This summer I find comfort in the tides, their undeniable force. I feel them in nearly everything I do. I hear them, resonant.
Bathed in the magnificent warmth of an early June sunrise, together Michelle and I made this photo in the Staten Island Ferry's St. George Terminal. It was the first time I met her. We spent a couple hours riding the ferry back and forth, getting a little sea sick, getting to know a bit about each other. The accidents of light, the precious privacy of early morning, taking a mysterious adventure together, the loop of her haunting music echoing in my thoughts, it was a bit of time that keeps on.
I'm thrilled to share that Michelle's latest album, "To Disappear," is available today. You can check it out HERE!
Thank you Michelle. Congrats! The album is exquisitely you.
Yesterday began gray. There was a weight in the air. Time seemed to slow.
In a tower rising, in a gallery world, where the noise of the street, the chaos and grime of the rest, are quieted - Cynthia Daignault gives us appropriation as collaboration on the 10th floor of the Flag Art Foundation.
Thanks again to LaPlaca Cohen for the invite and to The Flag Art Foundation for the hospitality.
In 1989 I left Louisville, Kentucky for college. Four and a half hours north, wandering Middle Path, I stumbled upon the hillside sanctuary of Kenyon College's dance studio. There, emboldened by the kindness and passion of dancer | professor | choreographer Maggie Patton, I observed the best and studied from the best. Almost by accident, I discovered an essential passion within me.
At that time, central Ohio was (and probably still is) a center of the dance world. Every show we saw was world class. It was all we knew.
When I moved to New York City in 1994, I needed to find the familiar. I needed to get out of my taunting apartment, to resist the disorienting terror of this enormous place. The Joyce Theater, it's art deco sign reminding me of the Vogue back home, became a new hillside sanctuary. Pilobolus was the first show I saw there. And, that night might have been the first time I was able to really fill my lungs since moving to the city. My brain expelled the toxic fears, my imagination was on fire.
It is not original to say this city invites the best to claw and grapple with every new obstacle. It is here that some triumph, many struggle, and all fail (some better than others). We find transformation in unexpected places. The Joyce reminds me that herein lies the extraordinary.
Warmest thanks to my friends at LaPlaca Cohen and the Joyce Theater for allowing me to wander and share a quiet moment in this essential temple | foundation | theater | school. The Joyce is dance, and for 150,00 audience members each year, it is a warm, intimate, welcoming invitation to witness greatness.
Shuttling the huddled masses through the blinding fog of New York Harbor. Welcoming, dutiful crew. Magical, cinematic experience. 5:30am - 7:00am
The very first week of middle school, in the overwhelming haze of new place, new faces, new patterns, Dakota's drama teacher asked for volunteers to go with him one evening to a process drama workshop at NYU. 20 Kids would be allowed to come, first come, first serve. It was a feeding frenzy. Dakota called me from school, I would have to meet him out front precisely at dismissal so that I could sign his form and he could return it as fast as possible. That evening, those fortunate kids, those who didn't even know each other at all, performed improvisational drama for a group of graduate school students. I would have been incredibly intimidated. They literally exposed their souls. Such bravery.
Now, a few months later, those same kids (along with the entire 6th grade drama department) take the stage to perform an interpretation of Hansel and Gretel.
I know I'm a proud dad, but, these kids are fearless, deeply talented artists.
As the lights and music go up and down, a sacred gallery begins to stir. Murmurs in the shadows, figures darting on every diagonal. Anticipation is viral. The cast breeds, the chorus grows.
Backstage, a stage itself.
To be in the right place, at the right time. With a great friend. To find a place so often overwhelmed, quiet, almost your own. Sunrise on Coney Island Beach.
What is the measure of a person? What is the measure of how we live?
Recently, I spent a few hours inside the handcrafted sanctuary of Eben Bull. There is not one inch of that space that isn't thought out, that doesn't have Eben's imprint. To be in that space is to know a lot about that man. It is complex, it is warm, it is quiet (though haunted by the echoing noises of those who live above and around him), and it is rich with layers and the unknown.
On a clear and crisp Saturday night in October, I spent a few hours in an Alphabet City sanctuary, The Stone. Thanks to John Zorn, since 2005, this magical place has offered the experimental and avant-garde a home in New York City. On this night, in the club with no sign on it's door, an insider audience gathered. The brilliant artist and music-maker Brian Chase was in residency, performing two sets. His first show was a duel with the legendary Anthony Coleman. His second show featured these guys, Collapsible Shoulder. CS is a rock band with a "long-history." Chris Cochrane (guitars and vocals), Kevin Bud Jones (synth and all things electronic), Kato Hideki (bass), and Brian Chase (drums). They live what they do and you can feel that in their music. It penetrates and moves you.
Grand Army Plaza is a gateway to Prospect Park, really a gateway to the Brooklyn that lies outside of the shadows of it's more notorious cousins. When you rise above it, and look back, it all seems so small, this epic theater where we immigrants have come to prove something to ourselves and the world.