Thou shalt only make demands of thyself and others if thou choosest, but we don’t recommend it as it tends to erode goodwill and block compassionate connection.
A common misconception about NVC (Nonviolent Communication) is that it is a set of rules proscribing how we ought to speak and act in order to become “better people.”
Nothing could be further from the truth!
The teaching is sometimes presented in this way by “fanatical beginners” who are inspired by some of the associated ideas and tools, but have not really understood the essence and the finer points. It would be …
Continue reading ‘The Non-Dogma of Non-Dogma’ »
I’ve recently built a website to promote my work as Robin the Piper.
I’m available to play for all manner of special occasions, or just because you want to hear the glorious sound of the English border bagpipes.
I play a selection of lively dance tunes from England, Scotland, Ireland and Europe, as well as various slower tunes for a more sombre or reflective moood.
My website can be found here: http://robinthepiper.co.uk/
I love playing music. I am passionate about it. I also believe that live music is literally a form of magic, and that what does and doesn’t happen around music directly affects the soul of a society and the individuals in it.
I would love to play more music. And when I say "play", I mean perform. I don’t mind whether the audience are children, old people, healthy people, people who are about to die, people I find beautiful or people I find ugly.
For me, sharing music through performance is one of the most joyful and nourishing …
Continue reading ‘Sgt Pepper’ »
Those who know me may be a little surprised to see me posting music made on a machine, given my years as a Luddite. Maybe it’s a testimony to the wonderful flexibility of the human mind that something I once thought terrible now seems quite innocuous. Or is it…?
It’s good to remember that optimisation is not always the optimal solution.
Which is perhaps to say more accurately: there are often many aspects of a given activity which we could choose to optimise, and it is good to apply discernment in deciding which are most important, bearing in mind that our initial choice may be coloured by unexamined assumptions.
What do the words “Folk Music” mean to you? For me, there are some rather negative assosciations: very serious looking people with fingers in their ears singing archaic songs about how “The Queen she doth need sea men,” for example, or very bland melodies played slowly and without much passion by musicians of a very mediocre standard. For me, the trouble with this kind of music is that it doesn’t excite, inspire or resonate with me. “Folk Music” is presumably meant to be “the music of the people,” and herein lie some very interesting and important issues. For now I’ll …
Continue reading ‘What Is Folk Music Anyway?’ »
Have you ever had the experience of talking about some difficulties you’ve been having with a friend, only to come away feeling worse than you did before discussing it? Most people want to help others if and when they can, but often lack the skills and understanding to do so effectively. This is not to imply any blame – after all we are not often taught about these things in school. One of the best teachings I’ve encountered on this issue is “Nonviolent Communication” as taught by Marshall Rosenberg. This teaching explains the power of Empathy, which has a specific …
Continue reading ‘How to help people who are hurting’ »
There was once a barber. Some say that he lived in Seville. Wherever he lived, all of the men in this town either shaved themselves or were shaved by the barber. And the barber only shaved the men who did not shave themselves.
So who shaved the barber?
A “tweaked” version of Drowsy Maggie to make it fit the pipes, and a new tune I wrote recently. Minor key tunes over a drone on the 7th: an acquired taste…
Some silly tunes I wrote years ago. F Lydian over a G drone – a strange but colourful soundworld!