Focus on When - Who are we across time? 

Who are we across time? 

If there was a way to simply display an animation of a fireball going from left to right across the screen right now, then that would be my post for this week.


My husband has been tuning in the Louis Cole’s new album "Time" and as I (reluctantly!) went on my jog this morning I accidentally hit on Cole's "Big Green Suitcase" and debut album from 2010. It was great! Great to hear a roughness to his sound, great to hear a dramatic mood change on one track, great to hear a kind of isolation not present on his 2018 album. 

Were we all isolated back then? I hear this isolation in my own work from around then. And if I think about it, I think everyone I know was feeling some kind of isolation in their work around then? Why were we all alone?

In Cole 2010 vs 2018, there's an excited, connected shift. 2018 is present in his 2010, and 2010 is present in his 2018. This phenomenon is one of my favorite things.This is a place I love to live. This is a fireball slowly traveling from left to right and taking up most of the page. This is the experience many times for anyone who follows an artist for more than 5 years or so. Right? It's wonderful. It's connected. It's timeless and yet somehow one idea was the predecessor of the other. How can that be when they are both timeless? It's the best!

For Cole, listen to his lyrics. These are not ordinary lyrics. They are silly and serious. They are strange and wonderful. As I listened to his 2010 tracks, and rounded Suzanne Fiol Way on my jog, I traveled across time and envisioned a dialogue of no specific place or time. A timeless dialogue between artists who recognized they had been alone in 2010, but were not actually alone. 

Who else is here who was alone in 2010? Who else is talking now? Who else is up and sees that where we are as artists now - post-disillusionment, post-material dream, post-music-business failed economic structure, post-middle men peddling art for greater gain than the artist receives, post-taste-makers?, post-idols.... who else recognizes a collective new power in artistic dialogue? How deep does this conversation go if artists who have been examining the invisible, connect to collectively examine what can only be felt but rarely seen? I mean, sure, that's what art always is, but I hope I'm talking about something different here. A recognition of themes, themes addressed alone and then connected to broadly.

I remember 2010 as a time of feeling stumped by the question of how. How anything. How would I repay my student loans? How would I ever be a musician? But focusing on how has always been a trap for me. Focusing on when works for me to move forward. When assumes how will be figured out. How, for me, asks how not...a good skill in a crisis (i guess?) when you are trying to find a path of least risk?  

Art, of course, takes the most risk. It's no place for how.


Back to the question at the start of this post: who are we across time?

We are when.

Our whole lives.