Monday, June 20, 2011

cmm4: it is about relationships, people!

Once upon a time, I suggested that we program Yoko Ono's Promise Piece. Essentially, the performer breaks a piece of pottery, distributes the broken shards among the audience and enacts a quasi-ritualistic pact to reconvene ten years later to make whole this decade-old ceramic diaspora.

Sadly, Promise Piece never made its way to a Chamber Music Midwest program, however the spirit of Ono's performance remained integral to that life-changing fortnight known as Oh No, Fluxus! When I founded the festival four years ago, I had an instinct, an impulse arguably premature without a recognizable rationale or reason to support it. Today, I can see that this instinct was one connected to the need for community, to forge relationships deep, meaningful, and indeed musical. All too often our time in music school is spent not perfecting our craft, but rather developing a callused, impenetrable exoskeleton. Although arguably useful in protecting our fragile, nascent egos from barbs and shivs, such a structure proves detrimental to both the formation and formulation of artistic agency.

Why is this so damaging? Because music is about relationships, people!



More than any other year, CMM4 exemplified the creation and strengthening of relationships--musical and otherwise. Our successful Kickstarter campaign (thanks everyone!) allowed for dear friends and fine musicians to travel to Wisconsin; the unique community formed through this proverbial "social cocktail" was exhilarating. The inclusion of family friends and community members as host families and so-called "bringers of jollity" facilitated a cross-generational, cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural exchange of ideas. Yes. Exhilarating. I would also argue that the music making was better for this very reason. Dining together, living together, dancing together, our community supported a joyful musical practice.

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