I MOVE AIR FOR A LIVING - - - written for Komyozan Dojo
I move air for a living - I'm a theatrical sound designer. At really fun moments I make air dance in harmony with itself. What I do leaves no trace - - - you have to catch it in the room, with a bunch of other people listening and some actors onstage. After that it is gone.
So it is fascinating to find myself the substance of an artform that consists entirely of reflexes in a human body: mine, my fellow students', Sensei's, - - - and the bodies of a lineage of masters and students going back four hundred years - all the way back to Ito Ittosai.
This knowledge is completely different from the knowledge I acquired at Oxford. It encompasses ways and ways of dealing with and understanding the non-conscious mind. It is knowledge from the performer's and creator's point of view. It resonates profoundly in my own work, and it helps me figure out how to pass that work along.
Truth be told, on a personal level it is profoundly transformative.
And - on a less personal level - I think all of us, we will need a little bit of the samurai to help us through the coming century.
MUSIC BY PETER JOHN STILL:
Offstage violin from Golden Boy, played by Jennifer Choi.
End of act music for True West, at Boise Contemporary Theater, electric guitar by Kimo Muraki.
Transition music from Homebody/Kabul at the Intiman Theatre, Seattle.
Music of the Spheres from Pericles, Guthrie Lab,
Transition to the final scene of Nora, Portland Stage Company and the Intiman Theatre, Seattle.
Liturgical (Anglican and Shinto)
Mikusa no O-Harahi on the banks of the Boise River, recorded by Dennis Ahern.
The Lord's Prayer, from the Thurcaston Preces and Responses, performed by the choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, conducted by Dr. Geoffrey A. Webber.
Archival (visual and audio)
Photography of the Shinsai: Theaters for Japan event, Boise edition, in the Idaho Statesman archive (from photo 4 onwards).
Final confrontation of the Scottish Tragedy at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, 2002, drums, metal and wind: Dwayne Blackaller and Seth Asa Sengel.
Lament from The Withered Arm, directed Bartlett Sher, Workshop Theatre, Leeds University, 1986.
Cold is a Purifying Agent