Clarinetist Alex Hecker and I plan to explore the physical embodiment of musicking, as a metaphoric representation of the connection/disconnection between our own physical bodies and our identities. Our goal is to find sounds that represent different emotional states, by improvising around challenging topics that remind us of specific memories, or times in our lives’ when we felt less “in our bodies.” The goal is two-fold, to remind ourselves, and others, that physicality is an important manifestation of our identities; and that physical movement is inseparable from concepts of sound and music. This, what musicologists call carnal musicology, is a growing field that deserves more recognition. Check out Elizabeth LeGuin for more!!
Social psychologist Chris Petsko (aka my husband) wants to explore the intersections of intimacy and love as an identity forming space. Delving into the discomforts of intimacy as reflection of our lack of self-love, we will hopefully embody sounds that deeply represent our relation to one another, as well as those around us. For us, our love really extends beyond the confines of our relationship, and this has become a part of the love and intimacy we share with one another. To really unravel these deep emotions, I want to explore early relationships we both have with religion, and how this relationship stymied our own intimate expressions as developing gay men. But beyond this suppression, there is a spiritual wonder inherent within religious philosophy that has helped us gain a well-rounded sense-of-self. This dichotomy, I’m sure, will lead to a lot of sounds!
Tenor Ryan Strand and I are exploring discomfort in our identity formation as a result of being labelled by others. These labels often manifest in self-hatred, and motivate all of us to ignore the parts of ourselves that need the most love. Ultimately, my hope is to find the beauty in these ignored parts of our identity, and find the sound(s) to reveal our strength in working through issues of self-consciousness.
Bass singer Kota Terrace and I are exploring eroticism (within the framework of Esther Perel’s research), as a spiritual mechanism of human connection. Our goal is to unravel how these types of connections ultimately reflect, and simultaneously reshape, our own identities. By focusing not only on our past self-discovery, but also on our present iterations of imaginative and erotic connections, we hope to find new trajectories in our own self-expression. In doing so, we hope to uncover the power and confidence that accompanies the spiritual growth of emotional and physical connection with others.
Visual artist and poet Aaron DeLee and I will explore the challenges of using language and prose in terms of truly communicating identity outwardly. By improvising with words and sounds, we hope to find a symbiotic relationship between these forms of communication in a way that delivers a deeper message in a less abstract manner. This type of improvisation is challenging. Something about working with text in the context of an improvisation feels more vulnerable (it’s similar to how only wearing shoes can leave you feeling more naked than if they were not wearing any clothes at all).
All of these improvisation sessions will be audio recorded, allowing for early sound samples to be the basis of the electronics within the final musical works. The exploration and improvisation utilized in the emergent character of Identity Series will mirror our own individual processes of recognizing/forming/discovering/communicating identity. Each improvisation will inform future sessions, until the musical objects presents itself as a communicable product.
If you would like to be involved, please let me know! This project is open-ended and I am looking to collaborate with anyone. There is no need for this series to solely be about LGBTQ individuals. I would love to work with fellow victims of assault, for example- or people who have different identity(ies) than myself.
Thanks for reading, as always-you two or three people out there J <3