Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blue Mountain's Sun Drummer

In the summer of 2010, Wadada Leo Smith asked me if I would like to do the cover art for a release of music that he recorded at Brandeis University in 1986 with drummer Ed Blackwell.

I said that I would be honored.

I did several drawings and sent the last image to him, thinking I had visually summarized the music.

But, he picked the very first one, which I had done off the top of my head, without really thinking about the music. It is called "Horn and Drums;" it was the most free and uninhibited image of all the drawings I created and has everything to do with the music.

copyright 2010 Lyn Horton

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Time Has No Edges

It takes courage to get out of bed in the morning and realize that everything is going to be new, just as yesterday, everything was also new, but today, is in the past.

We may think the same thoughts that we thought yesterday, but within a different frame work. I may go to the grocery store today with the list I made yesterday.
I may follow my morning routine, but eat and drink my coffee in an altered sequence from the one that I followed yesterday.
I may sleep in the same bed I sleep in every night, but have a sore back this morning.
I may want to write this blog entry now, whereas a few minutes ago, I had no idea that I was going to start writing.
I may do another drawing using the same kinds of lines that I used on a drawing last week, but the drawing has another way of being, another circumstance for viewing.

Within the last six months, each Sunday, I have been accompanying a close friend of mine, who is a photographer, to places I never knew existed. These places ooze with spectacular vistas, or overwhelmingly earthy smells, or exceedingly sensuous environments, or glass-like slippery rocks, or miles and miles of trails through thousands of trees. They are places to absorb the natural temporary circumstances, because tomorrow those circumstances will change. A lush waterfall will have become a series of delicate trickles or the leaves may have fallen off the trees or the temperature might have plummeted 60 degrees and snow will be where dusty footprints once were.

The passion which directs me to write these words to describe the aforementioned are meant capture the moment, not in a photographic way. Rather in a way that reveals the moments' transition into other moments, that reminds me to breathe and enjoy the air, that triggers endless ideas, opens my heart and mind to clarity and the pristine qualities of vitality and the fleeting notions which are only steps to other fleeting notions.

Writing occupies my time when I am exploring the truth of what goes...How is my everyday life, without psychology. The way in which situations present themselves. Without any premonitions, astrological explanations or calendars of events. More with acts of impulse that are ready to go within the subconscious.

Repeating myself is not boring. I am reviving whatever is repeated. I am giving it new energy. New color, new tone, new means to evolve.

How invigorating poetry is, not to be bound by editorial rules and guidelines.
Which poem is better than another?
Which take on a record sounds better than another?

Why do I tear up a drawing that has been hanging with a group of similar ones?
The group looks better... no diverging principles of content?
What are, in fact, the details that are a matter of concern? Too many squiggles; not much sense in the way the lines penetrate the plane; no means to balance the impact of the squiggles and the straight lines. The details must make a big difference. The drawing I dispensed with was dumb.

How is it that the music I am listening to grips me and infuses me with the will to move to the rhythms and dance with the resonance of the vibes? For what reason do I choose a certain kind of music to embrace me with a sense of time that comes only in this certain way?

How do I know that the breeze coming through the window is transporting a system of weather conditions that will cause me to cover myself with more blankets when I sleep tonight? I know because the temperature did drop about 30 degrees within the last hour and the window now needs to be shut.

A good way to derive satisfaction is to do something I have never done before. Like finally taking a camera with me, albeit a little dinky one, to all these glorious places my friend and I go to so that I can drink in the intensity of the way the leaves rustle in the wind, while my friend seeks his best camera shot within close proximity, within a distance where I can easily call to him, if I need to.

And tomorrow, which words will I choose to use for what purpose?
The answer escapes me.
I do not know.

copyright 2010 Lyn Horton

Video: Abundance, copyright 2010 Lyn Horton

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Impetus for Agglomeration

Language has different meanings for everyone. Everyone speaks his/her own individual language even though the spoken parts are the same. But not everyone translates one kind of language into another. From speaking language to a musical or visual one.

Generally, the sequencing of words is antithetical to thought. This is the reason that grammar no doubt was designed so that some kind of uniformity be imposed on the way in which words come out so that, when assembled, they could be understood by those who can understand.

But, poetry, art and music are not about sequencing necessarily; they arise from the whole mind without any rules: they originate automatically.

I like combining words and pictures. Not in the sense, that a picture means a thousand words, but that pictures, stationary or moving, imprint concepts in ways that words cannot.

Maybe the combination of words and pictures is really my work. And that continually separating them is causing unnecessary struggle both in my writing words and my making pictures or drawings. Perhaps I am on to something here. Perhaps the natural basis for verbal and visual events is their combination, at least for me. Maybe I am fighting an internal battle for no reason.

But then, I have to consider that many of the words I write are about music rather than for the sake of being themselves. In the largest sense, I can deal with the combination of three languages. Many mixed media events. Yet, I sacrifice the purity of the three different, distinct languages.

So what am I after? I am after the space where the mind is at peace when involved with any one of the three languages on which I focus. When I am mindless in my mindfulness.

I am not a musician: I write about music. Apparently with a viewpoint that is oddly clarifying. Because the impulses the musician goes through every time he/she improvises or composes formally, bear striking similarity, I feel, to the ones I go through when I am pulling together strange visual marks on surfaces.

That water has come to pre-occupy me of late has everything to do with achieving mindfulness. To listen to the water's roar invests me with its power. Water can carve any path that it finds. A product of nature, not a result of the decision the water makes. No complaints, no worries, no emotions, no suffering. That the earth is partially water is a blessing. For us. Recognizing how fluid motion happens teaches me to let go.

To let the words move into space effortlessly, to let the marks in making art come from within without question, to interpret music as the moments allow and give the reader the poetry that the interpretation is.

Solo, in and out, a filter through miles of useless energies, to burn pure light and be essence.

copyright 2010 Lyn Horton

Photo: Waterfall, copyright 2010 Lyn Horton
Image: Polyphasia, copyright 1990-10 Lyn Horton
Video: Mergeance, copyright 2010 Lyn Horton

Is the Picture Big Enough?

Life poses many choices. I gotta pick something every now and again. Hopefully, the choice I make is the best one for the moment. But, how ...