Despite the adjustments I am always making to accommodate asthma, there are in the end many positive things that it has forced me to consider. Perhaps most pertinent to this work is while on frequent hikes or walks in the woods or desert, the simple need to sit and rest forces one to look at what's really happening all around you, rather than whisking through - triumphing in miles or peaks bagged. The concept that 'nature' is nothing but 'beautiful' or 'peaceful' fades away. At any given moment there are animals giving birth or being eaten or both, a new tree growing out of a stump, a group of trees conspiring over ten years to choke out a competitor - sending signals to one another in chemical whispers - an epic chase, an accidental death, a group chant at dawn, a long drink of water, a bear taking a shit, a coyote yelping to hear his own voice resounding off a sheer rock cliff, mushrooms pushing through a sea of moss. All this activity is in perfect balance, and sighing and breathing back at us endlessly. Sitting in the woods catching my breath countless times I always come back to that sense of being just another animal, that ultimately the refreshing thing for me about being outside and breathing is that nature does not discriminate - you just are.
And so, Music for Breathing grew out of those observations built up over time while arrested by my lungs. There are moments of guided improvisation, short soloistic moments for each instrument, and also some opportunities for the wind quintet to play conch shells and stones - a ritualistic flourish in dialogue with the esoteric Buddhist sect the Yamabushi - moving along sacred trails and chanting and blowing conch shells. The City of Tomorrow will play Music for Breathing in a few different places in Texas this month - you can have a listen to some excerpts and have a look at event details below.
February 18th - Austin, TX - The City of Tomorrow performs Music for Breathing - 7pm, Bethell Hall
February 20th - Seguin, TX - The City of Tomorrow performs Music for Breathing - 7 pm, Ayers Recital Hall, Texas Lutheran University
February 23rd - Huntsville, TX - The City of Tomorrow performs Music for Breathing - 2 pm, Recital Hall, Sam Houston State University
February 24th - Houston, TX - The City of Tomorrow performs Music for Breathing - 7pm, Arts League Houston
February 25th - Nacogdoches, TX - The City of Tomorrow performs Music for Breathing - 7:30 pm, Cole Concert Hall Stephen F. Austin State University