Racer Sessions

Sundays, 8-10pm at Cafe Racer in Seattle, WA

Jared Borkowski - March 28th, 2010



To enjoy art is to feel empathy.  You are human and you understand all other humans. You are just like them.  Others are acting out pieces of you.  You are receptive to those pieces.

Music is such a reflection of our lives and our understanding for each other.

Without this, where does music come from?  Ask ourselves… why are we playing music?  We love music.  Why do we love music?  It moves us.  Why does it move us? What are we playing music for?  Music alone is nothing.  We are using it as a means to express something greater.  What are we expressing?  We are expressing the human experience to one extent or another, something that each and every one of us understands deeply.  We are moved by someone else’s music because we see ourselves in it.  We relate.  It is a reflection. 

I suggest to you that your music is not yours and my music is not mine.  What a burden it is to attach ourselves to the music that comes out of us – what a disservice to the others who feel connected to it. 

In The Birth of Tragedy, Friedrich Nietzsche states that nature is inherently creative and “faced with these immediate artistic states in nature, every artist is an ‘imitator’.”  In other words, our own creativity and music is an imitation, or even an unveiling of, something that already exists.  Therefore we do not have ownership.  We are all tapping into the same source and letting it come through us.  Nietzsche refers to art that is purely a communication of the natural creativity that already exists, bypassing the individual’s influence, as “Naïve art”.  In the process of being creative “man is no longer an artist, he has become a work of art.”

The intoxicating properties of music remind us of our collective unity and “primal oneness”.

This is all very appropriate and important to keep in mind for a small, but strong community of avant-garde musicians who have a jam session every Sunday night. 

“Singing and dancing, man expresses himself as a member of a higher community.”

These thoughts have been generated by an investigation into my personal discomfort from certain musical situations.  I love music so much… so why am I uncomfortable?  I am still working on it, but I discovered that I enjoy art the most when there are no barriers or filters between myself and the work I am experiencing.  For example, I find that my knowledge of a performer’s personality can easily act as an obstruction to directly experiencing the music.  Sometimes I feel that it is much easier for me to appreciate a creation when all I know is the product itself.  It has been very beneficial for me to take a deeper look at why I love music, why am I compelled to create it, and what am I trying to say with it.  I find a great deal of comfort in attempting detach myself from ‘my music’ while accepting everyone else’s music as a part of myself.

On Sunday I would like to take steps towards breaking down some of these performance barriers that have made me uncomfortable in the past:

  • Space:  I would like the audience to sit anywhere around the room while I will create sounds within the crowd.
  • Sound source:  I will be placing amplifiers all around the room and improvising loops on the guitar to be sounded through them in different combinations.
  • Visual: For a purely sonic experience, I recommend that you wear a complimentary blindfold for the performance segment of the night.
  • Ownership:  At some point the loops will have a life of their own.  At this time, I will join the audience and listen as objectively as possible, also with a blindfold.
  • Jam:  I would like to try out having people play their instruments from where they are sitting or from different parts of the room so performers and listeners are interspersed with one another.  I will be asking musicians to start and stop at different times.

“We never lose anything by sharing it, for nothing is solely ours to start with.” 

-Leo Buscaglia