During the last year, I’ve
turned to meditation and yoga
as a means to survive sheltering in place.
Though I enjoy all kinds of music (I’m a child of the 80’s, and discovered my first tribe at punk shows), the music that has brought me the deepest sense of comfort in the last year is contemplative, ambient, and longer-form. (We have a very nervous dog in the house, and she can’t deal with drums.)
I remember sitting cross-legged on the gold shag carpeting with my brother’s records and listening deeply to Melting Face by Peter Gabriel. That record led me to XTC, Echo and the Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, and Brian Eno. Those pre- (and post-) punk records were densely layered and produced, and sounded fantastic with headphones on.
As a visual artist, music is my constant companion while I work. Music guides my hand. Take Herbie Hancock's Headhunters Band, for instance. I could spend a year listening only to that band and making work based on it. It’s so rich on so many levels. When I was coming up, it was my dream to create Fillmore Posters. I’ve been lucky enough to make three (so far).
I wanted to share this sense of contemplation that this music brings me with my classmates at Mountain Yoga as a fun (but timely) experiment.
Since we’re still stuck indoors (for the time being) I wanted to share music that evoked a sense of travel. I think they call that a sonic journey. It’s not for everyone, this music. It takes a little patience. I really like music that is a little bit challenging. The bland stuff you hear when you’re getting a massage? No. Alice Coltrane? Yes. For our first session I chose Become Ocean, by John Luther Adams a deeply meditative, orchestral piece that submerges the listener into gorgeous, oceanic depths that, true to its title, leave us feeling as if we have become the ocean itself.
I remember spending time listening - just listening - to music, and doing nothing else, and I wanted to experiment again with this sense of purpose around listening to music.
1st FRIDAYS | 5:30-6:45PM PST
MICHAEL WERTZ w/co-host Ann Dyer
Michael Wertz is an Illustrator and Educator who hails from the gently rolling hills of Northerncalifornialand. He always has at least three sketchbooks going all at once. www.wertzateria.com