19th Century Guitar Songs – Canciones con Guitarra del Siglo XIX

Beret Arcaya, soprano
Anthony Madigan, guitar

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The Last Rose of Summer
Poetry by Thomas Moore (1779 – 1852)

Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.

I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter,
Thy leaves o’er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love’s shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie withered,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?

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© 2018 Beret Arcaya Copyright.
Unauthorized reproduction or sale of this video constitutes a copyright violation.
habitandchoice.com

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19th Century Guitar Songs – Canciones con Guitarra del Siglo XIX

Beret Arcaya, soprano
Anthony Madigan, guitar
Felipe Sanches Mascuñado, guitar
Ignacio Vidaechea, flute

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La Fata d’Amalfi (Italian – Neapolitan dialect)

Chiagnarrò la mia sventura
Si non tuorne chiù, Rosella!
Tu d’Amalfi la chiù bella
Tu na Fata sì per me!
Viene viè, regina mia;
Viene curre a chisto core
Ca non c’è non c’è no sciore,
Non c’è stella comm’a te!

La matina che pe tiempo
Vaco a Napole mbarchetta,
Pare tanno che m’aspetta
E la mano me vo dà!
Quanno po lo cielo scura,
Ed io vaco pe piscare,
Miezo a l’onne de lo mare
Veco pure che sta là!

E turnanno a la capanna,
La saluto a lo barcone,
E la solita canzone
Vaco tanno pe cantà:
Viene vie, tu sì una stella,
Tu d’Amalfi sì la Fata.
Ma la rosa s’è sfrunnata,
Ed io l’aggio da scordà!
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© 2018 Beret Arcaya Copyright.
Unauthorized reproduction or sale of this video constitutes a copyright violation.
habitandchoice.com

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This is a transcript of a speech given by Dorothea Wallis to STAT in the 1950s.  Wallis argues that, “However important the part of conscious thought and control in the Alexander Technique, they are only aspects of a whole personality and not independent entities … for education is a matter of the whole personality.”

 

Note:  For posting convenience, “Habit and Choice” has divided the speech into three parts, and created sub-titles for each part. 

HIDE OR SEEK

By Dorothea Wallis

 part I, part II

III.  End-Gaining

Unfortunately, one’s excessive tensions are not produced by one single emotional force which once discovered can be put out of action.  One probably can point to one source of all undue tension, a basic insecurity of the personality, but this rather than being one feeling is a condition, more or less unchanging, from which grow the many different emotional attitudes which produce tension.  To apply the Alexander Technique seems to be an endless task of meeting and disarming these many different attitudes rather than drastically discovering one “dragon” and staging a valiant fight to free oneself from it.  The one emotional cause – which has been called ontological or existential insecurity – is a fundamental state like being very tall or small.  One cannot alter one’s tallness, but if it makes one stoop one cannot stop stooping and admit one’s size.  Similarly, one probably cannot help being insecure but if it makes one afraid and hesitant, or aggressive at every turn and correspondingly “knotted-up” and tense, one can perhaps, by resolving the physical tension, stop taking the fears at their face value and recognize their underlying cause.  The insecurity, like the tallness, remains, but one can come to live with it rather than for it.

The ultimate source of tension may be recognized implicitly in Alexander’s concept of “end-gaining,” as the evil his technique is intended to counteract.  He urges that in whatever we do, whether getting out of a chair or hitting a gold ball, we must concentrate on the “means-whereby” rather than the end.  What do we do when we are “end-gaining” – which undoubtedly we do a lot of the time, from working for the “eleven plus” to making the right conversation at a party?  We are not so much concerned with what we are doing as with how we show up.  When Alexander’s player is intent only on his ball rather than the way he deals with it, his anxiety is to prove himself to be the good player that he needs to be to satisfy himself.  When the housewife strenuously scrubs her kitchen floor the strain comes from trying to live up to her own high standards rather than the difficulty of the job.

The “end” in “end-gaining” is always to reinforce a weak self.  “End-gaining” is characteristic of the insecure person – which perhaps most of us are to a greater or lesser degree – who finds it necessary to look for confirmation of himself in whatever he does.  To be “end-gaining” means to use oneself with excessive tension.  The tension arises from the effort of justifying or proving oneself in the world instead of simply being part of it.  If one can be in oneself and not forever reaching out to make up for what one is not, then one can do things for their own sake and does not “end-gain.”  In the end, Alexander’s standard for the balanced regulation of the body, to be and work at its best, is the standard of a whole, sound person.

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This is a transcript of a speech given by Dorothea Wallis to STAT in the 1950s.  Wallis argues that, “However important the part of conscious thought and control in the Alexander Technique, they are only aspects of a whole personality and not independent entities … for education is a matter of the whole personality.”

Note:  For posting convenience, “Habit and Choice” has divided the speech into three parts, and created sub-titles for each part.

 

HIDE OR SEEK

By Dorothea Wallis

part I

II.  Emotion

To learn the Alexander Technique is a formidable task because the change in the use of one’s body demands such drastic mental reorientation.  I don’t think the physical change can be made, except temporarily, without the mental reorientation.  What does this reorientation amount to?  The Alexander Technique gives me an objective standard for a sound way of using my body.  If I adopt this impersonal standard instead of a habitual personal one, I stand and move in a way I consider suitable rather than the way I happen to feel like.  If I feel like being crumpled up because I am miserable but refuse to let my feeling determine the way I actually sit or stand, and in fact stand freely, can it be said that I am disguising or suppressing my real feelings by an insincere pose?  On the contrary, to refuse to let an emotion govern the behavior of one’s body is not to suppress it but to refuse it an effective disguise, and this in turn means that one has to face it.

What light does this throw on the particular case, in which I try to apply the Alexander Technique, of answering the door bell?  The sound of the door bell puts me into a state of anxious apprehension and tension.  I normally go to open the door in this tense, “tight” state.  Applying the technique, I stop for a moment and consciously direct my head, neck, etc., into a freer state before I walk to the door.  In trying to free myself from excessive tension, I am trying to free my body and behavior from being dominated by an objectively irrelevant feeling.

In doing this I am perhaps no nearer to knowing just what I fear at the sound of the door bell, but I become more clearly aware of the existence of this feeling of fear which has nothing to do with the present situation but has a persistent influence on me.  It not only is irrelevant to the present situation, but is an encumbrance which prevents me from being alert and adaptable to the present.  I believe that some such recognition, even though it may be inarticulate, of the feeling that is the motive force of the tension I try to undo, is an essential part of the release of that tension.

The importance of this step is a kind of separation of one’s self – an independent, conscious part – from deeply grounded emotional attitudes.  To find out the feeling that is behind the tension does not mean getting rid of it.  In the example of the door bell, I take my fear with me when I go to the door, but don’t let it go for me.  In this way one may be able to separate the emotional patterns which dominate one through resolving the tensions they make; they are not put away, but put into their proper place and no longer allowed freely to take possession of one.  Is this process comparable to the cure of a neurosis in which a part of oneself that has become autonomous is deprived of its excessive power?

This sort of reorganization is not made by regulating one’s body once or a few times according to a new conscious pattern.  Probably only by persistent, laborious working at this does one reach the emotional background of the tensions one tries to change.  But perhaps only in arriving and tackling the situation at this level does the Alexander Technique become a process of re-education.  It seems to me that without this it would produce only momentary changes which could not be maintained.

part III

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This is a transcript of a speech given by Dorothea Wallis to STAT in the 1950s.  Wallis argues that, “However important the part of conscious thought and control in the Alexander Technique, they are only aspects of a whole personality and not independent entities … for education is a matter of the whole personality.”

Note:  For posting convenience, “Habit and Choice” has divided the speech into three parts, and created sub-titles for each part.

 

HIDE OR SEEK

By Dorothea Wallis

Part One: I Hear the Bell

The ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE is designed to teach one to use one’s body rationally and economically instead of unconsciously and inappropriately.  It teaches the basic principle that there is a particular state or “body-scheme” in which the parts of the body are so related and muscular tension is so distributed that each part and the whole is enabled to be and to function at its best.

Alexander came to define this scheme by patient, concentrated self-observation, by finding out where the misuse of himself led to inefficiency and then freeing himself of his “bad old ways” by deliberately directing himself according to the rational scheme that made for the most effective manner of use.  His personal achievement in doing this led him to assume that to apply his technique was specifically a matter of conscious thought and control.

However important the part of conscious thought and control in the Alexander Technique, they are only aspects of a whole personality and not independent entities.  To treat them as such, and ignore the whole of which they are a limited aspect, would be to impair any process of re-education; for education is a matter of the whole personality.  Alexander’s emphasis on the unity of body and mind recognizes this, but his claim needs to be substantiated by a fuller understanding of the kind of changes his process of re-education involves in terms other than the strictly physical in which he himself gives a detailed account.

In “physical terms” it may be said that a central theme of the Alexander Technique is to learn to inhibit one’s usual reactions to any stimulus, and by ordering oneself into a relatively balanced position to react deliberately with only a suitable kind and amount of tension.  When I hear the bell ring, I may habitually be shocked into an apprehensive state of overall tension.  According to Alexander’s teaching I try to inhibit this reaction of my neck and head as the centre of control, direct it into a freer state and, having reduced my state of irrelevant tension, walk to the door.  These physical changes may be an observable fact, but such an amount of what happens seems to be so inadequate as not to be a description of a real person or real event at all.  It is a kind of theoretical construction which bears little resemblance to reality.  It is as informative a description of myself and my reaction to the door bell as a purely statistical description of a group of people is of their character as individuals and their relationships to each other.

The apparently simple incident of a bell ringing and my going to answer it, far from being a single incident – with a simple “stimulus-response” pattern – is one thread in a closely knit complex of time and place, myself, my past and expectations.  A single stimulus may be a useful idea, but does not exist in normal life (if ever even in experimental conditions) just as “a bell” can never ring.  If one is to understand what the Alexander Technique tries to do, it seems essential to recognize this.  The idea of a single stimulus and response seems to me as much an obstacle in the way of understanding the technique as in other ways it may be a help.  It is an obstacle because it makes incomprehensible the state of general tension in which I normally go to the door when the bell rings.  This can be understood when, instead of the bell being thought of as “a stimulus” and my reaction as “a response,” they are seen in their particular context as details of a total personal world.  Superfluous tension in one’s behavior is obviously not due only to poor judgment of what is demanded of one by the physical environment.  The way in which one uses one’s body is as much a response to one’s mental as to one’s physical situation.  To change one’s response to the inner situation may be far more difficult than changing one’s reaction to the external world.  It is much harder to admit feeling very small and vulnerable inside, but to decide not to stand huddled up and speak in an evasive way as one is accustomed to do, than it is to make the adjustment which is necessary when going from a steep to a shallow flight of steps.

part II, part III

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