Sunday, 11 January 2009

At Amsterdam airport, watching temperatures drop below freezing through vast glass panes, actions become spaced and allow thoughts to enter. At what point did things become so compressed? The pace of months has quickened, inestimably. Having returned to the UK for an interview for a contract I was not awarded, I am now returning and write mid-transit. So what now for the future? Who can talk of lucky escapes and future plans?

In the immediate future, transmediale holds my attention. With two weeks to go, the festival is almost upon us and preparations accelerate to proportions that require definition. If things cannot be described, they cannot be realised. What now that does not exist in words – bindings of contract and agreement, grids of time-plans, hopeful schedules – will never exist. I occupy a strange position, having been here before in multiple situations, working on festivals and the like, but also cast out into unknowns. Bereft of support networks in a city and language I may still call foreign, without family and friends (highlighted by fond weekend excursions with both) and now with no short-term plans beyond the festival, there are inward strengths that I must call on.

At the same time, there are freedoms here. As I remember clanging Dead C chords and Basho rises without prompt ( although the airport does have overlapping areas of sonic confusion, where bars and ambient intravenous musics combine – this is what I've been trying to achieve for the last two years in my live sets), I can't fail to remember futures told. An exhilaration holds steady somewhere within me, as galling as that sounds. There is a nervousness about my work recently, about my sleep recently, that is uncharacteristic. Even in the interview I stumbled over my first words, before composing myself and just enthusing. Enthusiasm continued me through, a hope for possibility.

This is too abstract of course, too abstract to derive anything of use from, to abstract and of nothing to be worth publishing in any form. But set like that, it is a representation of course. A call to the formlessness of months ahead. On what can I rely? Cara, yes, of course. She is there. But beyond that? Job, house, country? None are defined.

Reading the newspaper during my flight, I forgot entirely I was flying. (My seventh flight in the last three weeks – ! There's a representation should one be sought.) I read an apathetic review of the new Animal Collective full-length release, a band I have ceased to become expectant of but still enjoy. What chance that I find a drummer, somewhere, and try to realise those ambitions? Record the new album, send it to Paris where I have faint offerings of release and distribution? Work on the edits of my novel while I am at it? Continue that gentle creep with which I intend, without plan, to infiltrate published pages with words. Move drastically and determinedly toward the new horizons of journalism, that journalism of which the news does not yet know?

There is a drive to move towards creation – roles for the type that I am, that vague producer of events, are fading. I also have not the knowledge to move into disseminated ideas, not yet. So writing, music – let us dance with abstraction more. These are roads, however, that require paving. Where am I to find flagstones at this late hour? The stone-head plaster of Berlin's streets? What chance this city will provide?

Meanwhile, a call over the speaker system here. Time is gone, but not wasted. A flight once more.

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