2.5.09

it's flying monkey time!



monkey's about to embark on a journey across a big puddle called atlantic. it is somewhat inconveniently large and it will be quite a feat of engineering and all that human 'achievements' that will make the long jump possible. things are packed and shoes are polished (why- i have no clue what so ever. it seemed appropriate for some bizarre reason.) a book has been chosen and music player is loaded. airtix has been printed and appropriate cables are packed.

it is interesting how many different 'kinds' of things monkey's packing for a trip that's got no serious plans. because the most serious point of all this is just to see what's what, as robin said.

robin engelman, the founder of nexus percussion, is one of my ahem, idols, really. ive known him through the group nexus for past ten years and still, i continue to learn more things about them- as individuals, as a group, as a teacher, a person, whatevers. they were one of the very first western classical percussion chamber ensemble, and i honestly didnt know much about them even when i was going to school here- i knew that they were bloody good, but the level of percussionists (who have literally climbed over the fences of the world to be @utoronto) was rather high, so i thought that just was the expected norm for the percussion kids. as far as western classical percussion goes, these men are superstars, seriously. working with seiji ozawa, sir andrew davis, jo kondo, takemitsu (who wrote a chamber perc concert to nexus for 1990 carnegie hall premiere for the centennial year of the hall), they even played in expo 86 and calgary olympics.

oops. and i didnt know. thankfully, i quickly realized that once i got out of toronto and started to go to school in the states. once again, one starts to miss something and be even more curious about it once it is no longer readily available! how ironic. i still remember listening to their 'farewell' concert back in 2003, the last concert with john wyre. the second half had no particular program, back to how they really got it started in 1971: improv. i love their cross-experimentation of african drumming, ragtime and contemporary western classical music- whether commissioned/ dedicated/ arranged by/for them, those works always spark a reaction. well, if one finds it boring, i think one may not be paying attention: perhaps it's that determination that one has, to find what one is looking for, rather than to find what one is exposed to. subtle and a world-of-a-difference.

anywhoos, lucky monkey and tonmeister peter gets to have robin's company every now and then. and during this spring, robin, on my teenager-ish begging, sent an entire collection of his mallets down to aussie land for my friend erica. up to this date, we dont exactly know how many mallets she actually got, but apparently tons. sticks that makes noise. awesome!! so in order to properly thank him, we were armed with a bottle of my favorite gin (hendrick's) and a short hop to a lunch stop.

and yes.. funny enough, every conversation we have, there's always this quark thing. for reasons unknown to us, there'll be a theme emerging, all-on-its-own. this time, conversation was on bruckner symphonies (i recently survived the 8th on a concert. it was maddening long. maddening because- when you are just about to give up, there'll be some really good bits... then... it gets that over-stretched-soup treatment... then... you fall apart, and about to melt off from the chair.. then comes... another bit.. repeat), which lead to him saying: well, just to see what's what.

haha. what a robin thing to say, after his work with cage, takemitsu and non-western influences. appropriate, concise, and even hurtfully right. this is the best thing about robin's company. you always leave with something to chew on for a LONG time. there's no substitute for talent and brilliance. and there's no way to get around lifetime experience. so when you add the two, monkey's just overwhelmed at times.

whats what? why is that so complicated?
it's not complicated. i guess that's why it seems so... weird. once one takes a closer look.

with this darwin-based scientific model society we have, it is so easy to get stuck on hypothesis-execution-result-analysis line of thinking. especially the things one does everyday, or the things one 'plans' out. the word plan itself defies any kind of guarantee really, it's more like a hope.
plan: a set of decisions about.. future, to think about and decide on action, the intention of acting hoping for a particular result (botched, ahem, abridged def from cambridge dictionary)
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=60438&dict=CALD

all we know about the future is that it's not here yet! it's always now! ha ha ha. bah... boo. lol. and more things one starts to incorporate into an 'expected results' list, the more things get 'set,' and the execution gets even more complicated and we end up living as if we are just running some 'serious and vigorous academic' research project. no sneezing, no handing of samples with hands, temperature control, all must be obeyed!

urr okay whatever.

we arent just some freakish experiment. life may be, but one, as an individual, is not just sets of plans. it's always the process isnt it. and to process something, whatever it is, it becomes truly important that one really observes and understands what it is this process involves: internally and externally. once one is able to see what's what, then- a true contextualization and analysis may happen.

so when im looking at this sojourn, i think i want to take this month of may somewhat seriously: i want some serious fun. it's all about fun. if it's not fun, why am i doing it??! and because i take it seriously (trust me, i am a doctor, ha ha), i think it is for the best that the integrated plan be: just to see what's what.

and the rest: gravy.

groooveeey. yeaaaaah.

just couple more hours now till the steel cage for monkey.

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