You’re Not Alone Now, But You Will Be with Vijay Iyer
Creating an identity for oneself is something every human, no matter the context, goes through. It’s a shared experience defined by the aggressive need to establish the lack of a shared experience.
It’s not surprising.
There are over six billion people on this earth and the various constructs that allow us to live in close proximity with each other whilst only trying to end all of human existence maybe once a fortnight are the constructs that force us all into a similar, decidedly nonunique existence.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve chosen to smoke a pipe or ride a unicycle or murder your dissident brother, you still worry about colonic irrigation and fiscal solvency just like everyone else.
This commonality is something that we, in the Autumn of 2020, seem to be increasingly scrambling towards as we scramble away from the constant attempts to define ourselves as the lone, pillbox hat wearing wolf.
Lone wolves are cool. But they’re vulnerable and they have no toilet paper.
When people experience mortal fear of something without a face, forced isolation seems counter-intuitive and a shared sense of identity suddenly becomes appealing.
But it’s imperative to remember through this crisis that though genuine uniqueness cannot be bought in the form of an ascot and forced consumption of dry sherry, it can absolutely be crafted by a deft hand, talent and years of practice.
Remember that with Vijay Iyer’s piano concert.
Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer has carved out a unique path as an influential, prolific, shape-shifting presence in modern music. A musical innovator, an active collaborator, and a member of multiple artistic communities, Iyer continues to re-imagine the role of the musician in the 21st century.
His sextet album Far From Over (2017) was ranked #1 in US National Public Radio’s annual Jazz Critics’ Poll and was named among the best jazz albums of the year in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Slate, and The New York Times, and the only “jazz release” in Rolling Stone’s list of the 50 best records of 2017. Experience him live-streamed to a worldwide audience.
There will be a world after COVID-19.
Don’t be romanced by your temporary fear-based need for commonality. Remember that humanity is competition and there are people who are genuinely more talented and unique than you will ever be.
And even though that forced taste for Russian absurdist authors and that cupboard full of homemade pickles may seem ridiculously pointless in the face of imminent mass death, they will, months or perhaps years from now, once again be the linchpin of your ego.