At the beginning of this was an effort to bring to this community powerful, meaningful, relevant artistic experiences; to share with audiences some of the most exciting things I'v come across; to prove that there are many others just as motivated that seek to do the same.
At the beginning of that was realizing that I was part of a community at Westmoreland that was proud of their intent to stay current; to push progress in social identity, politics, religion, and the arts; to listen to those who have something to say.
At the beginning of that was experimenting with the choir concerts; trying to curate more specific and powerful themes, trying to include other musical voices; trying to be anything but what one would expect when going to a “choir concert”; it was also being okay that one time only 50 people showed, and yet for the lack of ears the sounds rang more powerfully for them than had the building been full.
At the beginning of that was being the person who was always overjoyed if you had 10 minutes to sit and listen to the coolest new discovery; or, better yet, let’s find a time when we can sit on a comfy couch, turn down the lights, listen on the best headphones we can find, and close our eyes to really get the full experience; it was being the person who audibly gasped the first time he heard Golijov, Cage, Ives, Machover, and Monk.
At the beginning of that was someone for whom music created an emotional response on cue; for whom music could be something sought out to provoke, soothe, or entrance, but more often for whom music could be a sphere of vulnerability which invited unexpected emotions.
It was that sense of openness to the emotional power of music that gave me the impetus to let others experience the same thing - perhaps if others listened in the same way, they could also have these powerful experiences.
It was the ability to witness others having the same or even more powerful experiences from sharing that music that gave the impetus to push concert programming - perhaps this sharing can be done in a way that reaches a great variety of listeners.
It was seeing that the juxtaposition of standard and unusual works, often times for small audiences, can create new levels of perception for listeners - perhaps this can be exploited and done with ever greater levels of control and artistic inclusion.
It was understanding that I am already in the right time and the right place to present and advocate for the importance of such experiences - perhaps I can find people who believe in this as well, and we can make create powerful beauty together.
It has been in speaking and working with musicians, artists, and concert-goers alike that I believe we can make this a possibility - perhaps we can build on this momentum and grow to grander ideas, more variety, more unexpected ways of being led to feel, hear, and see the echoes of our time.