Back in the early 00s, I spent a lot of time reading about jazz. My period of interest was from the introduction of Ornette Coleman's "Something Else" in 1958 to Coltrane's "Interstellar Space" in 1967. (In truth, my period of exploration started with Miles Davis "Birth of the Cool" in 1949.)
During this period of intensive study, I read an interview with Branford Marsalis on improvisation. He referenced Bird and told the story of Bird playing in a night club in New York City in the 50s. At one point in his solo Bird played a short phrase of "Anchor's Away." Jazz critics and Bird heads to this day debate what influenced Bird to quote that phrase at that moment. Branford learned from a reputable source that Bird was simply acknowledging 2 sailors who walked into the club as he was soloing.
I love that story because it emphasizes to me the immediacy of an artist's response to what was happening in his life. What inspires people to do what they do?
This time last year I was trying to find places in warmer climates to install work as northern Arizona was buried under snow consistently from the second week of December to the middle of March. In my 23 years here, I'd never seen that much snow for so long. This winter is actually colder than last winter though we don't have quite as much snow. Last winter I decided that for the sake of comfort, it had to be 50 degrees or higher before I'd paste. But then I saw Olek knitting the charging bull on Wall Street at 2 a.m. in 20 degree weather. That, combined with one of the most stressful times in my work life has inspired me to not only get work up, but to get work up that symbolizes rising above the bullshit.
So, that's been my mindset since pasting Stephanie last month. It's a tough time economically. People are hurting. The state of Arizona has once again made headlines for being the bastion of bigotry and hate. That's not who we are.
We can rise above this people. Love.