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cornish college of the arts

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A searing and intense two week residency

We spent two weeks at Cornish College of the Arts in October with 12 Students from the college as well as 9 students from the inspiring organization Path With Art (an incredible Seattle organization providing art experiences for people transitioning out of homelessness) in the fifty foot by fifty foot rehearsal room of the Cornish Playhouse.  

Working in the space from 9am to 3am hammering out choreographic details, testing architectural ideas, brainstorming, composing music as well as running workshops with the students, the time was extremely productive and equally exhausting.  Residency time is magical.  More work can get done in a residency week than in an average two months.  Get in the zone and stay there!  Our Path With Art Students blew our minds with their willingness to dive into unknown territory, studying the art of interrogation with us and the mining of truth.  We are trying to find ways that interrogation can be used to discover important human truths.  This group of people ranging in ages from 17 to 75 carry with them such a wealth of wisdom and experience, and their questions and stories and explorations were very moving.  Eventually the Path With Art students became the interrogators in the performance to interview the audience.  During the training process, the Cornish College students were their guinea pigs - and it is difficult to express how moving these conversations were.  Between generations, between people with such vast life experiences, but with the common struggle to discover self, to find their voice and to find their place in a world that often has different plans for them.

 

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In rehearsal with Kronos Quartet

(by Joshua)  I have to confess to have been very nervous to go into rehearsal with Kronos playing my music on Friday.  They have been my heroes for decades, and to have them in the room at the service of my score was pretty overwhelming and humbling.  But the nerves went away after about 5 minutes into the three hour rehearsal.  Their generosity, laser focus, clarity, alertness and humility set me immediately to the task of realizing what I had set out to achieve with this piece of music.  With Kronos, not a single second was wasted.  Literally.  David H's intensity made everything move forward so quickly, and the gentle and generous nature of John and Hank was extremely warming - as if they were holding out their hearts. There was nothing extra, just a full dedication to the music in the moment.  Each of them lend such a clear vision and selfless communication to their work.  John said to me at the after party, that at some point they realized that when we (the general we) find ourselves insisting on doing things a particular way - a down bow for example - most of the time, we are stuck to this idea because it is easiest for us.  But that if we make a habit of trying things other peoples way - or the hard way - we discover much more and find even much better ways of doing things.  So I come out of this magnificent experience inspired to bring this perspective of efficiency, generosity, focus and dedication to all of my rehearsals in the future.  Thank you to everyone who came and worked on this project and to everyone who came to witness it.

photos by Bruce Tom

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