"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