Last night, Alex Caldiero and I performed together for the first time. We have read on the same bill together twice in the past (once at City Art at Mt Tabor Church, and another time at a private birthday party at the now defunct Green Street in Trolley Square) but this was the first time we performed together. Actually, that is not accurate. We also performed together in Intransitive Senses, the first installment in Another Language's Interplay series. We performed simultaneously but in different rooms, but close enough to kind of hear each other. That performance perhaps planted the seed for last night's performance.
Last night we performed at Cabaret Voltage's spoken word series at Urban Lounge The evening was an mix of piano/vocals by Layna, visual works by John Bean, and poetry by Alex, Bryan Mehr and Christopher (one of the founders of Cabaret Voltage, along with Michael McLean).
Playing bass with Alex was a challenge - how to complement and contrast his words and sounds without overwhelming them while at the same time having a unique, strong and slightly independent voice? We had discussed (for one minute just before performing) some simple queues but, of course, I was lost for the start and just played by instinct and sensitivity to the moment. Just from the audience response it seemed to work.
When Bryan went on after Alex he asked me to play with him too. I played an entirely different style with Bryan, less "avant-garde", more straight ahead jazz. After Bryan's performance Christopher asked me if I could do a solo. I happily and graciously accepted.
Perhaps this is the beginning of more collaborations with Alex.
... note: ironic to call "avant-garde" a style rather than a stance.
... is changing ...Tue, 25 Jan 2005
A poet is someone who hears silence - and is changed by that sound.Sun, 16 Jan 2005
Thank god I didn't find god when I went crazy.Sat, 15 Jan 2005
Two hand bells are placed in the center of a small, low-lying circular table. One bell, large and low. The other, small and high.
When (and if) you feel like sharing and the large bell is in the center of the table you take hold of it, ring it, then move it to the edge of the table's circle nearest you. Then you share.
While sharing, if another feels like commenting or responding to your share, the other takes hold of the small bell, rings it lightly one time, then moves it midway between the center and the edge of the table nearest them.
When you feel like pausing your share for the midway bell response, you move the large bell midway between your edge and the table's center with a single ring.
Then the other moves the small bell to their edge for a short share or dialog with you. When they are done the other moves the small bell back to the center of the table with a single ring.
Then you move the large bell back to your edge with a single ring and resume sharing.
When you are finished with your share, you take hold of the large bell, ring it, then move it back to the center.
Now both bells are in the center and another may take hold of the large bell and begin their share.
You may share anything you like: a dream; some text or music written by your or another; an painting or image; an idea; a memory; silence or song; improvise; acting, dance; ...Fri, 14 Jan 2005
Sex is a problem in this country founded by Puritans, where, hundreds of years later, despite the evidence, monkey trials are still being fought in courts over creationism versus evolution.
Sex is a problem for Puritans who live for the future, accumulating good deeds to ensure entry into that future. But sex, in its non-reproductive erotic form, is life lived in the moment. Even in its reproductive form, sex still contains an element of the instant, regardless of the future beings being formed.
Different from animals, we are conscious beings, conscious with words of being distinct from each other and all that exists. We suffer anguish and guilt from that sense of separation and desire to be connected with the cosmos.
For Puritans, that connection comes by subordinating themselves to God and the future. For others the anguish of separation and desire for connection is either repressed with drugs or tv, or embraced by way of meditation or wilderness. Regardless, the fundamental social conflict remains, between a focus on living for the future and an understanding of the moment - life lived in the instant.
Sex is a threat to future-oriented beings since it seems to make us immanent with animals. It abolishes the hierarchy of time and the dominion of man over beast. It makes us one in the moment. Sex is a sacred act of connecting beings in a timeless now with no thought for the future. It is being connected and conscious without words - without God as an intermediary.
But Puritans won't stand by idly if you remove God from the equation. Thus rating systems that equate sex and violence. Thus a country that erects barriers to sexual expression but uses it pervasively in advertising. The desire for connection is a fundamental human drive. Sex can be celebrated as sacred connection or denied, only to appear as love for sale in a car commercial.
This social conflict is deep. It relates to the wilderness versus development debate. It is based on a fundamental difference in human values, one based on a future with God, the other with life on the Earth now.
Is a dialog possible or will we stay divided, with one side running around naked in the wilderness while the other sits quietly in cathedrals?Fri, 07 Jan 2005
Last night, to bed around 1am. Sleep until 10am. Read until noon. "Breakfast" and easing into the day until 1pm. Then leave the apartment at Edificio Los Rocas and walk north, people in the rocks and sand at the beach outside our door.
Past the sea wolf sanctuary that today only has gulls and pelicans. Past the school of the sea with its saint. Past the structure jutting out on the beach that, last April, was a restaurant and is now under construction, to be a disco.
Past Restaurant Pacifico where we ate last year - and our favorite empanada place this year - with the EuroMarina condos above where we stayed the first 2 nights but left since it was too small, too plastic and too cut off from the waves.
Continuing, just past this point, to the mostly undeveloped section (except for some restaurants and squatter's shacks), the best part of the walk, above the cliffs, below the sand dunes.
Today, I see, through the trees, a man at the door of his shack, washing his face, then sitting and combing his hair. I put the camera away for respect. Bringing it out again for the sea wolfs and a backwards shot of the high-rise development.
Past the faces sculpt in the hillside just beyond the man selling his metal sculptures at the sea lion view point.
Cliffs, rocks, sea, foam. Across the Pte Los Piqueros bridge over the chasm. On the mountain side of the bridge I play that game - imagining the 4 foot leap from the cement foundation across the abyss to the rail - so easy one would give it no thought but for the void. The void brings death to mind as do the shrines on the north side of the bridge, just before what I call "Neruda point" for his fish symbol placed on the furthest rock out to the sea. I stop to contemplate and have an aqua mineral gasificado.
Small ships skim the horizon. Large freighters at anchor in the harbor. Gulls land on cliffs. Wave spray blows between rocks. Docks dive under foam. Seaweed swirling in tidal motion. Whirlpools wash under further waves.
Churn and mix and never still but somehow silence comes to mind. Silence and sun heating the surface of my skin - the thin membrane making me - keeping my water and the waves distinct.
I am the ocean, sun and moon. Sky's my mind. Fish my feet. Churn and mix and never still.
Solitude the cost of these words. Words the sea gives me but can do without. There is no end, only continuing - walking in the infinite now. Each wave unique but no different from water. Shapes shifting in the unending sea.
Coming closer to sea surge between rocks at land's end I imagine the violence it offers - but somehow the seaweed is still there hanging off the rocks - dripping after each pounding wave.
Churn and mix and never still - exceeding all attempts to capture the continuing moment of life.Mon, 03 Jan 2005
Today I spent the afternoon walking slowly to ConCon and back by myself, probably around 10 miles round trip.
Galaxies like grains of sand, recalled from long ago from this human's perspective - or a moment of pain or pleasure, then ... Not quite ready to accept something from nothing.
Flags flapping in the wind against the summer fog. Ceaseless movement of people along the beach and the pink bus home. Faces gaze out the windows of cars passing by. 1980s Madonna and Phil Collins on the juke box and small napkins - only one for each person.
Mid afternoon sun breaking through the fog not so far from Neruda's house - a long way from the high-rise condominiums rising from the beach. More people filling space and the 3-legged black dog.
Children play in the waves while I nurse bronchitis and a healing heart. Any moment now I'll be one of those galaxies like grains of sand - a speck in the immense void.
So many stray dogs. Cigarette butts litter the sidewalk. Nada mas.
Waves, rocks, sand. Wine, corvina a la plancha and ensalada chilena. Basic elements. Sun setting into the fog bank miles out in the sea. The end of a day spent walking along the edge of the continent. The last rays illuminate the wave's spray as the darkness begins to fold the sky to the earth. And a small cool evening breeze.
The restaurant playing 1940s U.S. Chattanooga Chu Chu. The wine: Errazuriz Corton Cabernet Sauvignon. Finish with mineral water then move on to the German pastry shop.
My language becomes even simpler as the food and wine settle in - and the thought of desert. Seagulls, pelicans in the dark - people on the rocks.