Everything is in a state of perpetual motion and everything is changing. Often it can seem like the whole world is moving forward and your consciousness is lagging behind a physical ship traveling at warp speed through the stars. There is so much of our lives that lives in an oscillating state of misalignment, our personal lives, our artistic lives, our quiet movements for self-reflection.
The past month has been busy, not necessarily any busier than usual. I am happiest when I am doing my job... when I am creating... when I am performing... when I am giving passionate interviews about my art and discussing philosophies of the nature of our world and concepts of being...
The first part of this month was incredibly rough because I was fraught with questions about whether all of this mattered... If one looks at the most basic human needs for survival art and culture are at the top of the pyramid; this fact in many ways makes art a selfish endeavor when considering the amount of people in this world without access to potable water, proper nutrition, sanitary living conditions, or even basic healthcare. These thoughts often come when I am home for too long and left in isolation to ponder the world, but just as I start to fall into the deep pits of depression at the seeming futility of trying to climb the mountain to solve the problems of a world in constant turmoil... the universe pulls me out to go to work, to make others think beyond the norm, to take an audience on a roller coaster of emotions, and to for a temporary moment find peace... then my position as an artist seems less ridiculous, less selfish, less pointless in a world of disparity.
On May 11th I performed at The Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, FL in one of my favorite wings. I awoke at 4:00am to pack my car and drive straight to the University of Florida to give a radio interview, then I had a book signing and two back-to-back performances at the museum. I got home at 2:00am and I should have been exhausted but I felt more invigorated than I have felt in a long time.
The same feeling came upon me on Saturday, May 21st, I had a similar long day with travel. I participated in The 2017 Accidental Music Festival Marathon in Orlando, FL. My day started with setting up and running a synthesizer petting zoo for all ages. In the evening, the Baker-Barganier Duo played a short set as part of the performance aspect of the event.
Performing is always the place that I've felt the most at home. Yet, it is beyond a feeling of home, it is a total embracing of my purpose on this planet. It is a feeling beyond contentment. I feel the energy of the audience as an extension of my instruments and as much as I've always hated the comparisons between me and Nina Simone, I intimately understand how she was able to sculpt the energy of the room in the same manner that she was able to sculpt the trajectory of her musical performance. This is perhaps the most rewarding part of my life as a performing artist, and I definitely don't take it for granted. This ability seems to come from another world, as if muses from ages before are being channeled through my body to take the audience members on a journey to challenge them to view the world in different ways... to minister each audience member and give them what they need in that moment.
Sleepless nights, giving all of myself in the recording studio, and on the stage is what I was put on this earth to do.
I've been remiss about trying to book more gigs and promote my work as a performer and author... I feel as if I have been waiting until I have the "perfect" portfolio, but more and more I realize that it is less about perfection and the venue of my presentations but it is about serving the population-at-large and giving a small respite to people who don't even know that my artistic voice is what they were looking for to soothe their souls and grow their perspectives.