Saturday, July 2, 2011

A lifelong search

After finishing a series of video shorts enticing shy listeners to new music, I've found myself distant and unmotivated from attending live performances.

In my work I have the luxury of seeking deeply in myself and the potentials of the world I know. With alarming frequency I uncover concepts and truths that challenge the way I think and live, forcing me into a struggle of emotion and problemsolving. There is a beautiful piece of poetry Coleman Barks translated from Rumi beginning "When you are not with me I resemble..." I love the casual way he treats the juxtaposition of yearning and celebration, all in absence of the beloved. It also directed me to consider how fantasy coexists with reality in our living and coping. Yearning need not be grieving alone but a powerful manifestation of the divine.

In the course of relating to many others as I develop, I notice patterns like friends don't stay fast over long distances, few friendships are ever carried out to mutual satisfaction, and investment in relationship building comes at the expense of that in my work. Other patterns are challenged by new experiences, for example I've come to believe differences never have to cast two parties apart, and when they do, it is for lack of trust in and commitment to resolution for the sake of the friendship. I used to respond extremely badly to strong "negative" expressions directed at me, but am practicing to respond contructively, step back and view the possible larger context of the scene (I might be wrong!), and redirect destructive energies.

This search has led me to a place of being with my self, trajectory, and environment that troubles me with irrelevance to the classical music community. As my original music source, its preoccupations with control and class leave little space for the work I'm interested in doing with audiences. Who hasn't felt captive by norms of conduct in the face of an awful or frustrating performance in any genre? I want to harness the power of those conventionally captive voices.

Tomorrow I attend the wedding of a childhood friend, a first attendance at that of my own friend, as opposed to a significant other's family and, well, my loved ones are scattered across the earth. As I watch the lovingly interpreted rituals unfold, I too will be part of a performance in which by attending I consent to a form of captivity. Sometimes I wonder at the image of myself holding simultaneously disjointed past years, potential future relations, the refracted interpretations of the moment, and their many alternatives.


  1. It meant a lot to the childhood friend that you were there- thank you so much! (And I'm interested to find that we were your first wedding of your own friends/peers. I suppose that's not surprising, in the general world out there... Is it? I've been to something like 12 weddings of friends, but my crowd seems to marry fairly early.)

  2. Well, also think about it this way: you wanted me at your wedding, but who else would risk that?

    But you touch on the larger truth. Most of my closest friends don't value marriage as the primary institution of interpersonal commitment. As a transplant and chronic traveler I don't often get to hunker down with the settlers, either.