Sunday, 29 June 2008

Dance, Dance, Dance

A mosquito kept me up last night, and I didn't doze off until 7:30 in the morning. When I became conscious again, it was already two.

It was a rainy day, and I felt completely lethargic. The work on my music Dance, Dance, Dance went well. I wrote the piece in my Freshman year at Eastman. I was trying to come to terms with the idea that what I dreamt about the ideal separation between love and sex when I was a teenager would actually take a lot of pain to realise. On my birthday this year, I briefly recounted my story with Joe to John. John called it my 'kittie love.'

I penned Dance, Dance, Dance that year in my deep depression. I was in my 'existential' state. 'To see through the meaninglessness of life in order to live through it,' I told my therapist of the time, who only saw me once after I had destroyed the school's double-bass as a substitute for murdering and making love to a man (now I understand why I love Hitchcock). Now, I've finally read up my Nietzsche and Sartre to begin to understand the ontological problem behind these blanket statements, and how much we used to abuse them as justification of our self-indulged depressions; but who am I to look askance at the solitude and sadness of youth, a consciousness that we have all corporeally apprehended? Do I not envy that leap from being into nothingness that in my younger days I was so close to with my chest and skin? How can I not remember how I looked into the other side of the wall, the very instance at which I determined to rescue myself from a complete denial of human reason?

After all these years, Sartre never fails me, though Murakami Haruki does. I named my piece after his novel (which he named after a song by Chic), and I remember the delusional 'low' I would get myself into when I read that work over and over again in my cubicle-like dormatory. I think that I re-read the book a few years ago and couldn't care much about it. The chauvanism turned me off, and by now, there are more interesting narratives of people sorting things out--real, concrete, physical, existential impasse (Murakami Ryu, I would say, have more suffering to share than Haruki does in his early works), or, perhaps I myself have come to terms with the dolorous fact that nothing can be sorted out in this little interlude called life.

Dance, Dance, Dance (I will probably give it a new title), is about chaos. The rewrite is challenging because you can't take the chaos out of it and retain its spirit, though the reason for rewriting it is to fix structural issues, an act that is supposed to 'contain' the chaos that gives the piece life; but structure is essentailly roared out of the chaotic clashes of the cacophony of energies, the jumping, hopping, lawlessness which we call our world.

I don't know how the rewritten piece would eventually sound like as an entirety. The work has been going pretty decently. I'm now in the third section. There are still many things to be reworked and perfected. It is so easy to call myself lazy and 'untalented' (and I think I am), and it is so painful to labour your work without knowing and trusting yourself that whatever imperfection of blemishes would be fixed and healed. Maybe they won't be, and the worst imperfection are the many possibilities and many ideas that bubbled up in my mind or passed through my fingers as I ran them through the keyboard. I always wonder where those ideas would go, and how I can preserve them, for how many times would I regret the sacrifice of those fascinating sounds and voices in order to maintain the integrity of my piece.

I hope that my mom would feel better tomorrow with her cold; meanwhile, the mosquito has returned.

PS: Reading my post yesterday reminds me of Zhu Ziqing's essay 'Bei ying' (〈背影〉 The Shadow of My Father's Back).

No comments: