Monday, October 31, 2011

One Journey

To follow up on my first transition post, I'm sharing the license detail for the completed score, an interactive, multidisciplinary improvisational performance piece.

A year ago I had a long email exchange with pianist, composer, and publisher Dennis Tobenski about new music copyright. As a habitual user of free content, I want to encourage others to be inspired and draw on my work in an attitude of cooperative cultural development. At the same time, we're all striving artists. I've never asked a composer for a copy of a score and been denied or asked for financial compensation. I support the norm of expecting critical feedback -- of course that's why I've been crazy about Feedback Circle. But the controversy of making a living from our calling is silencing: I don't know an emerging artist who doesn't feel even a little conflicted about their uncreative or even creativity-robbing day job, and I attest to frequent guilt trips of underemployment; yet we fear marketing our art would cheapen it. So it does, but in whose eyes?

For now I've stopped posting full scores online, instead giving teaser pages like this for performers to consider and sharing electronic copies for individually.

Creative Commons License
One Journey by Qian Li is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

9/11 Further reflections

This piece has made it onto Pandora stations. It's no background music for me, sparking examination of how my society's psyche has dramatically changed in ten years.

When I was in high school, an English assignment included listing remarkable events that occurred the day one was born. I had nothing to report. Through adolescence I didn't imagine anything massively traumatic would happen to my peers, family, or me in a lifetime.

September 11th was, however regrettably, part of my cohort's coming of age. Reports from battlefronts and vets in Iraq and Afghanistan made real to me wartime casualties as a physical and collective psychological threat. Living in San Francisco I became accustomed to the inevitability of mass destruction through natural earthquake and measures we must take as a civilization to reduce those risks. I focused more and more on invisible and silent threats of mass deaths from hate violence, suicide, and neglected social services.

Deliberate violence may be taking fewer lives in the current era, and that's worthy of celebration. How can we take that spirit forward to do better to provide one another the resources we need for collective safety, health, and well-being?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Adult entertainment

I provided the following context to my friends, family, and followers, in an email about my work and whereabouts, for adult videos that I designed and in which I modeled this summer.

"As a few of my recent compositions reference, sexuality and BDSM appeal to my creative and expressive impulse to explore power dynamics and cultural signification of the body. While I haven't had the opportunity directly to produce music with these videos, it's with the same calling to expression and social change that I reveal and model responsibility, safety, and ownership in a stigmatized and poorly regulated adult industry."

Of course my thoughts and politics on the matter go further. What this post now presents, though, is megabytes of pretty and authentic (all NSFW):

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Transition 3: Feedback Circle continues

It's been a while since I mentioned it, but the multidisciplinary peer feedback group I started a year ago still meets, though irregularly. We restructured over the summer to have presenters bottom line scheduling for the web conference and reminders. We've had a couple of meetings to do group improvisation as well. We're always open to new members, so check out the Google group to participate.

Here's a screenshot from a meeting earlier this year:

The document you see in the background is my chickenscratch under the formal categories we explore in turn on the call.

I expect to have enough connectivity in Jakarta next month to be available for these conference calls. The vast majority of participants return again and again because the process allows us to voice responses that makes it easy to understand diverse concerns and adaptability of its members. It's worth continuing, so I am.