In the Venn diagram of my life, the spheres of Music, Movement, and Art collided at the 2016 Conference Opening Ceremonies. After listening to internationally renowned choreographer, Liz Lerman, speak about the art of critique, the crowd in KC was treated to a performance which combined ceramic elements in a unique Operetta. “Wit and Menace,” a work commissioned by NCECA for the popular Randall Session, included ceramic horns by Linda Lighton, two singers, a band of instrumentalists, a composer, fashion designer, and poet/librettist. With the direction of creative mastermind Mark Southerland, this collaboration was a true fusion of multiple disciplines. When all the pieces coalesced on that stage in Kansas City, what ensued I can only describe as a sensational spectacle. My skin tingled, my ears rang, my heart raced, my mouth watered, my eyes teared up, my body was alight with emotion.
The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.
The “Randall Session” was named in honor of Ted Randall, who believed that an important part of our self-discovery as artists includes peering into other genre and disciplines for insight and inspiration. I chose a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche for the title of this article because I have a deep connection to the relationship between sounds and movement. Music and Dance are how I most freely express the art in my soul. Though I enjoy tactile discoveries and explorations in clay, I physically cannot hear music without moving my body in response. Even as I was editing the video of the Randall session, I was choreographing in my head…(ok, maybe the movement didn’t always stay just in my head….) I am inspired to create, and I would like to challenge all of you to do the same. Embrace Ted Randall’s vision and let this summer be one of exploration of new ideas, stimulated by Wit and Menace.
Music has charms to sooth a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.