Friday, December 31, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

kultur shock recording session no. 15:

jherek and paris make an egyptian orchestra - 26 violin tracks: 3 octaves, 2 violins, one lady.

currently editing "choko" with special friends - vino and beetlejuice on vhs:

daylight come and me wanna go home...

yeah, winona. yeah.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

doing what i can with what i have

heading back into the studio tomorrow to start tracking violin for kultur shock's upcoming release, ministry of kultur. just finished a 5 hour practice session with the rough mixes (drums/bass/guitar) from our mid-november sessions at soundhouse with jack endino.

folded my foam pad bed out of the way to create tonight's work space.

feeling ready. BRING IT.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

i am/want (to work on)

THE process
facing myself
letting myself be bad at things
experimentation with things i don't have command over
facing my humanness, accepting it, valuing it
definitions of beauty and perfection
a space to suck
growing up feeling anything but creative - thinking it wasn't in me, i wasn't capable of it - in constant immersion of activities with clear cut right and wrong, good and bad, success and failure: catholic church, ballet, classical violin, concerto competitions, seat checks in orchestra...
i fear you? well then i'm going to walk toward you.
i want to write. i want to dance. i want to work with sound in new ways. i want to experiment. i want to be self-sufficient in these ways. i want to eliminate excuses.
i want to dismantle my relationship to violin/music/art/dance/what it means to be an artist/what work is or isn't/what i should or shouldn't be doing...
letting myself be human - perfection and beauty in imperfection

Monday, November 29, 2010

themes of now (ongoing investigations)

do what you can with what you have
make something out of nothing
that's just an idea you have about yourself (that person, that thing)...what if you had other ideas about yourself? you could have other ideals about yourself. non-attachment. let it go.
exploring and sharing my humanness as part of my process and in the hopes of inspiring others to do the same - or their version of it - or at least allow themselves to be human
what are my definitions of / needs for comfort and home? how can i work with them?
working with letting go of my ideas of perfection, letting myself create and then letting it be what it is, letting its imperfections be beautiful and important and inherently perfect, accepting it all as a part of the process
sometimes the most growth comes from discomfort - but it's difficult to choose discomfort over comfort, to choose difficulty over ease - who does? what does that look like?
non-attachment - space for things to enter
aversion to discomfort
independence without isolation - independence as a choice rather than an imposed state
wanting to break down and redefine my relationship to the violin and music. i feel like it limits / restricts access to my creativity
i desperately want to be an artist. i feel like i am an artist at my core, but i don't feel like i know how to be one now. yet. i don't feel like being a violinist is being an artist. why not? where does that come from?
cultivate discipline - forcing myself to show up. show up and do your job.
daily systems
weekly systems
i can't build until i know what i'm building!
(dismantle phase --- experiment/explore phase --- build phase)
tapas: the hard work of healing
"a genius is one who is most like himself" (thelonious monk)
taking action without having the "perfect" system mapped out before even starting
accountability to self
make a decision, move in a direction
wabi-sabi: the acceptance of transience. beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete
"i'm an immersion person"

Saturday, November 27, 2010

the reality of being a woman in music

check out this powerful piece by beloved friend/collaborator/badass, beth fleenor (clarinet(s), voice, percussion, composition, performance, installation, director of the frank agency - innovative arts management):



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

in the studio with kultur shock

how to focus the mind, hour 46 of 49

i want to feel at home here

apparently, aeropostale is a clothing store for fancy kids - not a blond flexy dancer from the 80's - who knew?

i've started texting myself whatever half conscious synopsis i can muster when i wake up from a dream in the middle of the night.

6:05 am -

was trying to learn to dance again, frustrated and lost because i didn't know how to go about it, i didn't feel good at it. mom? suggested i call in aeropostale (totally 80's out blond in leotard who traveled between rooms doing showy 80's ish flexy moves). ended up in my mom's room on montecito (but not), was telling her (aeropostale woman) my background and asking how i get back into it, how to get it back. telling how i didn't think i had it anymore (but did). started noticing spiders in the corners of the room, more and more, big, they started swinging at me on strands of their webs as she spoke. i had to duck.

brain: externalized

Saturday, November 20, 2010

in hiding. or is it hibernation?

public vs. private - where's the line? how do i maintain a feeling of safety as i explore the depths - a process that pretty much guarantees the emergence of and near constant living as the worst versions of oneself - weak, raw, vulnerable, jealous, ugly, silly, insecure, self-deprecating, anything but masterful...

prior to about a year ago, i was never one to share anything but the most constructed, most in-command-over version of myself. if i didn't trust my opinion and feel very strongly about something, i wouldn't say anything at all. if i didn't know someone, i wouldn't speak to them for fear of what would come out of my mouth when put on the spot. if i hadn't rehearsed something 'sufficiently,' it wouldn't be seen or heard by anyone - or if i had to show it anyway, i would be absolutely mortified and go into hiding for weeks or sometimes even months after, until i was able to let it go and stop beating myself up for the disgraceful monstrosity i had released upon the world. oh, the embarrassment!

i am not so different now...

but i have been working with forcing myself to practice - and continue practicing - letting her out. letting her be silly, letting her try new things and be bad at them, letting her be super emotional, letting her just be without all the judgement - and then letting that be a public state of being - on the street, when meeting new people, when seeing shows, when showing work that is SO NOT DONE, when talking to people after a show, and now through this even more public vehicle. it's a practice to let myself be okay with the process, to let myself go through the process, to show the process...this post is a part of that practice - one i have hidden from for more then 2 months.


loving this passage from julia cameron's "the artist's way" :

"we want to be great - immediately great - but that is not how recovery works. it is an awkward, tentative, even embarrassing process. there will be many times when we won't look good - to ourselves or anyone else. we need to stop demanding that we do. it is impossible to get better and look good at the same time."



Sunday, September 5, 2010

you're human, i'm human, we're all human

watched a silly movie yesterday and a passing comment from one of the characters stuck with me...

"he's got snot in his nose???!! but, he's famous!"

we really have created an environment where people who are known by lots of people cease to be people. we put them on a pedestal and deem them super human. they only show us their most put together selves, and we criticize them when we see the slightest thing outside of that. it ruins art, it ruins artists, it ruins audiences, it ruins people. this is no new concept, but as someone newly standing next to it in a different way, i want to offer another way of thinking about it, another way of participating in it.

being human is gross. we ooze, we excrete, we smell, we grow things, we hate, we're jealous, we're insecure, we resent, we fear, we just is. we just are. but really, it's just the idea of it that's good or bad, the idea of it that's 'gross.' the opportunity comes in how we choose to perceive, how we choose to act, what we choose to do with those things that just are.

i think we expect perfection out of others because we're trying so desperately to hide imperfections within ourselves. i know that's true for me, anyway. i often find myself judging others with the same harsh, superficial eyes i judge myself with. but once i learn to accept an aspect of my body, for instance, i accept it about other people's bodies too. it's never about anyone else, really.

as one of those people who is becoming known by lots of people and therefore not always thought of as a real person, i want to learn to not only accept, but love, my humanness and share the whole package - not just the shiny, polished, "finished" parts.

you're human, i'm human, we're all human. it is a shared experience.

lasara jarvis: live person

unbelievably beautiful and inspiring
beloved collaborator and friend


armpit sweat

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

an encounter

i'm working at a cafe. a man enters, looks around, looks at me and says, "i'm going to allow myself to be overwhelmed by this environment and rethink my need for caffeine. i'm having an emotional day..." to which i reply, "i support you." he smiles sweetly and leaves.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

stomach hair

i'm getting real brave and starting a new series called: i'm human too, and that's okay

it will document things about myself i don't particularly like, but am working to accept as part of my humanness.

that's just an idea you have about yourself

working to let go of all former ideas about who i am / what i want / where i'm going and be open to all possibilities. lots of exploration. a time of doing many things i formerly would have written off before even trying. actively making the choice to be happy and create the life i want vs. just thinking about it, choosing to be passive, choosing to be miserable...because it's a choice! it's all a choice! and all those things - they're just ideas i have about myself. ideas i have about who i am, who i'm not, what i like, what i don't like, what i should or shouldn't be doing...ideas i have about that thing or that person...just ideas...ideas created by the mind.

when you dismantle the illusion, what's left? what is reality? isn't it all just a perception, anyway? the mind creating a world, a bubble, a set of ideas and choosing to live in it?

"we protect ourselves against all possibilities."

that's not 'you' - that's just an idea you have about yourself.

that's just an idea i have about myself.

that's just an idea i have about myself.

that's just an idea i have about myself.

those are just ideas i have about myself.

what if i had other ideas about myself? i could have other ideas about myself...

let go.

let it all go.

Monday, August 23, 2010

gifts from a wise woman

a scroll with a message - one for each show:

never underestimate the power of one person's belief in something.

constant arrival -
constant departure...

every obstacle is an opportunity.

you are so much beauty.

an emphasis on creativity gives rise to creative solutions to social problems.

what do you truly want?
what do you truly believe?

dig deeper.
trust yourself.

there are two universal languages: love and music...maybe they are actually the same thing.

open your heart.
open your mind.

focus your intent.

growth is often painful.
i think that means you are doing it right.

good or bad - you can't get this day back.

those around you need love - you have an infinite amount to give *hint hint* and it replenishes itself..

liberate yourself and others will be inspired to do the same.

thank you for doing your job.
thank you.

within one woman is every woman - within one man, every man - do for yourself what you wish for all.

don't be afraid to change.

what you do to yourself you do to the world.

JULY 20, 2010 - ROME, ITALY
i love you.

cheers to new beginnings!
*welcome home*

Thursday, August 5, 2010

unintentional experiment no. 4


you know that whole choice beyond instinct thing i was talking about? well, here's a super interesting (and often hilarious) way to investigate it.

it can be so difficult to make the simplest, most fleeting decision...

get there early and sit in the back.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

a theory

i once heard that the only thing separating humans from animals is choice beyond instinct. the level of truth in that is one thing - the implications, another.

choice beyond instinct really complicates things. it means possibilities are endless. it means possibilities are extremely limited. it means being able to ignore the true self, being able to spend seconds, weeks, years in / with / pursuing something that limits, something that detracts, something that promotes stagnation and sadness. it means being able to avoid situations / experiences / encounters that while seemingly fine / healthy / desirable / productive / fulfilling in the moment, are damaging down the line. it means the mind can take over. it means a reality can be chosen, avoided, or ignored altogether. it means informed choice - all avenues can be explored, all factors considered.

i think that's one of the secrets to being an evolved human, a wise human, a happy human: exercising choice beyond instinct without letting it get in the way of accessing instinct.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

we don't want to let ourselves be human

yet we all are...

the apartment

i don't know what i'm doing.
i don't know where i am.
i desperately want to go 'home', but where is that? what is that?

i don't have one.
and i've exhausted every tactic i know to simulate feeling i am that no matter where i am.

the passing of time exists in two categories: eating or the space between

i'm so tired of experiencing everything publicly. yes, i'm aware of the irony.

i go to my car to land. it is the destination.
phew, i made it back to safety.
duck for cover, incoming...

i talk to myself out loud in public pretty openly now - without earphones. commentary to prove i do, in fact, exist outside of my own mind.

i haven't cooked a meal in months.

i'm out of toiletries and vitamins because i only packed for 32 days.
everything else is in a storage unit. two, in fact. one mine, one not.

i've only found 2 places i could live, would want to live. one was priced way above my means, the other i've applied for, but so have something like 10 other people and i'm what looked like 4th or 5th in line.

it feels like my entire future rests on getting this apartment.

what if i don't?

Friday, July 30, 2010

drums along the pacific

in the spring of 1939, composers john cage and lou harrison presented a series of percussion concerts at cornish college of the arts featuring the use of unconventional materials such as baking pans, brake drums, and rice bowls filled with water. cage was experimenting with writing percussion music that dancers could play, while harrison was implementing instruments/rhythms/tonalities/melodies inspired by javanese gamelan. by january of the following year they had embarked upon a northwest tour presenting percussion concerts at whitman college in walla walla, washington, reed college in portland, the university of idaho in moscow, idaho, and montana state university in missoula, montana — a bold experiment their mentor/colleague henry cowell famously dubbed ‘drums along the pacific.’

in april, 2010 i joined the pacific rims percussion quartet (matt kocmieroski, rob tucker, gunner folsom, paul hansen), paul taub (flute), and christopher hahn (piano) in retracing the route of this historic pilgrimage 70 years later with performances at reed college, eastern washington university in cheney, montana state university, and the university of idaho. it was truly an honor.

famous in moscow, ID

rehearsing for henry cowell's 'pulse'
brake drums and pipe lengths - my percussion debut

pacific rims percussion quartet performing john cage's 'third construction' for percussion students at the university of idaho

christopher hahn perparing for henry cowell's 'the banshee'

hotel hallway - moscow, ID

workshop at UofI



Double Music (John Cage & Lou Harrison)
Pacific Rims Percussion Quartet

Homage to Iran (Henry Cowell)
Andante rubato; Interlude; Andante rubato; Con spirito
Paris Hurley (violin), Christopher Hahn (piano), Paul Hansen (doumbek)

First Concerto for Flute and Percussion (Lou Harrison)
Earnest, fresh and fastish; Slow and poignant; Strong, swinging and fastish
Paul Taub, Gunnar Folsom, Rob Tucker

Nocturne (John Cage)
Paris Hurley (violin) , Christopher Hahn (piano)

Pulse (Henry Cowell)
Pacific Rims Percussion Quartet with Paris Hurley and Paul Taub, percussion

Varied Trio (Lou Harrison)
Gending; Bowl Bells; Elegy; Rondeau, in honor of Fragonard; Dance
Paris Hurley (violin), Paul Taub (flute), Matthew Kocmieroski (vibes, rice bowls, chinese toms, baking pans), Christopher Hahn (piano)

Fabric (Henry Cowell)
The Snows of Fuji-Yama (Henry Cowell)
The Banshee (Henry Cowell)
Christopher Hahn, piano

Third Construction (John Cage)
Pacific Rims Percussion Quartet

for more information, check out this preview by the university of idaho

Thursday, July 29, 2010

unintentional experiment no. 3


i have recently adopted this method to support my newfound love (and turns out, necessary practice) of talking to myself out loud. i always use a headset so that i can just go about my business and say what i need to say whenever/wherever i need to say it.


>if i'm in motion and in a busy place, i am 100% comfortable and don't give it a second thought

>if i'm in motion in a minimally populated place, i can go forth without holding back, but am very aware of my 'faking it'

>if i am stationary - in a cafe, for instance - i feel like i have to prove to everyone that i really am talking to someone else and find myself talking more quietly, trying to actively have more of a 'traditional' conversation, and making faces or hand gestures in the 'quiet' moments to simulate listening/responding to someone else's contributions. why i think that makes me seem less crazy i have yet to figure out...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

32 days: france/belgium/france/switzerland/slovenia/russia/slovenia/croatia/slovenia/croatia/serbia/bosnia/slovenia/italy. and now...

i landed in seattle last wednesday evening, floated for a few days, then drove down to portland on sunday. i've finally embraced the adventure of my current nomadic, 'bohemian' lifestyle and am just taking things (including where i'm going to sleep) as they come, one day at a time. i'm learning a lot about myself, human existence, and my role in it all - but of course, the more i know, the more things open and i realize how little i really much work i have to do...

after looking at 13 apartments in a wide variety of neighborhoods, being totally inspired by reunions with 3 old friends, seeing an incredibly moving performance by a local band, and re-reading dr. suess' "oh, the places you'll go!" i have officially decided that i am moving to portland. the tricky part is - i'm simultaneously more convinced then ever about the importance of my work and collaborations in seattle. there's something giant for me in portland - a level of growth, peace, and independence i've spent years working toward and yearning for - but the connections i've made in seattle are no coincidence, and they aren't completed/closed/fully realized. i have to figure out a way to straddle both cities, both communities.

today's big realization / accepting of reality: i don't have the money to live the way i've been living/been setting out to live and i'm not willing to do what it would take to change that more or less 'immediately.'

may 15th's big realization: "i came to seattle to liberate myself. i'm going to portland to build."

so, i think i'm going to let go of living alone in my dream apartment for a little longer and look for a roommate situation as i build. luckily, this is what portland is GREAT for, known for. there are tons and tons of super nice, unique houses filled with like-minded post-college people living simply, yet beautifully and therefore able to spend 90% of their time on their passion.

and what will tomorrow bring?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

and this is just the surface

Paris Project 1 from Lasara Jarvis on Vimeo.

oh, the places you'll go

today is your day.
you're off to great places!
you're off and away!

you have brains in your head.
you have feet in your shoes.
you can steer yourself any direction you choose.
you're on your own. and you know what you know. and YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

you’ll look up and down streets. look ‘em over with care. about some you will say, “i don’t choose to go there.” with your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any no-so-good street.

and you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
in that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

it’s opener there in the wide open air.

out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

and when things start to happen,
don’t worry. don’t stew.
just go right along.
you’ll start happening too.


you won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
you’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

except when you don’t.
because, sometimes, you won’t.

i’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that bang-ups
and hang-ups
can happen to you.

you can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
and your gang will fly on.
you’ll be left in a lurch.

you’ll come down from the lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
and the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a slump.

and when you’re in a slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

you will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
some windows are lighted. but mostly they’re darked.
a place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
do you dare to stay out? do you dare to go in?
how much can you lose? how much can you win?

and IF you should go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three quarters? or, maybe, not quite?
or go around back and sneak in from behind?
simple it’s not, i’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

you can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, i fear, toward a most useless place.

the waiting place...

...for people just waiting.

waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a place to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting for their hair to grow.
everyone is just waiting.

waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their uncle jake
or a pot to boil, or a better break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or another chance.
everyone is just waiting.

that’s not for you!

somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
you’ll find the bright places
where boom bands are playing.

with banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
ready for anything under the sky.
ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

oh, the places you’ll go! there is fun to be done!
there are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
and the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
fame! you’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

i’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
games you can’t win
‘cause you’ll play against you.

all alone!
whether you like it or not.
alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

and when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
there are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

but on you will go
though the weather be foul.
on you will go
though your enemies prowl.
on you will go
though the hakken-kraks howl.
onward up many a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

on and on you will hike.
and i know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

you’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
you’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
so be sure when you step.
step with care and great tact
and remember that life’s
a great balancing act.
just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
and never mix up your right foot with your left.

and will you succeed?
yes! you will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)


be your name buxbaum or bixby or bray
or mordecai ali van allen o’shea,
you’re off to great places!
today is your day!
your mountain is waiting.
so...get on your way!


thank you, thank you, oh, thank you dr. seuss...

bridging wounds:

the bruise from when i ran into the corner of the bed in tuzla, bosnia
the bruise from when the suitcase fell from above on the drive to rome
13 mosquito bite remnants from my 10 minute nap at forte prenestino

that bruise on my shin happened in tuzla. that bruise on my shin happened in tuzla. that bruise on my shin happened in tuzla.

now, i'm in portland, oregon - almost 2 weeks later - looking at that bruise on my shin that happened in tuzla. somehow, it really does connect me to the reality of that place - the reality of my experience in that place.

i was in fact there.
i am in fact here now.