What fuels me above all is the conviction that performance provides a mutual opportunity for connection -- an interactive, collective, primal experience. I believe this to be one of the foundations of civilization: humankind’s ability to gather and move and be moved together, in shared space and time.
And musical rhythm is the essence of that, in the sense that it unites us, offering this moment-to-moment bodily synchrony of experience. I think rhythm is the real reason we’re able to do anything together as people. So music is really this ritual through which we can access those deepest roots of our humanity. That might sound highfalutin, but I’ve seen it happen so often that I hold it to be self-evident, a simple truth about who and what we are.
This conviction drives me to keep reaching across communities, across these fictions of genre, discipline, race, ethnicity, class, nation, age, and gender, towards a belief in our mutual humanity. I still strive to imbue my work with all the specificity, authenticity, and personhood that I can muster. But from there I always proceed with the assumption that it is meant for anyone willing to listen and move to it.