Monday, October 10, 2011


One of the great things about living at Zen Center is that often the entertainment happens at home, be it a movie, a reading, an ice cream social, or as on Saturday, a whole big happening. I was sitting in the dining room during the Bold Italic event, listening to Barn Owl, in almost exactly the same spot as I had sat on Friday night listening to Zenju reading from and discussing her new book, but while that offering was a very typical Zen Center offering, quiet and intimate, Barn Owl were possibly the loudest thing ever to happen in this building. I loved them, something about the pure intensity of the sound that reminded me of going to see the jazz pianist Cecil Taylor, after which I would feel like I had been standing under a waterfall for a couple of hours - a little battered but completely invigorated. I had heard them during their sound check in the afternoon, as we set everything up for the evening, and on the basis of that, recommended to Keith, our resident who is now deaf, that he come and sit in to feel them playing (you can read his impressions here).
There was much more happening during the evening as well: two other sets of music, well chosen to match the space, from Danny Paul Grody and Date Palms, who were in the chilly courtyard; an art installation managed by David Wilson, tea tasting, chocolate, the listening booth with Bernd, and meditation with Lien followed by a showing of movies featuring Suzuki Roshi. I really enjoyed the feeling of the evening, people free to roam the ground floor to find something to give their attention to, and having the space mixed between our usual activities and these new creations and new visitors was really energising.

Artists at work
The installation

Danny Paul Grody

Foot traffic
Barn Owl
Trying to represent the Barn Owl sound pictorially

Date Palms in the coutyard
Gregg from Date Palms and his array of instruments

Danny Paul Grody and the moon


sozan doko said...

I would love to have been there! I bought a singlespeed bike a while back and every time I ride it I think of you,my dear friend. Be well.

Shundo said...

Glad to hear it. I confess I am not guessing who you are from your dharma name.

Joel Schooling said...

:) Thanks for the blog, Shundo! I just found it!

Shundo said...

Nice to hear from you Joel - I hope you are doing well wherever you are.

Sandy's witterings said...

Isn't it a wonder of the internet that I can have a bit of your big day here in my lab with the barn owls on youtube, and Mr Wilson's pictures. I'll give Mr Grody and the Date Palms a go after Barn Owl - it seems a shame to stop them in the middle of a tune. Thank you.

Late happy birthday (curiously on an earlier post)

Shundo said...

Thanks Sandy - hope you enjoy the rest of the music as well.