Sunday, April 17, 2011

packing my library

Thus far, the most rewarding part of the transition from performance to scholarship has been the time spent with my books. Since arriving in East Lansing a little over a year ago, I found myself acquiring more and more texts each month at my local used book shop(s). What started with a few exhibition catalogs has snowballed into my current obsession with all-things phenomenological. 

figure expanding library
figure books books everywhere

This weekend, I began the arduous process of packing my library. These books have changed my life, my perspective on music, art, aesthetics...the list goes on. Certainly, Chamber Music Midwest's broadening intellectual focus owes its genesis to my ever-expanding collection. To think that just a year ago, I had never read Foucault or Baudrillard or Hegel or Aristotle, it boggles my little mind. Until engaging with these texts, I had never before considered the ways in which I interact with a world conditioned by what Marx calls "the nightmare of tradition." I had never before considered the ways in which music is implicated in such a "nightmare." I had never before considered how the act of acquiring knowledge is the first step in dissolving the paradoxically diaphanous yet unyielding shackles that bind us.

Perhaps it is as simple and elegant as that oft-quoted verse:
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

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