Of Course, Music Is Never Your Sole Identity

But even what brings the music to you can be a part of it

Of Course, Music Is Never Your Sole Identity

There’s a small rack of music CDs sitting behind my computer screen at home: A useless format, now, those compact discs, as that new Macintosh doesn’t have a port for discs and I have no peripherals set up for the things.

Besides, the data on most of those discs – aside from a rarity or two, things recorded by friends with too much talent & too few industry connections – the music on most of those discs is available somewhere in the cloud, right? YouTube, SoundCloud, Pandora, Spotify: All I need to do is start Googling, and there it is, whatever it is, come pouring right out the speakers at the click of a virtual button.

But those CDs are still behind my iMac, their cases describing a many-segmented wave in their little chrome bridge of a horizontal rack. Because … inertia?

Hell, I’ve decluttered my bunker several times in the past couple of decades; but still those CDs remain.

I remember listening to them dozens of times – before it was all about the cloud, before I even had an iMac – and I like how the things remind me of those times, of the slightly different person I was and of all that was going on in my life back then. Almost as much as the songs & soundscapes they contain, those CDs – the objects themselves, with their accompanying artwork & texts & so on, the distinct patterns of scuff marks on their cases – are something I identify with, are something that (on some level of the mind, where all things ultimately occur) are part of my identity.

Even though I hardly ever look at them anymore.

But the other night, there was a small jumping spider in my bunker – possibly a female Phidippus regius, although tbh I’m no expert – and I followed its erratic, stuttered journey to behind my iMac. Where it was perched, the furry little eight-legged varmint, atop the CD that slanted between the CDs of R.E.M.’s Monster and Tod Machover’s opera version of Philip K. Dick’s Valis. Specifically, on Loreena McKennitt’s The Mask and Mirror. Which circumstance provides a fine resonance & handy segue – because this post isn’t so much about music as it is about identity and the more definite embodying or obscuring of identity as accomplished by masks and mirrors.

You want mirrors, there’s probably a few available wherever you are right now.

(Unless you’re, like, a vampire or something. And then there’s that whole deal about the reflective glass being backed by holy silver precluding its use by such a godforsaken hellspawn as thee, foul creature – there’s that whole identity crisis to contend with, amirite?)

(And anyway those old CDs, those are highly reflective: You can, in more ways than one, see yourself in the music.)

You want masks, well, that’s where Dimension Gallery’s new show comes in.

I’ve mentioned Dimension here already, have even reviewed a show or two that’s been featured in that excellent Eastside venue. And I’m mentioning it again, because, look – there’s an exhibition opening there tomorrow (Thursday) night, and it’s called “Cloaked Identity” and it’s all about the embodying or obscuring that masks can do, and the examples of that – the masks themselves – are provided by Blue Genie’s Dana Younger and Virginia-based Dennis McNett and the culture-hacking Corinne Loperfido of L.A. and Austin’s Alyssa Taylor Wendt and – ah, there are several more, yes, offering much made beauty in Moya Khabele and Colin McIntyre’s sculpture-celebrating premises on Springdale Road.

You don’t have to follow a spider there or anything like that: Just track the directions in your car, or some ride service, or (even better) as you pedal your bike. You don’t have to bring along any music from your past or your present: The conversation of the mingling creators & other art-loving citizens will perfectly soundtrack your perusal. You don’t even have to bring a specific identity, really: Be inspired by one of the masks on display, maybe become someone a little bit different for a night?

I’ll probably be there, myself – in one guise or another.

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Dimension Gallery, Cloaked Identity, Masks, How Am I Not Myself?, Colin McIntyre, Moya Khabele

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