Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reading Minds

Qualia is a term assigned to subjective conscious experience, "the way a thing seems to a person" and it is extremely personal and ineffable. It is redness of red, taste of beer or feel of touch/pressure of lovers lips pressed against your upper thigh. It is pure perception; raw material used to make each of us the person we are.

Qualia is important to me.

I see world as a sequential place. Adding and subtracting variables makes for different pictures. Better recognition and knowledge of mechanics and timing of puzzle pieces contributes to finer, more sophisticated pictures and those pictures are what I work with and deeply care about. Sometimes I write stories or poems celebrating this experience, other times I make people's relationships work or facilitate efficacy improvements in their daily routines - those are all pictures I deeply care about. It takes a lot of observation, some directional small scale experimentation and a bit of persuasion lovingly wrapped in personalised gift wrappers.

But in my relationships I forget to behave, I forget to emote, I just do not share. I'd like for my significant others, friends and lovers alike, to just read my mind. My rational self knows for a fact that that can not and will not work no matter how hard I wish for it to work but my emotional self will not have that notion and me being so stringent in my daily business somehow gives unwarranted leeway to my emotional self to kick ass of my rational self.

So where does qualia come in in this picture?

It precedes all the notions, all the pictures, and as such it defines them in my universe. Sole recognition of the existence of qualia (unique personal ineffable conscious experience quality) makes everything I do, everything I see, everyone I think about or work with unique: we may go down the same path, meet same objects/subjects, observe same events but our brainbox will always dish out personalised data track contributing to different attributions and resulting in behavioral variations.

I'd actually like to be treated like that. Similar but unique. That is my expectation from my significant others that often stays unmet.

Why is that?

                                       x                             x                               x

This is second post in On Relationships (tag) series.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

On Relationships

On a beautiful autumn morning I drive to work through town, admiring crisp yellow sunshine and leaves that turned red. Arriving to Kennedy square my retinae are splashed with million shades of green since different kind of trees are planted there and they have not yet heard that autumn is here. There is silence in my ears and my soul is at peace. At that moment I bask in the sun of pure content, bliss of enjoyment in present moment.

For some time now I rumminate on things concerning relationships which I see or which my friends share with me, things that sadden and exhilarate me, blissful things, sordid things, things that are. I'd like to put them into perspective of my own life. I will do this for my own education, pleasure and amusement. I will do this by listing them here and by inspecting and re-thinking them here so there will be written proof of how I once considered them - proof to remember and to return to when needed.

The biggest issue in the story about relationships seems to be incongruity of expectations.

What expectations?

Many, actually. Whole whirlwind of expectations falling victim to false consensus bias. Expectations we often have just because we never questioned their desirability or worth. Things we accepted at face value just because they were always done like that, because it is safer not to question them so we could have some structure in this treacherous, unpredictable territory.

The thing I'd like to start with is qualia.

                                                x                           x                         x

This is the first post in On Relationships (tag) series.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Maybeshewill @Attack! 28Sep2012

Back in February 2010 while I was getting my festival accreditation for Žedno Uho #11 I exchanged  few e-mails with Mate Skugor suggesting that he brings Maybeshewill to Zagreb. He was very receptive and polite but, as it often happens, life brought unforseen turmoils so this fell off the radar.

Two years later, Maybeshewill was announced to perform at Attack! on May 11th 2012 and I bought the ticket the minute they were released. There was a bit more waiting involved but on Friday September 28th 2012 I finally got to see Maybeshewill perform in Zagreb.

It was well worth the wait.

As usually, I got to Attack! early to see everyone and poke my nose into everything. First thing I noticed entering almost empty Attack! was minimalist setup on stage - fact that left me flabbergasted. As evening moved along I was no less confused but after the gig I have to say that it was the perfect greeting for this evening of pure perfection.

First ones on stage were Rens Argoa.
From the first moment they began to play I was utterly impressed with beautifully set, christalline sound that covered wonderfully whole Attack! floor. Small supporting bands usualy get served short end of the stick as sound is set up for headliners - but not today! Sound was beautiful and, as you can see in the photo here, there is really minimal amount of equipment on stage. Guys play bravely and I was shocked I did not hear about them before as they were really really good. I could swear I heard something James-Bondish in one of the songs they played. Fun idiosyncrasy I also noticed is that their drummer plays with no shoes on, wearing only socks. They have some great music put up on their soundcloud page so go there and check it out.

After a short break Portman went up.

After a bit of commotion with the drumset they started out slowly and a bit pingy at first, with a bit too much cymbals which made whole sound picture dirty and unpolished but after first song it cleaned beautifully and Portman played their set of firm metal/stoner warp interwowen with classic postrockish weft. Another great discovery worth listening through from their SoundCloud page.

And then, after a minute change in stage setup, Maybeshewill went on stage...
... and they were all I imagined and hoped for and then some.

Sporting stickers and T-shirts by Nothing But Hope And Passion they were living, walking, music making epitome of that phrase. Surprised and moved by loving reception from Attack! audience they played their hearts out.

Song after song was beautifully clear and impeccably delivered and it felt so fulflling and overwhelmingly beautiful I was sincerely moved to tears. It was so utterly marvelous that if I closed my eyes, while standing amidst the biggest crowd a meter from stage, I could be so lost in exquisiteness of the music I felt no people surrounding me,... like I was standing in the middle of the field, immersed in beauty to such extent that music came from within me, not from outside.

They played and played and then played some more...

...and I did not feel the passage of time at all. They could have played their whole discography over and over again or just one second of one song - I was so filled with love I felt completely zen.

... heart's content...

After the show, in contrast with my usual routine I did not run away home immediately trying "to keep the music in my ears" but I stayed and watched the crowd disperse slowly. I did not talk. I did not drink. I did not move.

I just stood there letting the world flow by me and it felt like nothing I ever felt in my life.

Leaving Attack! I passed Jamie Ward in the hallway and I thanked him for the show and he smiled and nodded and it was perfect end to a perfect show.