Just Play Naturally

An account of her study with Pablo Casals in the 1950's and her discovery of the resonance between his teaching and the principles of the Alexander Technique

by Vivien Mackie



Book Details

Language :
Publication Date : 27/03/2006

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 187
ISBN : 9781425708696
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 187
ISBN : 9781425708702

About the Book

"Just Play Naturally" by Vivien Mackie, in conversation with Joe Armstrong, goes very deep into the creative process by recounting the steps by which Pablo Casals taught Mackie, as a young woman, to go beyond all her formal training in order to become a real musician, and it goes on to show how an artist, in this case a performing artist, may continue going deeper all the rest of her life.

'The dialogue between Vivien the cellist and Joe the flautist, both of whom are skilled and devoted teachers of the Alexander Technique, could profit any practitioner of the arts, but it penetrates beyond art into life itself.

'This book illustrates the evolution of a sense of rhythm, of a connection to the breath, of the ways in which the self combines the resources of the mind and the body, of motion and stillness, of pitch and meter. Even more than the above, this book tells how to change your life, how to get in touch with the reality beneath learned experience.'
-Peter Davison, Poet, Editor.

"I find 'Just Play Naturally' extraordinary moving – and important account of artistic discipleship, dedication, communion – as well as a deepening revelation of the Alexander Technique."
-Rosanna Warren, Poet, Professor of Comparative Literature, Boston University.

'I think that this is a most valuable addition to the list of books concerning the F. Matthias Alexander Technique. It describes the experiences encountered by an accomplished musician in making practical application of the Technique, but it also reveals the extent to which one of the greatest musical artists of our time, Pablo Casals, thought and worked in accordance with the similar principles. Readers will learn much from this book about an approach to study and performance from which all students could benefit.'
-W.H.M. Carringon, Master Teacher of the Alexander Technique, London

About the Author

Vivien Mackie, nee Couling, was born in Edinburgh in 1931. She studied at the Royal College of Music, and in 1952 went to Prades, France, to study with Pablo Casals, initially for ten lessons; but she stayed on to continue her studies until 1955. She married conductor Gordon Mackie, and after his early death, she trained, from 1970 to 1973, as a teacher of the Alexander Technique with Walter Carrington. She lives in London, and travels worldwide, teaching and giving classes for performers in her fusion of the principles of Casals’ teaching with those of the Alexander Technique.