“With the Purified Show yourself Pure”
On the bandstand in Osaka Japan, in the middle of playing and being in between my ego, the music, and my spirit, the thought came to me, “Ulysses, stay pure.” That inner voice spoke so loudly that all of a sudden, my spirit focused, my ego dissipated, and the music took over me completely.
I finished the set with the band, and the music we created together that night was so off the charts; we all felt it. We were all in the same place, in one mind, one spirit and on one accord.
As I began to meditate on purity as it pertains to my music, I began to think of what stands in the way of that purity. Many times I feel as artists, we are so concerned with how we are perceived that we will sometimes lessen our authenticity in hopes that people will like us artistically.
Can I make it a little clearer?
As a drummer, sometimes in a song, I can go into this type of performing that is very technical and shows off my technical prowess. I have worked very hard on my technique, as it’s the foundation of being a musician. I am an avid believer in practicing rudiments (rhythmic exercises) and really making sure that my technique is on point. However the only fault of that is many times technique doesn’t transcend the spirit. You need technique to communicate musically to reach the spirit, but you can’t solely depend on that.
Getting back to my set in Osaka, after hearing the words, “Stay Pure,” I began to say “peace out dude,” to my ego. I began to pray as I played while asking God to be in my every stroke on the drum, and asking His spirit to breathe through my limbs so that I could play what people needed to hear and what they needed to feel.
Next thing I knew, people were standing, and they wanted an encore.
So now, I just yield to my inner voice that constantly whispers to my spirit, “Stay pure, Ulysses. Let the spirit guide you, and don’t worry about what people want you to hear; play what they need to hear."