I have had a slow aha this week about what it means to live in my little town. It’s felt like a validation. A validation of the importance of passion, curiosity and imagination to me. I know people who are passionate, even curious, but it’s harder for me to see their imagination in the parameters of what they define as their lives. It just doesn’t seem to occur to many that there is wild wide world out there that might shake up the way they have assessed what it means for them to be alive.
I can forgive (barely) the young man who told me that he moved here from Zeeland (a few miles away and even more myopic that Holland) and found attending Hope College to be revelatory. I think part of shedding of adolescence is that experience of realizing there’s a lot more to life and you sort of start where you are.
This is much harder for me with adults say over 23.
I also have to face the fact that I personally benefit from some of the shortsightedness. I have friends whose religious orientation seems to be sentimental to me. They are not addicted to mediocrity so much as a sweet uncritical blind acceptance of others. I approve of the love but not the blindness. But at the same time I realize that these people accept me and I appreciate and value that.
But mostly I think locals often don’t see me. Invisibility seems to be part of aging. So be it.
I also have noticed something about the way I have been improvising in ballet class. I find myself playing a lot of percussive rhythm piano interspersed with melody and improv. I also find that the time I play, I have been giving it more and more mental (and even physical energy). Some of this comes from buy diazepam online uk next day delivery encouragement from the instructors I have worked with. Often an instructor will point out to the students that the music I am making is pointing them toward a lively and engaged execution of a specific combination.
On Wednesday I found myself talking with an instructor about the relationship between music and dance. I think it is fundamental for me. Gesture and movement are basic musical ideas for me.
I have been reading a bit about Tchaikovsky (Groves online, thank you jesus). Some of his symphonic work has been judged as weak examples of formal musical structure. I wonder about the huge influence of the previous generations (Haydn and Beethoven especially) on the notion that the over arching form of a movement of music is fundamental to its worth. Certainly form is important. But I have been spending hours with Tchaikovsky’s piano character pieces (specifically a Berceuse) and find the lyric no less important than the formal aspects of the music.
Last night Eileen and I attended a concert by Calje (Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble).
The first half of the program was Afro-Latin Jazz pieces. They were interesting compositions (some by the pianist in the group). But the most engaging part for me of this section was listening to the improvisations. I find myself not that attracted to contemporary jazz (which is ironic because I am sometimes misclassifed as a jazz musician myself). The reason is that it seems to be a calcification of historic jazz (which I am attracted to, thank you miles). At the same time improvising always catches my attention since I spend so much time doing that sort of thing myself.
In the second half, a singer came on stage and they did a series of what sounded like Cuban pieces. The energy of the music suddenly made much more sense to me and drew me in.