song, and context, these are just little sub-programs, or sub-routines that the player runs on his instrument.
In a solo, the player consciously chooses a starting riff that runs through his fingers and is monitored by his ears. While he is playing this habitual riff, he is thinking consciously of which riff to play next, how to adapt it to the song's context, and how to connect it up to the riff he is presently playing.
So, playing an improvisation is stringing these riffs together as needed, adapting them to each other as the song's structure and feel demands.
After a time in the players career, this process becomes so second-nature that a third element comes into play. The Jazz player calls it “music”...or “groove”. You COULD call it “soul”. That's when a third consciousness beside the conscious choices, and the subconscious “toolbox” ...is added to the mix.
This third mind is the called the super-conscious in the hypnosis world, and the Spirit in the religious world. This “spirit” will come into the jazz solo and the player just gets out of the way, so to speak, and world-changing, paradigm-shifting beauty emerges. It's a beautiful thing to hear and see as well as to experience. It's as though both player and listener are playing the improvisation.
Forgive me for my digression, but when I met Valerie Grimes through our bookkeeper, and found out more and more about the flow center, and Valerie's style of hypnosis, it was like coming home to an old jazzer like myself. The parallels raised the hair on the back of my neck.
Life Flows Again...is the mission statement at the Flow Center.
Each client that walks through the door is treated as a special, precious individual on this planet. The path we take to resolving the client's issue is unique to that client. We adjust to the clients needs on the fly while it is happening. Every song has a structure. And, every hypnosis center has it's format and structure.
But each client is like a song that has special rhythms, feels, and keys. We at the Flow Center stylize and plan each session based on what needs to happen next to resolve the client's issue, rather than every client getting the same structured process on a checklist as happens at many other hypnosis centers.
And the music that happens, as a result of our Flow method, is often a very beautiful thing, and deeply satisfying to the soul....
Hmmm...Soul music....Flow Music.....