i’m hesitant when it comes to social activities. during the initial phases of any relationship, the steps are clearly delineated. there’s a detained setting of coffee shops, classes, and bars to broker the forming peace. but if we’re lucky, that advances to a closer bond that can be tested outside of traditional social settings.

this opposes the productive, objective rigor of a daily schedule. when there’s a long list of items between myself and an envisioned destiny of music, people don’t fit in as well. it’s not because they can’t substitute or include their own additions — that’d probably be a significant aid in the production process. it’s the extrapolation of vulnerability to create music, especially from personal motives, that hogs the attention. similar to adrenaline junkies, it’s addicting to open the road leading to and from my heart. communication and expression are pure and unfiltered. hence, i’m insistently and persistently pulled by that urge to return to an exquisite getaway of bliss. since this setting is void of other team members (at least for now), it antagonizes an actively human network of brilliance.

especially since there’s a goal to grow an audience, when i play music, it resides in a field of relatable function and progression. violin practice sessions or random piano improvisations hold true to the exposition of tune and rhythm. as long as it’s somehow connected to the tonal arts, creating an acceptable justification is like checking my phone. it’s instinctual.

group gatherings, to show the other extreme of the spectrum, are a louder gulp. explanatory reactions to this unfound apprehension could be nerves generated from a barrage of talking millennials, pressure to represent a positive image, or a difficult understanding of groupthink. studies, and history itself, have shown repeatedly that humans accomplish more together. our brain power is too exponential and supercharged for a lone wolf to tear to shreds. there’s not just extra energy, but strength.

yet flaunted descriptions of collaboration don’t strike a resonant fifth for me. maybe that’s introversion dooming and glooming the outside world. when i think of relaxation, it usually excludes other people. i envision savoring a rich cup of coffee while devouring a book or movie on a saggy couch with massively-sized blankets. put the moving dialogue of blazing industrialism on hold — it’s time to recenter.

within these quiet moments, however, i’ll write music or a blog post as well. a recently found (just this hour) theory poses the solution of my social confusion to be a cross-contamination of environments oozing vastly different cues. lonely environments guide me toward leisurely entertainment, but simultaneously point toward introspective musical release. neither have the faintest clue of proper directions to the noisy, booming city of connection. as long as these cues persist, the rabbit hole will dig until a bottom is reached.

it can be draining to configure and perform. these complaints shouldn’t necessarily warrant any sympathy though, because after all, we are in the realm of music. we don’t “work music”, we “play music”.

but those promising, post-awkward relationships are the parks and forests enveloping that ditch of protection. one does not exist without the other. minimalist keyboard tracks and screaming rappers embody a special, exploratory place. but so too should the wonders of genuine interaction. the theory and technique may not be there, but the improvisation is just the same.

use what you know. express how you feel. and don’t stop.

– D K T


life ends. why pretend

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