"Yes..and" - Prof. Frances Whitehead
'Yes and..." instead of "No...but". There were moments of inspiration, confusion, revelation, dis-connection, re-connection and at some points just ridiculous absurdity (personally) to the day. Observing how Frances has expanded and widened her definition of her own practice away from introspective, self-serving to community focused output/input aligns with the way I have been feeling about my own practice - selfish and therefore existentially boring. Not to sound dark and negative but I have composed songs/music for 20 years around 'the human condition' and to be honest am a little over myself/ourselves. Yes we want to 'come together, unify, be all about aroha'...meanwhile other life forms that we share this Little Rock with are being humanised out of existence...not cool. But hey - he aha the me Nui? He tangata, he ta..ngata..he ..ta..nga..ta. I think not.
Self professed non-musician (but incredible musician/producer) Brian Eno (Roxy Music/Music for Airports) is quoted during a BBC panel discussion saying 'Music and art is something that we don't need' i.e. it's a luxury. It's ironic as a 'qualified, certified, professional, approved through evidence based and peer reviewed practice..i agree with him. However this is something that I would be very keen to dis-prove. I wonder at this early stage of exploration we be sure to disect MUSIC: industry vs ART.
What I have absorbed most from Prof. Whitehead's presentation is the license that Artist's can think wider, contribute more than self-serving output and can indeed be included in civil design (Expanded, embedded and exemplified). I feel like I am no longer just a musician singing about the right-wing woe's and/or love's lust of his/her village...but possibly someone who might look at a civic issue with a different lens than what engineers, policy makers, planners, plumbers and architects might viscerally present. Artist could be those embedded crack-heads at council meetings, half pissed on wheat grass that might actually see something of value that others might have missed. I've just realised how negative I sound. There's something here predicted by French polymath/economist in the 70's Jaque Attali around 'the proliferation of music'. I think I am becoming frustrated with how we politely celebrate mediocrity (including my own shit)...ok off to try n do something worthwhile...some community shit. My ideal gig would be in complete darkness.xx
ps. Thank you Professor Frances. You have inspired the communal 'dishwasher' in me - come see me in the kitchen happily singing dishwashing songs.