Art for Fidgety Skeptics

Art for Fidgety Skeptics

When I put this topic into my list of future blog posts, I intended to write about the meditative virtues of visiting an art museum. After all, it’s a deeply revitalizing thing to do, resplendent with silence, inspiration, and room for contemplation.

However, a couple of things happened in the interim period between idea and drafting, and folks – we’re gonna take a hard left into the world of making art. I hadn’t intended to go there on this platform for a while, but when the muse invites you to go somewhere, you damn well better follow her or risk her not showing up tomorrow.

So today, we’re going to talk about making art as a form of meditation.

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Playing Big

Playing Big

When I was in “opera school,” there was an ongoing joke about singers sneaking into the biggest empty rooms they could find in the music building or theatre building or, frankly, any near-abandoned building at any time, to open up the volume and really let loose. For non-musicians, you will never know the love-hate relationship that exists between the musician (especially the singer or brass player) and the Practice Room. Music schools are stuffed full of these closet-sized monstrosities, decked out in asbestos tile and ‘70s wallpaper or, if you go to Julliard or Manhattan School of Music, leaking pipes and those blue blankets they use to move furniture. Yes, from hoity-toits to hoi polloi, we all slummed it in the slummy practice rooms of our alma maters for hours a day, playing or singing into a wall, achieving no resonance, sensing no reverberation.

But oh… for the clandestine moment in an empty hall. The thrill of finding an unlocked classroom late at night. The pure joy of warming up alone on stage. The satisfaction came from the sensation of it – the freedom; the endless, undaunted volume; the sympathetic resonance with everything around you and the unbridled ability to manipulate the entire space through the air….

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