It has been three hours and a half since monkey has boarded this artificial coke can ride. With the unexpected however familiar delay at the winter airport in north america of two hours, the journey across the atlantic has been... well, not so fast! Funny isn’t it, because i do know that the speed of the plane at this point is something quite ridiculous, as the general humming of the electricity running through the red and black veins of the machine permeates through the gracious melody of Mozart quartet from my headphone, soaking monkey body with relentless resonance. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, it says.

It is hard to believe that i am actually on this flight and im trying to be as neutral as possible about the things to come- you know how silly it gets with expectations. Building a life based on expectation is one of the most dangerous things to do i think. The sweeter you dream, easier it becomes to stay in the dream, and all the sudden you realize that you have not been living, but only slumbering and dreaming. An aspiration must become an inspiration for it to become a reality and only in the present one can live- within the flow of time. Never static. Always going somewhere. I could think at least two works that deals with the idea of sleepers- well, the obvious would be the pre-discussed number from the Schubert, winterreise: im dorfe and bach’s cantata: wachet auf, ruft uns die stimme, bwv 140.


And then there’s also works that deals with the great awakening from the restful sleep with proper dream- full of hope, aspiration and renewed sense of the world, perhaps strauss’s lieder morgen should do (what a magical opening that is. A sublime transition from the unconscious, deep, sweet sleep to the new morning, still with sense of hope and optimism, now in the conscious present).


And that is where i would like to be in march, well-balanced, centered, transitioning from still to motion.

This is perhaps one of the least structured time period i will have in my life. Cant say for sure, but the idea that i have one audition to do in January is a very funny one, as i don’t particularly plan to be back in yyz till march. No work, no schedule, no deadlines- well mostly. What i would really like to engineer another short visit to Banff for the spring, perhaps on way back from the old world, en route to yyz, may be a week or two. I was informed that winter term will be seam-busting busy but if it works out that would be a great way to celebrate my spring, as many of my friends will be in the mountains during that time. I would also like to go see some dear friends who are in Europe, as travelling would be quite easier- mentally, physically and fiscally. It’s silly that it always comes down to money, but at least i have solved one problem- that of time. Ooh and learn one thing: to be slower.

Couple years ago, this idea of unstructured time would have been brutally difficult for me. Just like improvisation. What do you mean i have to figure it out- you simply wont dictate to me? Funny enough, the toughest thing to pack last night was scores. Can you believe it? Well, it’s quite a logical thing for monkey: for years, i always have been informed beforehand what my expected repertoires will be, so you just pack that. As collaborative monkey, one realize that there is barely enough time to do a decent, all-in-effort/time for may be a handful of projects, so one usually put ‘optional’ scores aside. And the instrumentalists usually bring their scores with them- great! However, this time, i have to decide what i will be working on (luckily i will have access to practice facilities, great! And now equipped with new zoom Q3- high quality audio/okay-video recording device, i am hoping i could do some real slow practice).

The first temptation was to pack everything i like. Well, that wont fly! So i sat there, looking at my leaves of music and desperately trying to figure it out. Then i gave up. I will bring 5 things. And they are all good works. Okay. That’s enough. The rest will fall into places. As they always do. And then audition pieces. Great. Hopefully that will leave me with bits and pieces of empty spaces so that i may learn to appreciate those spaces. Silence, still, but not stagnant. Rather, pregnant with real possibilities and chances to unfold, uncurl and sprout upward. Without the external business, perhaps this would be the time i will be able to face my own self without preconception or self-absorbed/prescribed identity.

This idea of looking from the outside slowly is going to be the mantra of the year i think. For past thirty years, regardless of the actual possibility, i always have been given things to do and i took them without much consideration. Proper dada. All mixed up, consuming and juxtaposing, nullifying and terrifying. Oh my. Sounds like a garbage disposal in the kitchen. BRRRRR. Loud and obnoxious really. If you give more, i will do more. I cant really say ive done my best, but i did what i could. And it’s always been alright. But now- time for a different thing. I will make a conscious effort. It wont be terribly foreign i hope, as i had much chance to share this slow-beauty concept with several people in Banff. Just different, to try it out for my own self. Well, here goes nothing.

I don’t really have a clear idea of plan for the future at the moment. There are couple really nice doors that are crack-open and it’s my own will and the collective action that will determine which one i walk into. And in any cases, it will always bring more possibilities and variants. And i shall let the differences of each refracted light to stain my own mind- a tabula rasa. For now... with slight but supple perfume of Debussy cello sonata tickling my nose, i am going to forget the world and enjoy the sound. Step no 1 in path of... slowness. It is no longer just music or an audio track. It now contains stories of people i dearly love and lived with, their lives intertwined, simply presented from a particular point of time, rich and real. The additional- story of the composition itself, the history, culture, it’ll all pop out from the flat 2D, much like pop-up books, just better. Only if i let the page to stay open so that the intricate folding of papers will come alive with that additional third dimension. 3D. Then perhaps back to a bit more Mozart. If i dare, may be some Beethoven.

How these digital tracks become real-living beings with time and careful attention! While in a big projectile motion of a silver bullet across the sea, i am able to escape from the monotony of plane ride. I am not in a simple plane ride. I am riding on the back of that silvery sparking light, travelling through scattered glitters of colours. Fast movement in a still mind. I am very hopeful about this coming year. I wont fall asleep but be aware and actively observe. Look where it takes me!

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