Maiden Voyage.

I have considered doing this for a while.  Years actually.  I guess the kick in the pants was when my friend Jeremy started his blog, and that really got me to thinking I should just get going on this.  So here we are.  My name is Josh Birch.  I have a god complex.  I am pretty much great at everything, and I would like you to know a small fraction of the things I know, so we can evolve and invent machines that will allow us to travel space and time and fix humanity for eternity, ending suffering and misery as we know it (we will probably have to use superconductors or something… WON’T THAT BE NEAT!)

Anyways, I have been playing the saxophone for a long time, and one of the main foci of this blog will be to discuss problems of a musical nature and how they can be addressed in practice.  By the way, those problems will most certainly not be restricted to the saxophone, my musical education has been primarily in doubling and I believe that all musicians share fundamental problems to which little has been done to address by the public music education system.  No fear though, they are definitely addressable.  Examples include understanding harmony from a practical standpoint, how work on feel and rhythm independently of other musical skills, training and maintaining aural skills (tuning and transcribing to name a few), and learning how to practice without judging yourself (WON’T THAT BE NEAT!)

Also, I am currently a Botany major at Utah Valley University.  I think that life is neat, in fact it is the neatest thing we know about in the universe as far as I am concerned, so another foci of the this blog will be to inform you, the reader, of the neat life things we know about (as I learn them, and I am far from an expert in this field).  That will be fun, and you will like it, because I am just that great.

The biggest thing in my life at the moment though is minimalism and zen.  The idea that peace, contentment, presence, right action and control are skills that can be practiced and honed through active attention is a huge breakthrough in my life, and I would love to share it with people.  “If there were such a thing as a silver bullet, this is it.” – Dr. Ray Smith (about the mouthpiece exercises he invented,  BUT STILL).  Such topics being discussed in this manner will be goal-lessness and why it is preferable to goal-edness (and also what it really truly means to be goal-less), meditation and how to start doing that thing (and how to talk to people about it in this community), and probably other “spiritual” topics including atheism (and why that’s OK) and the philosophical problems with tolerance (this is a big one for me).

So if you are with me, and think that the journey through life isn’t a struggle, and you think that taking a pill to solve your problems isn’t the way out, and you think that there is a great deal that can be explored in our world both inside and out, then I hope you take a moment of your day to relax your mind with me by stretching it, and letting the stresses of constantly running slip away as you and I…

take a deep breath.