Rendered Fat Content


Unknown Artist, Italian, 17th century:
Juno Commanding Aeolus to Release the Winds (Not dated)

" … all about believing self-deception …"

Practicing slowly morphs into rehearsals as the performance date nears. Practice focused upon bare mechanics while rehearsals include some stagecraft. A performer might scrutinize camera angles, hoping to expose their best profile and, of course, cloak the more unflattering perspectives. Beginnings and endings become more deliberate and the performer actively projects into the ever nearer future. Knowing the performance allows no do-overs, he pushes each tune to conclusion, no longer so quick to stop and repeat a flubbed phrase. He might even gain time consciousness, a terrible addition. What once was timeless becomes time bound as what was once lost slowly gets found again.

The neck of the guitar becomes less restrictive as recent familiarity increases, the product of repetition as well as rediscovery.
The fingers continue feeling too tender and should have toughened more by then, but he thinks he can manage to limp through the final tunes if he has to, and he might have to. He's not yet suiting up to play. He performs in his pajamas with his hair awry, distantly considering wardrobe. He once wore what he called his flash suit when he performed, a bell bottomed, belled sleeved, Nehru-collared beauty his mom made out of drapery material. He supposes he'll wear his usual blue chambray and jeans with his sheepskin slippers, but for now he might just as well be rehearsing naked, for all the cover he enjoys. He feels extremely exposed.

An often overlooked SetTheory property might be its tendency to produce out of imperfection. Unlike other branches of logic, it can thrive on imprecision, often gaining insight without ever finely defining anything, merely by aggregating and sorting. General attributes can also provide enough distinction to make even critical decisions. The broad theory alone can tame some queries. Like UndressedRehersals, SetTheory sometimes thrives on imperfections, the starting set perhaps including all the elements not quite yet honed to perfection. My SetList's imperfections persist, and much of UndressedRehearsal involves noticing flaws, merely noting them for future resolution. Nothing rehearsed in the buff approaches doneness, for the whole purpose of this work involves identifying remaining flaws. Once the work deserves dressing up to perform, it will have approached good enough with even the occasional glimpse of perfection. Until then, performing's more police action than enjoyment, more enforcement than reward.

I feel more naked than I actually am. Nude guitar playing's not even distantly romantic and nude singing's probably better left to The Gods, who do everything in the buff. I feel exposed, though, and blush when I notice the differences between what I'd imagined and what I've found as I near the end of this particular rainbow. I've successfully resurrected my past and am actively working to give it presence, just as if I held license to achieve this end. Neither myself nor my songs remain who we once were, but seem to have been deeply influenced by the dramatic changes in context since I once answered to the songwriter and performer labels. UndressedRehearsals encourage criticism in the interest of improving, but it feels like a burden to always, always, always find every iteration still wanting.

I imagine that I could use another quarter just to fine tune my upcoming performance while at the same time understanding that infinite rehearsing couldn't really propel me much closer to finished. Still, almost done isn't finished and the distance of not yet traversed territory might just as well be thought of as infinite, if only because it is. The magic will reliably reappear out of literal nowhere. Completion only exists in past tenses, upcomings never done. Between today and a week from now, I must somehow move beyond my critic and encourage my most generous interpreter, such that I will hear what's right with my work rather than more iterations of what's still wrong. Performance after rehearsal might be all about believing self-deception just as if the emperor had actually put his pants on.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

blog comments powered by Disqus

Made in RapidWeaver