Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back in the cities.

I returned to the twin cities last night and am now just trying to catch up on some rest and generally reflecting on my experience at Banning. I did not really realize it until I got back here, but the day to day activities in the state park over the course of 5 days has me thoroughly exhausted. Strangely, I did not really feel it while I was in the process. I guess it is kind of like 5 days of keeping up a similar level of concentration as playing a piece of symphonic music for extended periods of time as well as intense hiking that does it. You never feel it while you are in the midst of it, but once it is over and then euphoria wears off, you crash. None the less, it is day now and despite an attempt to take a nap, I am awake so thought I would just share a few things about the experience so far.

I am really pleased with how the week went. I think I came in with a different expectation and memory of what the park looked and sounded like and it took me a couple of days to try to erase my pre-conceptions from my psyche as well as wind down from my usual level of conscious activity in order to really hear what was in front of me. I now realize that the park has even more of a musical shape than I first encountered and that very little has to be added or should I say brought out of the park with human interaction. I actually expected to want to impose more on the park or insert more sound into the natural sound environment but then realized that the park was so active as it was that such an imposition was hardly necessary. I think the balance I have struck should create a profound experience. At least it does seem to for me. I really think the hike takes me into a sort of dream like state that takes me a few hours to come out of and after 5 days of hiking the trail a few times a day I feel it will take me a few days to get out of it completely. I did however feel that the week had a sort of musical arc of its own. day 1-2 just getting settled in and in tune with listening, day 2-3 really working out details and digging in. Day 3-4 fine tuning my listening and getting various perspectives as well as getting out into the community a bit more, and day 5 wrapping up and making final conclusions (as well as getting back to civilization a bit earlier than expected due to rain).

I have to quickly switch gears for Whitewater and am now joined by my friends Nina and Hans Gyorg from Germany who are visiting the states for a month and have graciously agreed to accompany me for a couple of days. It will be nice to have some assistance as whitewater is a much more expansive park and the sound world I need to stimulate is much larger and involves greater distances. I am going to pick up a walkie talkie or two (I guess you need at least two, right?) and do a lot of long distance improvising with them hitting drums for me. Fun!

Now I must shift gears.

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