Up at 5:00, sitting at 6:00. Hard to rise, and a difficult sitting.
Breakfast at 7:00, and changing strings just before. I know plenty of guitarists that advise against changing strings the day of the gig, but I know what I'm doing, and I have no desire to deal with dead strings that break in the middle of the gig after being played to death by sweaty hands.
The sunlight is incredible, and a marked difference from the rain and fog we've been dealing with, the past few days. I really hope the pictures I've been taking will come out. A comment/compliment from Erin on a picture I took of her at Raft Island, in the quiet after everyone else had departed from OCG II.
A brief silence falls on the group shortly before 8:15/point 2.
Loading the buses with guitars and luggage (for the people that will remain behind in NYC), and we're on the road somewhere around 8:30 or so, with Frank holding the space at Camp Caravan. Last day of the course, and the last gig of the tour awaits us.
As we travel, I see that Friday's performance in Cambridge is a clear example of an ending that becomes a beginning.
Napping for an hour or so, maybe a bit longer.
Noodling around with the enneagram, trying to sketch and puzzle out what I'd been thinking about yesterday while waiting for the meeting that did not happen.
A stretch break around 11:00 or so. A bit of camera talk with John, Adrian, and Christina. I have the opportunity to buy some junk food, but realize I'd have to break the $10 in my pocket, and I take this as a sign, walking away from the vending machine. Back on the road about 20 minutes later.
2:30ish - Arrival at the venue: St. Mark's in the Bowery, New York City.
We file in with our guitars, and shortly after everyone is in the space, Sandra leads us in a new exercise that I haven't seen before, and it's very effective. The team feels much more tuned.
The facility is a different ballgame than what we've had. It's not a huge room, but the sound is beautiful: more of the "old" sound I prefer. There is a balcony, but that is supposedly closed off. The green room/sanctuary is sizeable, but more importantly opens to a private courtyard, which is absolutely gorgeous. With the perfect weather we have, this is a great boon.
Blocking relatively quickly. We explore the space for a few minutes to get the idea of the sound, and then assume the basic large circle. This also becomes the form for the whizz; with Robert's suggestion, it becomes a 4-pole VQ whizz. A bit more tweaking, and it becomes 4 main poles, with 4 less vicious Queens in between. This makes the Octatonic Vicious Queen Whizz; the music theory geek in me doesn't catch this joke (4 majors and 4 minors) until the next day.
Into the green room for personal practice, with quiet time at 3:30.
4:00 - Show time.
Explore the Space/Groups
Repertoire: Red, Voices of Ancient Children, Berceuse, Askesis
"When Ready, Begin"
Octatonic Vicious Queen Whizz: "Please whizz until the world becomes the place you wish it to be."
Eye of the Needle
Encore: Schizoid Man
Again, the ability to listen outside the Orchestra and hear the resonance of the space, hear the air of the notes and the shimmer of the trails.
The improvs have been steadily becoming more concise, but this one ends in full circle formation with quite a lot of whizzing. The "zipper" is born. More whizzing of Silence.
Fantastic version of Red. I'm getting pretty exhausted at this point, and I have to let go and just enjoy the music. When Askesis comes up, it is damn fast. I know it's gotten faster, but I'm thinking I've just been getting tired, which is why I'm having to ghost some notes so that I can keep up. Turns out I'm not the only one; several of my circle mates agree, later on, that it was running at least 100 bpm, so it's a combination of both.
During "When Ready, Begin", there is a fantastically chaotic moment of interaction between two groups. I pull out just as it's starting to gel, and nod to Chris to come with me, as we're both not terribly involved. We play "catch", and at one point I gesture to him to "go long". Greg joins us after a bit, and we toss it around for a while. Someone else joins us--Keith, maybe?--and I eventually lead the little group back into the main action, as I'm starting to become aware that it's going on too long. A funny moment: I try and lead us into the thick of the action and come out the other side, but they don't apparently get the message, or head off to do something else, so I find myself on the other side with no attachments. Funny.
Standing next to Andrea for the OVQW. This is one of the most incredible whizzes I've been part of; there is a moment where we're thinking as one unit, and it's shooting around the circle faster than Jaxie can send it, and she starts to flag a bit (or so it seems), and then it suddenly begins to pick up again, like it needed a breath. Then, she stops it, grabs it, and throws it into the air.
Eye of the Needle. A very loud "Whoop!" from someone, and not well timed.
A silent procession out. I am doing my best to not cut corners.
Loud applause as we finally pull out of the room. Schizoid Man returns, and I can just hear it from the green room. More applause, and then we head back out.
Asturias, all the way through. Zithering procession chords around. Procession back out, with procession chords. More thunderous applause on our exit.
An unfisting in the room. The last gig is complete.
Out to the venue, to poke around, get a couple of pictures, and maybe talk to some people. I recognize Carl's sister from the Book of Heads, meet Peter's son, and have a longish conversation with a very nice Krimhead and his son, and a full-on prog casualty.
Cleaning up our stuff in the green room to make room for 68 chairs; Hideyo Moriya of the California Guitar Trio was in the audience, and is sitting in on our final meeting.
Immediately before the meeting begins, Chris asks me if this course has felt experientially long to me, and it hits me that I feel like I've been gone from the normal world for a year or two.
Sandra mentions a dissolution of self she experienced while looking at this church several years ago, before she had anything to do with this church. Martin talks about how this project has been an affirmation of work he's been taking on for over 25 years. Chris gives an observation, and is challenged by Robert to make it more concise. I am formulating my own comments, when it becomes apparent that I won't be able to give them. A bit of ego-killing for me, but my thought that "I need to be a more reliable leader" is powerful enough that I have it for myself.
Final remarks from Robert, and from Dev. There is an OCG tour on the West Coast, focused around Seattle next year. And the first official mention of a possible long course.
Rushed goodbyes. Problems with the departure list.
A few final photos, and onto the bus. All those remaining in NYC wave Tom and Robert goodbye, and we do the same from our bus. I'm not quite as lumpy-throated as I was last year after the course, but it's always a little sad. After all, this is my family, and we are all one.
On the bus, we tear into the food we have available to us. Lots of discussion. Some great. Some not so great.
A longish conversation with Patricia. I was not aware of her connection to Victor from the early years, or of her participation at Red Lion House, or of the fact that she was connected to this work before Guitar Craft existed. It's a little amazing to speak to one of my very favorite singers, and realize that she has the same life issues that anyone else has. It's also somewhat gratifying to talk to someone that's been involved as long as she has and find that she has some of the same issues with the language that I do.
Lots of differing opinions on what the shows were all like. For me, as a whole, they were entirely their own process, almost separate from the rest of the course. They also had an element of just how important the aspect of architecture is to a space; the first and last shows had a more attractive sounding space, while the middle show had a very modern and sterile-sounding space. Needless to say, there is a bit of division on "pro-Hadley" and "not-so-pro-Hadley" among the group on the bus.
Chris reveals yet again just how funny he is.
When we arrive back at Camp Caravan around 11:45 at night, we get our stuff put back, and then return to the main house for a meal prepared for us by Frank. Truly, if love exists on this planet, you will find it among these people, I promise you.
Some conversation, including discussion of the 2014 OCG tour, and some extra dessert, and then off to my cabin. Some packing going on, and a full-cabin portrait for Jon, and then off to bed.