Sunday, August 15, 2010


In creation, there are moments where the creator can see or hear that which has never been seen or heard before. These are types of epiphanies, I suppose. But at the same time, these moments mark measurements of growth that have occurred and, more importantly, the bases on which growth will spring.

Growth is a matter of change. No musician I talk with has ever not said that growing in the music requires listening to oneself and in a sense objectifying what is heard. I do not know how easy it is to turn music upside down, or sideways. I suppose it is done through knowing the musical language so well that inversions are easy.

One pianist I know turned around a piece of Chopin so that it was completely unidentifiable as Chopin's. The piece became a mystery and I appreciated it for how I heard it. Not knowing Chopin in every detail abetted my inability to recognize what the pianist had done in a tricksterish way. There is no doubt in my mind that such analysis and rebuilding of Chopin's work could have only influenced his own. Small measures of learning allow great steps to be taken in the next act of creation.

No one can invest in development without taking risks. I climbed two stories worth of rocks a while ago not knowing that I was going to do it; I only thought I was going to go up a few feet to reach a certain spot. I have never climbed rocks in my life, much less in my bare feet. Now I know that I can do it again.

Looking at a blank piece of paper is a scary proposition. I do not think people do that much anymore. Rather the object of gaze is a computer screen or some other unconventional surface. Visual artists will use anything, from pools of water to a pile of nails. For improvising musicians, the blank piece of paper is the time-space ahead of them and how they will use it with their instruments.

The question is what carries creative people to the next step when the gates open and a rush of doing occurs? It is so different and the same from person to person, no matter what the art. To note is that inside each person is some sort of storm of experience. As if the epicenter and simultaneous axis retains the core of existence of every creative being and the whirlwind that rotates from the center is filled with the varying life poetry whose influx is particular to each artist.

So as I write, I am speaking in a language of all time in which there are no words, no pictures, no sounds. I have known this language throughout my entire life on earth, throughout the suffering, the joy, the hardships, the personal internal triumphs. The smiles, the moods, the aloneness, the solitude, the false conclusions, the mental anguish, the revelations of the truths where superficiality is shed like the skin of a snake.

Although creation can be excused in a purposeful exercise in abstraction, abstraction is only a shadow of how it really happens. The creator lives to step away from those shadows. The shadows of the past, the shadows that outsiders imagine, the shadows of an inner being. Creation is a means of exploding out of how we are bound.

The result of the creative act can disappear as fast as it arrives. When it comes to music, the sound resonates to the point of extinction; when it comes to art, the art object may become stuck in materiality until it decomposes but the true idea of it will have moved into another place; because in the making of one piece of art, the next one is forming.

Creation is a means of aligning ourselves with everyone else no matter how resistant the artist may be to do that. It's gonna happen anyway. The individual on earth will de-atomize, as the process of art progresses, and radiate into the universal consciousness. The church of all, the apse of unity, the Rose window through which heavenly light penetrates.

copyright 2010 Lyn Horton

Video: Matthew Shipp live at A38 in Budapest, Hungary, September 5th, 2008,
opening for Joe McPhee, Roy Campbell, William Parker and Warren Smith

Photo: copyright 2008-10 Lyn Horton
Ceiling of the Angel Orensanz Foundation Building

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Too often, one can plow through life believing, or not even believing, rather mindlessly thinking that being here, alive on earth, is a matter of fact, not for appreciation or awareness thereof.

That I have titled this blog The Paradigm for Beauty means that I want to write about the experiences that I appreciate in my life. I am also interested in the consciousness required to witness experience and see, hear, touch, smell and feel it.

Just because I write about creative improvised music and make visual art does not preclude the fact that my capacity for enjoying birdsongs is non-existent.

I think that being female contributes a lot to how I think and how I use my senses to invest experience with significance. That the birdbath on my terrace can be viewed from my dining room table offers the opportunity for participating in a natural world, albeit a limited one, one without jaguars and lions, whales, and seals.

In silence, sound is abundant. All winter long, when the windows are shut, the nature of the sound has everything to do with the interior and logically the internal. When winter approaches, I am ready for it. I am ready to focus on my internal spaces. I am ready to batten down the hatches, seal up the cave and seemingly hibernate: infrared photography would reveal this bundle of energy roaming the house, pausing for a while, then roaming again. What the photo would not show is the way my mind is operating, developing ideas for my art, listening to music for the purpose of writing about it. Once it is March, I yawn with anticipation of the changing light, of throwing the windows open and letting the exterior invade the interior.

The spring calls me outside. The smells of the earth beckon me to sink my fingers into the dirt to care for my garden. I want to feel the breezes and the rain on my face. I want to fall asleep without laying a heating pad on my chest. That time eventually comes every year. The temperature of the inside of the house equalizes with the temperature of the outside so I do not have to raise and shut the windows all the time, having become an anthropomorphic thermostat. And when the windows are open, so my longing to be one with the universe pervades my psyche. It is the sounds that take me to that cosmic plane. It is the revivification of the colors that re-sensitize my notions of change. I become healthier because my body is taking in the energy that is more evident, more noticeable than it seems to be in winter, although I know that is not true.

Change is continuous. One tends to compartmentalize instead of embracing the whole. It is the whole that is changing; we are part of the whole. Knowing that we are simply contributors to the change of the whole is a matter of consciousness. We are not controlling it; we are filters. Like every other living entity. Filters for experience.

Too often, we are caught in the web of our imagined function. We are led by our own ideas of who we are, instead of recognizing that the energy we expend physically is irretrievable and we are decaying with every breath we take. However, our spirit is enriching itself, the longer we live, the more we breathe, the more we listen, smell, touch, taste and look. We are blessed and we have to remind ourselves how, every second of every waking moment.

copyright 2010 Lyn Horton

copyright 2010 Richard Laurie

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