All notes from Archives | Notes on Looking

Part 1-Contemplating the Cosmos

The first of the two Piano Spheres performances that I attended at REDCAT was Ces Espaces Infinis, a collection of short solo piano pieces curated and performed by Nic Gerpe, a genuinely charming LA-based concerto soloist, chamber musician and proponent of new music.  One critic has referred to Gerpe as “appropriately spacey and far-out” and I concur, insofar as his apparent taste in music goes. I was in the younger third of the audience at REDCAT, a small theater where, previously, I had only been for film screenings.  The audience was sparse.  I sat in the middle near the front.  A spotlight treated with a laid scrim threw dramatic, lattice-textured light onto the grand Yamaha on the stage, its lid open and its guts reflected precisely in a mirror-like, high-lacquer finish.  Black and gold and white.  Sinews and muscle.  An eye into the belly of the beast. Two young, male music students sat behind me.  Another joined, apparently familiar with one of the others, and the three of them made awkward, impassioned conversation about their instruments, their music, and the music we were about to hear.  The third boy and the one less familiar to him forged a palpable connection during the brief moments when it was safe to talk, and I imagined the planting of a seed of triangulation among this trio; the two who sat down first had a rapport that smacked of romance. “Also, I really want a harpsichord.” “Dude, just get a harpsichord.” “I think I will.” My technical knowledge of music is limited, to say the least.  I am a writer/filmmaker and an artist...

Property Value

Amongst her large bags, under a small umbrella, a lady braids hair on the corner; she doesn’t look up, no matter the sound.  Cameras down at their bellies, a class of eager students surrounds her, clandestinely snapping; she pays them no mind. Later, with her on the wall, they discuss balance and light, considering better angles for next time. Luckily for them, their subject is not going anywhere anytime soon; they can return when the light reflects more brightly off her situation. It’s getting better, it’s getting better around here, and the war drums from down the street are fading without a permit. You can’t do that here. You have to go. This was my sight line and what I had asked for, but it didn’t sit right to be deprived of my own view. Was I not allowed to look out my own window?  After all, they lined up in such a way that a level bridge could connect us over the street, uniting our floors; just a few steps and we would be in the same room. We often shut off our lights at the same hour, when night grazes the morning. Was this a one-way street, me watching her? Why did I feel like a performer in my own home, did she notice me trying not to notice her? I’d seen her working out late at night with liters of milk at one a.m. or maybe two. I was her mirror, unwavering. I had seen her in bed with men, a few men, they always ended up in the bathroom, she’d go in first; on her...