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

---

CONCERT PROGRAM

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


video

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

Thursday, July 29, 2010

unintentional experiment no. 3

TALK TO YOURSELF. OUT LOUD. IN PUBLIC.
...WHILE PRETENDING YOU'RE ON THE PHONE WITH SOMEONE ELSE.

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.

observations:

>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 know...how 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

congratulations!
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.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

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.

NO!
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.)

KID. YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

so...
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.