stairway to red

The Creative Process Podcast: Cytokinesis

Hi friends!

I am starting a really fun project, one that I have been wanting to do for a long time… But only recently realized that what I had been looking for was something I should be doing myself!

I am beginning with a podcast on the Creative Process. It will be a mix of interviews, stories, anecdotes, updates from practicing artists, reports from people living lives of discovery. To me, the creative process is more than just about creating art. It is something fundamental to life… the heart of why any of us get out of bed in the morning. Those moments where we seem momentarily lost, but in some seemingly magical moment find ourselves on the other side of it all with something more than we began with.

The creative process touches every part of our lives. You could argue that it is life itself… with our own cells birthing and dying every day, our hopes and dreams growing and fading, the entire scope of our lives defined by these brief moments of choice.

When anything is possible in any given moment, what makes us choose one act over another? When there are many directions to choose from, what leads us down one path instead of the others? Who could we be if we were in tune with our gloriously creative intuitions?

These are some of the questions I will be asking. And, as much as I know about the creative process, I know that one answer that works in one moment is only the springboard to the next moment and the next question and the delicious process of finding new answers amid the apparent chaos.

So, as we put pen to paper, foot to dance floor, hand to lover’s hand, eyes to horizon, bow to string, milestone to project plan… I want to reach out and here how others experience the creative process in their lives. This is more than just art: it’s relationships, it’s business, it’s play. How do *you* live a creative life?

What I’m asking for… first off, I want to talk to the artists out there. I have a few of you in mind already and I will reach out to you directly to see when we can schedule a casual discussion.

I am figuring out the format for the show right now… probably a 30-minute audio podcast at first to keep it simple. I want to have one long-form discussion with a couple of short pieces interspersed within it. Nothing too fancy until I get my footing here and figure out how this might grow into something bigger.

Let me know if you’re interested in being a part of this in any way. We can meet in person or over audio/video call, it doesn’t matter. I have the equipment to make good recordings and will do the editing on my side to fit it within the timeframe I’ve defined.

So, I look forward to chatting with you if you’re up for it!

Thanks!

Life is complex. It’s strange and delightful

Life is complex. It’s multi-layered, both dark and bright in all its facets. As time (seems to) move forward, our tendency as humans is to form a narrative to make sense and meaning about why things happen from one day to the next and to justify our own actions in the world.

These narratives come from many places: the media, organized religion, works of art (books, music, fine arts), networks of friends and colleagues, our own reflections. With social media here to stay, it’s as if every variation of the “how and why” is competing for space in our thoughts.

When a significant event like 9/11 manifests, the powers that influence and control the larger narratives fight for the “one true meaning” that will shape public policy, the frames that the mainstream media position themselves within and the overriding conversations that we, the people, have in our daily lives.

9/11 brought put the big guns, so to speak, of the narrative creators. In the emotionally potent weeks afterwards, we created the AUMF (authorization to use military force) that led to so many things: from Guantanamo to torture to drone assassination strikes to arming rebels in several countries to a huge surplus of military equipment filtering down to local law.

I believe it’s important to question everything, especially the assumptions in any narrative, lest we move through the world on autopilot, becoming drones ourselves to the stories forced upon us from people we’ve never met. We all have our own story… and many stories we tell ourselves, imagining we can keep our sense of self together and coherent.

Today is a good day to reflect on what your own story is… who you are in this world, why you’re here and exactly where all these stories have come from. Don’t doubt for a minute that you are your own best arbiter of your own definition. Keep it fluid, keep it close to your heart. Who else knows you better than you… the one who has walked more miles in your own shoes than anyone else?

Make your own stories. Don’t live anyone else’s. And know when to end a story and pick up a new one. Stories have a tricky way of wanting to hang around too long through nostalgia and recurring memories triggered through traumas big and small.

Hold someone you love today. Close your eyes. Feel their heartbeat, the rise and fall of their breath, the warmth in their skin. Forget everything in that moment and just be with the glory of life itself. See how long that moment can last and when you part, stay connected with that deeper source you just touched and make a new life from that silence… stay amazed at the stories that start to emerge, pick one and play with it, have fun, be courageous and smile a big smile of welcoming home to the next stranger you meet. Life is strange and delightful. You can be, too!

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ULUV Music Day, June 21st

Just a quick note to y’all that this Saturday is the big ULUV Music Day all across San Francisco.  I will be playing at the north side of the Ferry Building at 3pm.  Check out the listings here for all of the venues and times.  Excited!

4 performances for the month of June

I just wrapped up a great 3-hour show at the No Name Bar in Sausalito after a few month performance hiatus. It was great to be back in the hot (performance) seat. I’ve been working on a new approach to performing that I will detail out in another post, but first I wanted to let you know of some other opportunities to come see me play **THIS MONTH**!

Bazaar Cafe, Palo Alto World Music Day, ULUV San Francisco Music Day…

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The Fiece, The Violent, The Uncontrolled

SAVAGES are the fuel to the fire, the winds from over the sea, the rocks of the heartland, the strong quantum force that keeps the universe from falling into itself.  I came across their opening video and was stopped in my tracks.

Listen to them and you can’t help but wake up, even just a little bit, to the power and dynamics of life itself.  These women, and yes this is an all-powerful all-female band, are touching the third rail, they’ve stuck a fork in the power outlet, they’ve reached up to the sky and grabbed hold of every power line all at while their feet are firmly planted and stomping on the ground.  Wow! Wow! Woooahhawow!

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The Dusty Drone

I discovered this album during the heat of the summer and it was a perfect backdrop to the lazy, relaxed vibe the SF bay area went through. The Dusted Sessions from Date Palms has been a go to sonic space for chilling out or as a soundtrack to anything that might take more than a few minutes. Tune in, turn on and drop this album into your spiritual rotation.

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The Soul Dream

This album, Overgrown, has slowly been opening long forgotten chambers in my dreams and imaginations.  I didn’t think James Blake could get any better than the his fantastic debut from two years ago, but here we are with another young artist exploring new worlds and defining (or rather un-defining) new genres of expression.  Spend some time with this album and you will be better for it.