I have accidentally spent some time with John Cage in the last few days , forcing my son to watch a documentary about his work for a presentation he needs to do at school. I didn't anticipate Cage would start speaking directly to me. While I don't completely align with him, as he seems to speak from a position of detached privilege that does feel quite a comfortable shirt on me, he does remind me of some important neglected voices that I wish to increasingly open the door to in my work:
1. the listening to nature, attempting to have an unconditional acceptance of all that it is around us and in us, the is-ness of being; 2. as part of this a deep attentiveness to the silent noise of nature, of attempting to be with it, and hear it; to use it as a template, a guide for one's practice 3. his call to "be self-employed" - "in self -employment is the secret of enjoying old age." "That means that no matter how old you are, if you are self employed you will see each day as useful."
"the only reason that people accept jobs that are not interesting is because they think they need money. They think that money is important and life is not. what we need to do is to be willing to die for what gives us life."
"I knew that I loved music and I was willing to die for it so I didn't approach music as something that would make money for me. if I needed money I then took a job that would make money such as washing dishes or washing walls or distributing circulars for an advertising campaign or something like that" ... "if you can enjoy the worst things then the rest is easy."
Be free of our likes and dislikes in order to receive whatever the environment gives us "as something good."
How can I integrate my own noises into non judgmental music: the struggles with care for my mother, the deliberations over how best to express myself in media, the minutia of daily life as a father, a teacher, a striver, a doubter, a seeker, a frightened one, a brave one, .
I feel I have been planning for so long, make sketches of what to do next without doing it.
I want now to harness my plans into something useful. easeful, peaceful, useful, --this is the mantra of my friends who are devotees of swami satchidananda. it would be nice to be a trusted disciple of something to trust without question. I have never known that.
except for a few trusted friends who have passed.
I am struggling now to establish a regular creative practice in the midst of the demands of daily life--full time teaching--family life--writing commitments--
the practice I envision and reach for is a transmedia practice of shifting between the quotidian forms in which we swim, skype, desktops, iphone screens, scraps of paper, news clippings, audio books, wine glasses, chargers..., and weaving it all together with a tight narrative strand that makes it all make 'sense' , that gives it some meaningful cohesion.
This summer I am devoting to learning some tools to help my creation process, namely Adobe After Effects and Machinma, / my upcoming spring studio schedule / to create regular objects that will help me practice and learn how to best do this.
this document --m 503 - outlines some basic theoretical ideas that are in the back of my mind as I work towards this: