I’ve slowed down writing here because I’m spending more time in a drum studio, and try as I might to accede rather than dilute my creative practices, I have unfortunately discovered not just that I have limits but I’ve discovered, possibly, the outer most limits of my energy; the balance of it remaining after I account for work and parenting. I have collapsed into short naps every day for the past week, ever since I started going into the drum studio. Usually around 6pm, and it’s like fainting, it is so extreme. So I have decided to sacrifice some writing time in order to play music, or I will keep collapsing asleep in the middle of the evening. I use the word “sacrifice” even though I feel no regret over the negotiation, because I want to be honest with myself that if once upon a time I thought my writing would develop with multiplicities of practice and time, such is not the case now. I must move my practice and time into a whole other realm of art, and hope it influences the tenor (hyuk hyuk) of the writing at some later point. Maybe today.
So for the moment, here, I am pitting Music against Writing just to tease out where my energy gets trained. Regarding music: its most peculiar trait is that what I hear is never what you hear. What I hear inside of the kit or behind a keyboard, is so far from what I hear on my shitty iPhone recording. Also, what I’m playing isn’t meant to be polished from the outset—maybe one day if I went back to maniacal practicing but that won’t happen again. In fact what I’m doing is likely fifty steps before “polishing.”
A piece of writing can be proofread, and a fragment of sound lives only in time and memory. Some of it is planned but most of it, if you’re really fucking lucky, a great fragment of sound is an absolute convergence. “Right place right time.”
The public journal, or blogging equivalents of music are also different. I just don’t know of a good way to listen to drafts of music outside of free improv, and quite honestly, watching open jams on a screen is a terrible experience. It’s bad enough when you get a bad spot in a club. Do I want to be in my chair or at the mercy of earbuds? On my couch, watching something from a 2 x 4 inch phone?
Here comes my punchline. What do I want?
I want to connect the writing and the playing, by naming the there.
There’s a there there.1
The meme of Leonardo DiCaprio holding a can of beer pointing at something with recognition. There!
I saw god for two seconds—if that—in the drum studio last night. There!
The there that is there, is so extremely present.
Today, I have written directly into the CMS. This is not a worked draft, it’s a free writing zero file. The writing equivalent of warming up to jam. I would be terrible at free styling verse but I am known to be excellent at what the French call compere. And let me stop you before you accuse me of being pretentious for invoking a “je ne sais quoi” word. It’s only pretentious if you take French seriously, which I do not.
What does that mean, compère? It just means I am a good connector. I am pretty good at connecting disparate threads into one conversation. I want to be a unidimensional multivalent shaman. My left hand can operate independently from my right hand which can operate independently from my mouth. I want to put your hand in my mouth, if we can figure out which you consider your dominant.
There is a there there.
Gertrude Stein what up. I’m talking about positivist future and she was talking about a palimpsest of nostalgia but there’s still a there there.