Tag Archive: Michael art Moss


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.

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When I look at a rainbow, only I see it.  No, you see your own rainbow.  The physics of rainbows stipulates the center of a rainbow is the point opposite the sun, from your perspective.  Sunlight reflects off water droplets and rainbows are not concrete objects.  They cast no shadows and are not three-or other-dimensional.

My ego, body-based, differs from yours.  My reality is not identical with the reality of anyone else.  My history, my experience, my memory, none of it matches up exactly with those of anybody else.  Like the rainbow, I carry around my own continuum, light-cone, universe.

We live in both a macro and a subatomic universe.  The macro universe is ruled by Einstein, the subatomic universe by quantum law.  I submit we, each of us, reflect the alternate universe hypothesis so hot in today’s discussion among many physicists.  Each second, or rather, in the nanosecond of our reality, the existential point, we ride waves of energy, are carried places, surf the waves, move.  No one is sitting still.  At our stillest, in deep meditation, waves break on the beach of existence.  In satori we join with a quantum oneness.  Everything is one.  One holographic joining—a shared universe.  This experience of oneness is personal but feels universal.  The paradox of oneness and otherness is resolved.

If so, also resolved is the question of individual and total.  The total we are a part of we see as we see a rainbow.  Totality forms itself around our corporality.  We see it, experience it, from a singular perspective, yet it is Total.  We move through the Totality, sharing it, of it, and still a part of us remains apart from your Totality.

I carry my alternate universe around with me.  The quantum physicists who profess the concepts of what is referred to as string theory find unlimited, infinite numbers of quantum universes.  It is not simple—the gold standard of physics theories.  It is not elegant, and it is not pretty.  Simple would be melding Einstein and Bohr by living both in a shared and in a multiple world.  Everything would not only be relative, apart, and separate, but shared, responsive to action, and purposive.

Quantum theory describes superposition, a state of unqualification, potential, a wave that does not crash, Schrödinger’s cat neither dead or alive.  I live my life like that.  But not only do I wait for the wave to coalesce so I see which way it is breaking, I can make the wave emerge by making a move.  What I am saying is that the move does not have to be limited to our familiar 4-dimensional universe.

I will be making further efforts in the near future to merge the three pillars of existence—psychology, quantum physics, and relativity physics.

Billy Stein on guitar and I on Bb clarinet performed Billy’s piece, “Riverside After Dark” at the Westbeth MusicWorks First Fridays Concert Series on August 3, 2012.

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