Monday, March 26, 2012

we need our artists to make their work. need. much like we need our doctors to study and practice medicine. we need our artists to explore and learn and be in their process, too. when all else falls away, creativity remains. it is one of the foundational aspects of humanity - a through line. it is how we express ourselves. it is how we heal.

what do you value? how much do you pay for it?

Friday, March 23, 2012

dear violin: can we just be friends?

for some time now, i have been struggling with my relationship to the violin. to playing the violin. to music. to playing other people's music. to making my own music. to art. to making art. to dance. to what i want to do and make. to why. to how... and i think i just figured a little more of it out.

i think it's time to take on dance as my lover and allow violin to shift from lover to oldest and dearest friend.

with this simple - yet within my world, totally radical - thought, a lot of things suddenly make a whole lot more sense. this deep internal unrest and nagging question of, "what am i doing??" instantly feels like a knot that's been loosened and now has the space to untangle, separate, release... if things are structured this way, i can allow my passion for dance to take root and grow, and i can let go of my old ideas around the violin, and subsequently music, that have rigidly kept them at the center of my universe - more out of habit, as a perceived symbol of self, and 'shoulds' then from a place of passion, curiosity, and deep fulfillment. by letting it walk next to me instead of held out in front as a symbol of all i am, there is more internal space. and even more powerfully, i can release the guilt that i've felt around this shift.

by letting this relationship actually be what it is (vs. trying to hold it to standards that are more about a learned perception of what it should be, or trying to hold onto it out of fear that i am nothing without it), it no longer causes the same kind of inner turmoil, it no longer takes something away from something else. i immediately feel my repulsion towards the violin, and therefore my misguided reactionary impulse to shun it entirely, subsiding. and i feel less attached to it as THE font, my ultimate contribution, my main form of expression and communication - a shoe that has not fit for some time now, which i interpreted as a lack of creativity, voice, and artistic 'ability' - and not as being the wrong shoe, or a shoe that actually belongs on the other foot, or just one of many shoes...

by letting go of this false sense of identity held in being a violinist, it feels so much less important whether or not i am a dancer.

i can just dance.

and by psychologically shifting my relationship with the violin and music to a deep friendship and lifelong partnership, i once again am able to see that i love music! i love making music! i love playing the violin!

but at night, i dream about dance. i see dance. i am making dances for other people. i am communicating through dance. i am dancing.

dear dance,

will you be my lover?
it doesn't have to mean forever...


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

the james and janie washington foundation

i am incredibly excited and honored to be in-residence at the james washington house throughout the month of april! earlier today, i visited the space (the house mr. washington and his wife lived in, their beautiful garden, and the sculpture studio he created for his own work which has been turned into part museum, part library, part artist residency) and have been completely flooded by inspiration. upon first seeing the grounds in 2010, i was instantly drawn to the unused glass greenhouse in the backyard. it has worked its way into my dreams ever since, and when writing my application in 2011, i proposed a solo dance/music installation/performance created specifically for and performed from within this space, to be experienced by an audience from the other side of the glass. after my official tour today, i now know this will be just one of many facets...

mr. washington's presence permeates the entirety of the grounds. peaceful, spirituality-based living and making. i am in the right place...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

questions, questions. confusion. clarity?

does anyone else have trouble identifying themselves as an artist? difficulty knowing what your process is? difficulty knowing what to do when you 'sit down' to create?

am i making something? what am i making? what is my practice? when i get into the studio, what do i do? what are my interests? how do i explore them?

on one hand, i feel very new to creating. on the other, i can look back and see that i have been involved in many creative processes - those of others and my own. what is this confusion? is this just a part of the process of creating? is it always like this, no matter how many years you've been doing it - how deep you've gone within yourself and your practice? or is this a sign of being a beginner?

i'm starting to think it's a bit of both.

as i do more and more, i'm coming to realize that i need tools - i'm in a tool gathering stage. observing and absorbing how others explore interests and inclinations, develop vocabulary, build phrases. this feels like a beginning stage. but, perhaps one that i will revisit repeatedly as i grow and evolve, as i exhaust the tools i have already spent much time exploring. musically, i'm realizing i don't think i have an interest in making albums or writing music for others to play (in terms of my own self generated projects - not in terms of what i participate in of other people's projects), but that my personal interests in music are in conjuncture with other mediums. music to be experienced aurally and visually. and perhaps in general, i'm interested in creating living cinema - a filmic experience for live audiences. at times, feeling like you are watching a film in person, and also as though you are in the film - in the experience that is unfolding.


as i step into and own my creativity and desire to make, i simultaneously honor the groundwork i've been laying in this realm for the last 8 years, in particular, and realize that i'm a beginner. i've played music for many years in many contexts. i've danced for many years in many contexts. but i have not been flexing my creative muscles in a regular practice for very long at all. and it is a practice as much as any other.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

5 and a half days of hibernation and its exact opposite as this strange and slow and sudden transition into spring unfolds: the after continues

i purposefully don't have an internet connection or television at home to encourage a continually deepening presence and dialog with myself, but i will admit it - i have watched something like 8 movies in the last 5 and 1/2 days. some of them twice.

day 1:
go. go. make. make. don't stop. don't lose momentum. what's next? what do i want to make? how do i integrate and further codify all i have discovered, all i just made?

day 2:
this couch has never felt so good.

days 3, 4, 5, and 1/2:
exhaustion. inspiration. confusion. relaxation. nuturing. attempts to be 'productive.' couch potato-dom. tears. joy. attempts to numb. feelings of great fulfillment and achievement. excitement about the future. worry that i'll never leave the couch and make anything ever again. 3, 3hr dance rehearsals back to back.

i'm going to make a dance film. no, wait - a solo performance. no, i want lots of bodies on stage. but, wait, i don't think i'm interested in stages anymore. i'm going to write a book. a collection of short stories? autobiographical fiction? but first, i'm going to write letters to all of the people i've never stood up to on behalf of myself.