My trip to Chicago was utterly fantastic in every way. I had been worried that I would not have enough time to take it all in since I really only had three days there but I can honestly say it could not have worked more perfectly. Seeing John Chicai and Hamid Drake was so incredible. I feel I grasped something major about improvised music that I had never thought about. My realization was that improvisation is about being absorbed in the present moment, completly. It is about listening to everything happening right now and at the same time being a part of it. This ability to be completly aware of everything and at the same time act through the creation of sound was what I percieved while watching John and Hamid play. At one point Hamid described John as having a radiance about him that is so unique. It seemed to me that someone who can embrace the present so fully and who has done so for so long could only produce a person with that kind of radience. For me, really listening to everything and letting my environment affect me deeply whether hearing music or sounds of nature or sounds of people has produced the most amazing experiences. The show at the Hideout definitely clicked something in me with regard to the unique power of improvised music.
The next night Jeremy and I recorded some music that was by far the most free I have ever played. It was one of the most incredible musical experiences I've had. Jeremy is a creative force unlike anyone else I've ever known. Wow.