Tuesday, March 20, 2018

music, time and beauty redux...

So, for what's it is worth, let me offer a word of clarification re: making music and time. My intent was not to offend my musical colleagues and friends who work as choir/music directors, band leaders or composers. As I heard earlier today from a modern music composer: I write the notes on the page precisely - and that is what I want. That is what I rehearse. No question about it. Same would be true for those directing various levels of musicians who are performing compositions by classical composers or contemporary artists. I have sung in enough choirs to know that improvisation is not called for in those moments.

My post, however, was not addressing this type of precision. Nor was it wrestling with time in relationship to a set composition. There are musical experiences that need a leader, a well written score, and a practical timetable for beginning and ending. What I was articulating was a different relationship to time: I was noting that musical exploration as a collaborative encounter requires a more fluid relationship to time and outcomes. Not everyone is cut out for this; some excellent artists I have worked with simply go crazy without a clear road map to follow and perform. Others get rattled and anxious when asked to discover the map as a part of the musical process in community. And still others discover that they don't know what to contribute and feel superfluous to the birthing of beauty.

But for those who are able to bring both a Zen sensibility to the creation of new music and a willingness to be co-creators, it can be ecstatic. To collaborate in concert with loved ones in pursuit of beauty and hope is a religious experience. Sometimes it can be chaotic and unsettling for a spell, too. But deep trust and playfulness are always hard won. Tonight I return thanks for the people I have been able to collaborate with in pursuit of new music. I also rejoice in the new project Hal, Jon and I are working on and trust the love greater than ourselves to bring it to light.

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