Monday, September 17, 2007

According to Karl

This summer, I participated in the University of Manitoba's Contemporary Opera Lab, which for me was roughly like Maury sending a crack-addicted 14 year old teenager to boot camp. I spent most of my time fighting real, real hard. However, in the end I realized what an enriching, worthwhile, blah blah blah experience it was.

A good portion of this was due to our conductor Karl WhoselastnameIforget, who had a very interesting view on being a musician in this world.

It goes something like this:

It's like you're an alien and you come down to Earth and you see all these other aliens walking around. Say, ten thousand of them, and they're all trying to blend in with the earthlings. Except they don't blend in and they can't for the life of them understand why. The earthlings, while not really sure why, certainly know that the aliens don't fit in and simply accept this as fact. So you have all these aliens who don't know that they are aliens running around being very confused. Enter you. You go up to all these aliens and say, "Um, hey, so the reason that you feel out of place on Earth is because - guess what, kids - you're aliens."

The ten thousand aliens then look at you and in one smooth, cohesive motion their mouths open:


It was a brilliant analogy. We don't fit in; we weren't designed to. It is a necessary function for art that it be somewhat removed from that on which it is acting. If one is too immersed, then it is impossible to interpret and art cannot be literal. Otherwise, it would simply be life and the phrase "art immitating life" would become "life immitating life" and that makes no sense.

Next, I had a very funny time on Friday night. I'm not a huge drinker, but when libation is the cue of the night, I'm usually on top of it like a fat kid on a Smartie. However, I was not feeling especially inclined towards inebriation and therefore spent a hilarious, sober time interacting with drunken folk. My friends are not the sloberring, obnoxious sort of drunk you see at the bar but rather people attempting to carry on social interaction while in an extremely altered state. It makes a good time for Jane Goodall-ing. Most importantly, they tell you how amazing you are and for a compliment whore such as myself, c'mon, there's nothing better. Special thanks go out to my three drunken soprano friends for giving me love for the opera scenes I've done with them. It tickled me. Oh no, wait. That was Brendan.


Peggy said...

You are quite possibly the most amazing visual writer I know! Well, you and U (haha - that's perfect!) - but I kind of gave birth to her, so it might make me a wee bit biased.

Remember all the childhood things that brought wonder to our hearts and eyes? Remember we could never figure out how things happened, but really we didn't care. It was magic! It was pure magic. And the anticipation of that magic was as agonizingly delicious as the event itself. Birthday parties, vacations, trips from the tooth fairy - really any number of things, as little minds cannot comprehend how they happen.

Anyways...I'm rambling.

After you told me this analogy the other night, it got me thinking. No - you don't fit in. And no - you shouldn't. Because if you did - if it was all so very mainstream, then the magic of what you do would be lost on us humans.

So alien that you are - please know that the human I am, is so very appreciative of your talent, and for the amazing feeling of magic you give to me each time I have the pleasure of witnessing it.

I will always wish this for you. With all of your struggles in perfecting that which we already think is perfect, you bring so much joy to others.

I hope you are always an alien.

Zoe said...

Keep up the good work.