Harmony is created when characteristics come together and overlap
Musician / True Colors BEATS performer
I usually make music experimentally. I try out a sound without really thinking, then I overlap another sound, and then another, wondering what sound they’d add up to. The sound sums up to something I’ve never heard before. After hearing this sound, I continue choosing the next sound to add, and so on. The end result is not something that I created intentionally, but it’s my reaction to a sound that “became it.” So even when I’m working by myself it’s full of surprises. When I swap the sound samples, once the tone changes, it becomes a completely new landscape even with the same rhythm. It feels more like changing the color, not the tone.
With True Color BEATS, we were improvising in a large group, so there were times when the groove was gravitated towards somebody else’s sound or genre, regardless of my intention, and I was surprised how the sound all came together. The improv session was not completely uncontrolled and had a handful of rules and instructions which were given through hand signs, but I still felt nervous, to be honest. So when I experienced the series of unintended and unpredictable harmonies, it really inspired me.
During our performance, everyone was being “music” more than human beings, and the lightness that floated in the wave of this “music” was brought forward by Santiago’s facilitation. The wave of sound swept you away but you always came back to your consciousness, where your thought unfolded as a sound that drifted back into the waves… this continuous response was very meditative. When a phrase looped it was really intimate and what we shared was a very healing time.
On the first day of the workshop, when we were dividing the sections, Santiago used the word “organ.” His idea is that we are just an organ that forms the body and that even if each of us moves differently internally, it is all creating one music. I marveled at how every characteristic was accepted as they are, which came together to become “music.”
It seems to me that today’s society is one in which people are, in one way or another, attacking each other. Music isn’t something that is made by a one-party dictatorship aiming for one music, and if it was, it’d feel somehow awkward. Santiago was giving instructions with hand signs to make beautiful music, but I’m sure none of the participants thought they were playing “for him.” The great thing about music is that, whether people are playing for themselves, for the listener, or just for the enjoyment of the band as a whole, they’re able to stick to their natural attitude throughout the song. It makes me wonder if there is any other way to communicate in this manner. Music is a way of communicating that doesn’t end with just momentarily pleasures. It can also be a medicine that lets you see the scenery differently, and I would like to see more of that happen and hope that music will expand itself even wider.