Category: Urban Folk Music
Creative restructuring of our planet appeals to my fellow musicians and me more than anything I can think of. Instead of putting the arts last, the arts should come first. Our country is the most creative country on earth and we have been going down the wrong path for years. It is time we restore arts programs, build new ones, buy art materials, musical instruments, pay arts educators well, and generally take advantage of the American gusto that has built up business and so that the arts become a priority. I want to return to the days when Louis Armstrong was a musical emissary to Russia, when the Dance Touring Program brought dance to small colleges throughout the US and supported them on State Department Tours. I advocate doing the same for music and dance now and it is the major reason I am applying to American Music Abroad.
I wrote a doctoral dissertation on Intuition and Creativity so I have studied creativity scientifically. Creative forces are constructive, bring people together and solve all kinds of problems. Creativity takes on cultural forms, of course, and yet there is a universality which is expressed in the folk tradition. I see this tradition as part of World Music, World Beat, and folk music. Jazz is a form of urban folk music. Beginning in the ‘70s I began searching out and playing with musicians from around the world to learn from them and to use scales and meter that catch my ear. Now I want to reestablish cultural ties that have become frayed and politicized, bring creative people to the fore, give them credit, and put them in charge of things to establish unity and purpose in the arts and to make things peaceful and harmonic.
What is Urban: city. What is Folk: artistically cultural tradition of the city. What is music: aural organized sound expression. What is Urban Folk Music: A genre of world music inclusive of art forms gestated in the creative cauldron of seething anxiety and suffering artists express when coming into collaborative work wit other urban based musicians, dancers, hiphopsters, poets, performance artists, story tellers, ad infinitum of the city.
About the suffering of artists: Artists suffering—a subgenre—is the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self or center of the universe singleton/singularity which spawns the music of our urban culture. Pain, angst, fear, sex, drugs, and espresso drive urban musicians to produce pop music, blues, rock, classical both ancient and current and especially jazz to play with ideas.
Without artists—dancers, performance artists, poets, musicians, graphic artists, painters, sculptors—there would be cultural expression restricted to the thinking, feeling, sensation Jungian functions—no intuitive, nonjudgmental creative thinking or feeling, extraverted or introverted attitudes. We as a group form a culture shared across spacetime in an archetypal collective conscious that when expressed represents our inner selves.
The subgenre of music has numerous sub sub genres nesting within and one of those, jazz, blues, and western music spikes, when musically expressed, represents our oral and aural mindful experiences which raise the abstractive and emotional aspects of the experience of the audience—live and analogue or virtual and digital.
Over the past 50 years we have played with many musicians in a plenitude of cities. Finally resting in New York City we nonetheless have cultural baggage of many cities. Going back to the source, I (Moss) more and more feel consciously the father archetype. I feel older than people around me. Up till my latest illness, I even felt young in all the facets and faces I wore. Yet plans have a way of changing with circumstance and I find myself in a more reflective mood. I spend a lot of time to myself, practicing for my return to interaction. There is a difference between process and performance wherein process produces practice and performance produces quick or slow notes. The process rather than the performance rules my existence though I am getting out.
Interestingly, when I (Moss) started playing the flute after a 3-month hiatus because I got a strep G blood infection called bacteremia that caused me to go into sepsis, my musical sensibility had reverted to a 16th/17th century preoccupation with 4ths and 5ths. I am working my way through the music until I hear once again 21st c. feelings and musical expressions, progressing into more facile note manipulation. As for performance I believe it is enough to play a note. Note/s is/are implied in the note so quantum superposition is the rule here. That is, Schrödinger’s implication that nothing is real until realized forces any improvising musician to open to the infinity of possibilities—this is the fun part.