Sunday, February 06, 2005

I recently watched the film Rivers and Tides: Working With Time (2001). It's a portrait of the artist Andy Goldsworthy, who works exclusively with materials found in nature, like stone, wood, leaves, and ice. His work is stunning. Ephemeral. Fragile. Trascendent. Beautiful. It's all of those things. But what also struck me about Goldsworthy was his absolute engagement with his sculpture. His concentration is immense. He is completely engrossed in the moment while at work, highlighting both the beautiful and ephemeral in his pieces. Time seems suspended even though as the sun comes up or the tide comes in you are acutely aware that time is indeed elapsing, while also threatening to destroy his creations.

Goldsworthy's appraoch to his art reminded me of Slowness by Milan Kundera. In the novel, Kundera proposes that we not race from one thing to the next to the next to the next to the next and eventually on to "no thing," as Eric Owen Moss puts it. There's no focus in that race. No satisfaction. No destination. Only the next destination.

It's important to be in the moment. To be completely immersed in and devoted to the task at hand whether it's practicing, writing, composing, painting, sculpting, reading. If you ever have the sense that you're becoming a part of the race--as I sometimes do--watch this film. It's inspiring.
Praised by The New York Times as "an inventive musician . . . fresh and surprising," saxophonist Brian Sacawa has firmly established himself as an important contemporary voice for his instrument. He is active as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout the United States and is the co-founder of the new music duo Non-Zero with percussionist Timothy Feeney.

He has given premieres of over thirty works by both established and emerging composers, including Michael Gordon, Bright Sheng, Andrew Mead, Oliver Schneller, Ken Ueno, Beata Moon, Hillary Zipper, and Scott McAllister, among many others. Named the Baltimore CITYPAPER’s Critic’s Choice for Classical Music in 2002, he is the recipient of awards for solo performance from both national and international competitions.

Sacawa's versatile career has led to appearances with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, Harvard Group for New Music, New Music Brandeis, Bargemusic, and at meetings of the ISU Contemporary Music Festival, World Saxophone Congress, North American Saxophone Alliance, and New England Saxophone Symposium.

Brian holds degrees from the University of Michigan, the Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, where he studied with Donald Sinta, Gary Louie, and Lynn Klock. He has recorded for the Equililbrium, Naxos, and BiBimBop recording labels.

See Brian's other blog
Sounds Like Now