Thursday, September 25, 2008

Harmony: Choral Music, Care of the Self and Harbin

The tenors this late afternoon stood in front of the rest of the chorus singing Brahms' "Gypsy Songs" {Zigeunerlieder}. Tears welled up in me as I heard, for the first time, different sections sing together so exquisitely and finely. As a tenor for the first time {I have sung base-baritone in the past}, I have stood only in the back, and been moved by different sections singing together, but not like standing in front. What voices and singing can do!

I'd like to bring these singing processes together with eliciting loving bliss to create a new form. As I envision this new form, it's a kind of chamber music, choral music, contact improvisation & {HAI} exploration, but I haven't yet seen how this might actual work.


Here's my reply to Colin:


Thanks for your insightful comments on this blog for the September 3, 2008 entry: "Thistle: Foucault's Care of the Self and Harbin Hot Springs." I think that askesis (as training, a development on Foucault's reading of it, already a salutary interpretation) and pedagogy {defined by a fairly well defined set of goals vis-a-vis enjoyment at Harbin} vis-a-vis Foucault is a potentially fruitful way to instantiate it. What language or thinking might best engage Foucault vis-a-vis this? From which of Foucault's texts did aymon's "What is practice?" and "What is a decisive moment" (17 September 2008 labinar with Paul) come from, or were extrapolated from?

Concerning the virtual, here's a brief response of one key, philosophical articulation with Foucault vis-a-vis Deleuze that I'd like to think through:

Vis-a-vis your reading of Foucault and my actual-virtual ethnographic Harbin project, is Socrates responding to an ethos / context in Athens where Socrates' "care of the self" orientations emerge in response to a specific tradition / context / ethos / assemblage (how would an ethnography of Socrates' world read?)? The actual Harbin may be a result of Ishvara's and, somehow, "Harbin vis-a-vis the 60 and 70s," thinking since 1972 as well as every other hippie that's come through Harbin's gate, somehow in the aggregate. How might Foucault "parse" this, (or I parse this vis-a-vis Foucault) as he was writing in the context of the intellectual liberations of the 60s and 70s, as well? How might I rigorously and interestingly tease out a Harbin ethos vis-a-vis the 60s and 70s, represented as actual and virtual Harbin, in relation to Foucault? I haven't thought of Harbin as a mid-wife heretofore.

Harbin's sociality is unique, emerging from the 60s and 70s, in a beautiful, remote valley, where personal freedom is a key part of the ethos, to a significant degree.

I do want to make the relaxation response in a bath tub at home, or anywhere, while visiting virtual Harbin actual (and even Mozartian, somehow), but it will only complement the touch, sociality and proximity aspects of actual Harbin. And travel itself, for me, elicits a kind of bliss, too, different from walking to one's (hypothetically) beautiful bath-room in one's home. And since Ishvara - the founder, who is still around - bought the Harbin property in 1972, Harbin's history has shaped its remarkable milieu, and as a geographically delimited field-site, its history is unique to Harbin as place - one can feel and know it as culture (in a historical sense) pretty directly, if one thinks about it, especially while on property. I think Harbin offers an unique assemblage of 'flow: the psychology of optimal experience' experiences (Csikszentmihalyi), in the aggregate, which I'd like to instantiate virtually, in terms of 'care of the self,' and perhaps vis-a-vis Deleuze.

I was impressed with Chris's writing, when I read "Two Bits'" introduction, and also that readers might edit the text in a variety of ways. To make virtual Harbin editable or not, is another question, vis-a-vis creating virtual Harbin as ethnography, and as a comparable and comparative field site. How to create, complement and add to the beauty that is already at Harbin as place and ethos, which I can see, metaphorically, as a kind of improvisational opera, occurring 'in' Harbin visitors and residents.

So, I'm wondering, vis-a-vis Foucault and Paul, how I might engage the many practices of Harbin - going to the pools {and related 'relaxation response'}, relaxing on the sun deck - with friends or alone, the potential for intimacy, the nakedness, the Watsu {water shiatsu} and waterdance, the unconditional dances, the coming into the moment - the 'present' - and letting things go, the 150-180 residents as key parts of this assemblage with their own unique 'wisdom' and as friends, the films in the theater, the milieu of nature and clean air, the food in the restaurant and market, the musical events, the hippie ('New Age') thinking in liberating and positive senses, the hippie, bohemian ethos, the cleanliness vis-a-vis the pools, the simplicity, the possibility to camp and live outside - as aspects of a specific Harbin assemblage of 'care of the self,' that I might read as askesis and pedagogy, {and/or 'practice' and 'decisive moments' a la aymon}.

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