…and sometimes the pianos disappear


An early example…(from a book done in the 1980s about my life in the 1970s)

Everything I had been working on has dramatically shifted, which was my (tough) decision.  I’ve been given a terrific location for an installation, a planned, geometrically-planted urban grove of trees, a site that appeals to me very much.  But, they’ve turned out to be trees in delicate condition and of course, I do not want to harm them in any way. So, there has been a long series of e-mail conversations regarding installation methods; after each, I modified the shape of the individual works to adapt to suggested installation strategies, until yesterday’s semi-final agreement (just after I posted the last blog), when I realized that they had now become so far altered that the concept behind the work was completely lost.

I froze for a bit, took a long walk and decided that I just did not want to squeeze the content to fit into a less than appropriate form. This work deserves better. Instead, I came home and made a sketch for an entirely new piece which will be quite effective in the space. Everyone seems happy with it, and so am I.


Another; a detail of an early work derived from my thesis redesign, after the first literally collapsed.

I’m taking today off, to make the needed changes in the studio setup, and to let myself experience some small pangs, because this new work will be something of a reprisal for me, and I am always so much more excited when working on something that reaches into personally uncharted territory.

Of course, I do realize that the original work is simply on hold; I doubt that it will go begging for a location for long. These things happen; there are always multiple adjustments, though they’re not always as spectacularly total. I’ve been thinking about Aimee back in grad school, when she had planned a performance in a huge space that was supposed to contain 100 pianos. The piano showroom backed out at the last minute and decided not to provide them.  While I can’t specifically recall the advice / pep talk I gave her then, I probably talked about some of the times similar things had happened to me. Whatever it was, it must have been a coping strategy I had already internalized: this is really just a blip, though one worth sharing here.


Kimchi pancakes help anything.

One major fact hasn’t changed at all: after today’s wee respite, I will still be in the full-tilt production zone until I leave, and after I return.


Waiting for me, at the close of this public cycle…

3 thoughts on “…and sometimes the pianos disappear

  1. i knew immediately upon reading the title that something big had gone awry! i also don’t remember the exact words of advice during those days of utter panic, but i did roll with it! glad you are at least eating well, and i was thinking about you and what awaits you at ragdale as i harvested morgan milkweed today!

    • I thought you might ^^. But (as I’ve just made clearer with some quick editing), it was my decision. Hooray for milkweed!

  2. and i am thinking of harvesting milkweed and of trying to go with the flow and learn from the ch-ch-changes. after a day of public ed training, it’s not very easy to do.

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