Ordinary experiences are the stuff of the living, and they are our raw materials. Use what you have; it’s yours and no one else’s! A camera, a microphone, a notebook; using these tools, one can record, sift through, and sort the stuff of life, everyday moments, and in so doing heighten awareness of beauty and impermanence in one’s unique string of experiences. This is what history looks like when it is still breathing: ephemeral, particular, and completely palpable.
When we take up tools to record the sights and sounds of our everyday lives, we become builders of stories and editors of our own experiences. We use the ordinary circumstances of life to tease out a room, a season, a mood, and in so doing create for ourselves a welcome sense of control over our lives. This may be a twist of psychology, but practically speaking it is a valuable way to play with the element of freedom that is available to all artists when they take tools in hand.
Cultivating a recording practice is in itself a technique for sharpening awareness of the sensual, tangible qualities of our daily lives, and is compatible with meditation practice. For me the development of my own mediation and recording practices have been intertwined, each enhancing my awareness of the absolute impermanence of any moment in any human being’s finite existence, mine or another’s.
In shaping one’s own legacy, the taste of time changes in the mouth. We don’t know how much time we have together, or how the end will come for us, but we can make little love letters to history out of the ephemera in which we swim. In choosing from the palette of sounds in your home and neighborhood, you take snapshots of living history. Mixing those pieces together with samples from your collection of tapes, cd’s, records, etc, you deepen the texture of a missive that is truly yours: a time and place in this world occupied by one particular being. This is your situation, not someone else’s.
Our records outlive us.