Multiframing

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Two white-frame Polaroid pictures on a patterned carpet in a picture. I think this sums up the experience of this residency for me in a simplistic way but with something close to accuracy – there are these ways within ways of placing myself, my work, the time here, the things that I have seen. And there will be the final understanding of it, at a remove, at the end.

 

Last night I went to hear a sort of open mic night at the Banff Centre music building. It was something I might not have gone to otherwise, but I’d heard a few of the other musicians play here and there, and wanted the chance to see them with more polished or less pieces. It was really beautiful – Bach played on Oboe and piano, electronically disrupted pieces of haunting beauty and ambient sounds (a fire crackling, a strange mast-like clicking), guitar and vocals, piano and a brand new song, hymn-like arrangements of voices.

 

So that was one frame, and then it was me watching it from a wooden chair in golden light, and then another zooming out – talking to the musicians afterwards over drinks, about their process, their time at the Banff Centre, Canada and wherever home was for them, the smokers outside dancing with the bitter cold.

 

And the last frame, my thinking back to the night, sitting in my snowdrifting studio (in the picture above, and around the carpet in the picture). I think about this, and about my own work, which is hidden behind this tab, open, clumsy, snow-covered too. Imaginary frames of the future looking back on this moment. Imaginary futures where I know what comes of this work, of this time.

 

Will I ever know, or will it be frames that shift, that are gold light or have no edges? How much I’d like to be able to say about my writing, the new and the complete. For now, I close my eyes to type, see nothing, not even the frame of the immediate world as I can fathom it, white, and heavy-branched, and impossible to confine.

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