Letters of Mass Construction

Music Makes Us More


Music transforms us. Makes us more than the sum of our parts. It has the ability to make us cry, smile, love, remember. There are not an infinite amount of musical notes in the world but there are an infinite amount of sounds which can be created with them. We are limited only by our creativity.

Yesterday, I spent the whole day at the Switchboard Music Festival in San Francisco. I admit I went because I wanted to see Zoe Keating play (she has a cellobaby on the way and it will be a few months before a musical Zoe sighting will be made). I went early because there was no way I was going to pass up hearing new music. I am so glad I did.

There was so much wonderful music. Something for everyone. It was so good it was hard to pull myself away for a half an hour to eat. The organizers of the festival deserve a giant pat on the back. It was completely worth the 6 hour round trip drive. I pulled into my house last night at about 1:30 am and the music of the day was bouncing around inside my skull like hyper-active tennis balls.

I write to music. In fact I find it nearly impossible to write without it. It was such a joy to sit in the audience and listen to live music while scratching out notes in my journal. I love watching both the musicians and the audience’s reaction to the musicians.

I am starting to wonder if we could stop war and violence if we could just have a never ending stream of music pumping out into the atmosphere because you could cut the joy in the room with a knife. Nobody cared about anything other than the amazing performances they were watching in front of them.

My favorites of the day were Sqwonk (two bass clarinets played by Jon Russell & Jeff Anderle). Teslim (World music played by Kaila Flexer & Gari Hegedus). Real String Vocal Quartet (3 violins & 1 cello played by Irene Sazer, Alisa Rose, Dina Maccabee, Jessica Ivry). And of course Zoe Keating cello artist extraordinaire.

If you haven’t seen Zoe perform make sure you do someday. The best way to describe Zoe is through the audience reaction to her. There was a merchandise room next to the performance room. It was filled with talking people throughout the whole festival. Zoe emptied the room out. The building was completely enraptured by her. Not a noise could be heard other than her cello. There were two young girls sitting right next to me who looked like they may float away in joyful exuberance.

I think it is very important we continue to support the arts (click here for my previous blog on this subject). Buy their cds, merchandise, paintings. Go to concerts, art showings, or whatever art moves you. There are a lot of artists out there who are working hard to make a living. For every one Lady Gaga there are thousands of artists who are scratching out a living. Pick a few and help them make their art. The more art we send out into the world, the better the world will be.

If you don’t have anyone to support right now, here are a few of my favorite artists. Go help them make something beautiful:

Kim Boekbinder
Zoe Keating
Amanda Palmer
Molly Crabapple


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One Response to “Music Makes Us More”

  1. Merri says:

    >Im glad you had fun and thanks for the invite. I know it was silly to get so antsy and depressed from staying in alone for fri and sat but that’s 2 days in a row lol. Sunday I also was with music, but at a club. I agree with you, music is awesome and good music can make me feel a thousand percent better (unfortunately, my music Sunday was not so great till the very end but that’s ok). That’s why I love my ipod when I'm walking or working out, and I love going to clubs, where the music is loud and youre surrounded by hundreds of other people, also loving the music.

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