“Into Becoming…”

I was commissioned by organizers of the Mystical Theology Network to created an installation for their conference in Boston. Following are my artist’s remarks on “Into Becoming…” with a short description of this work made in collaboration with artists Deb Todd Wheeler and Natalie Surmeli.

Talking “about” music pales in comparison to actually experiencing good music. 

What I can say as a musician who has struggled painfully with performing, is that the act of performance reveals a degree of mastery of craft & proficiency of technique.

Performance is also, for some, an expression of one’s profound vulnerability.  It involves the mystery of pull on those invisible threads of sounds – lifting dots and scratchings from a page, or a carrying forward a line that’s been passed from ear to ear, recreated again and again over many ages, ancestor to ancestor…or, a spontaneous cry.  

So, in this way, there is something universal about music.  It is able to transcend time and space.

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt draws an association between his music and white light.  “White light contains all colours,” he says. “Only a prism can divide the colours and make them appear.” In speaking of music, Pärt speculates that “this prism could be the spirit of the listener.”

So, we know, of course, there is more to music than rendering.

The degree of vulnerability of both the performer and the listener is associated with that sentient space within us – some consider it to be the “heart” – through which our music must pass if it’s to be meaningful; to have that inexplicable effect we all understand when we are touched, moved, or healed through the mystery of music as it brings us into that deep interconnectedness with ourselves; with one another.  It happens in an instant.

Conceptual framework for the installation, “Into Becoming…”  There is collective power when people come together to contemplate the world as they dream it to be.  The intention of this action, Into Becoming, is to tap into the larger consciousness, not in abstraction or absence, but in the absolute, full presence of those who show up to witness and participate in a revolutionary act of love and receptivity with the purpose of clarifying, cultivating, or turning in a new direction; of opening new ways of being.

Schardt will orchestrate and conduct a continuous steam of music, sound, and invitation from a remote studio in Dorchester into a dance studio at McConnell House on the B.C. that has been transformed by Tribe of Wolves and artist Deb Todd Wheeler into a space for repose, contemplation, and demonstration for those involved in the Mystical Theology Network gathering, students, faculty, and staff of Boston College, and people from surrounding communities. The artists’ intention is to lend courage and inspiration to those individuals whose healing work extends beyond the time-based or physical confines of this event.  This work is replicable, and the hope is that others will carry it away, so to speak, and continue to create their own margins for collective manifestation.