4. How to disappear
From a book that I found on a window sill of Irtijal, kayfa-ta.com
How to Disappear
1. Sit alone in a public space like a café, garden or public square.
2. Try to shift your focus from the thoughts spinning in your mind to the sounds of the space surrounding you.
3. Consider the sounds that reach your ear, sound by sound, without granting any one sound greater significance than any other.
4. Contemplate the folds and creases of the sounds you now hear. When you hear the voice of a passerby, contemplate its tone and this tone’s depth, not only the meaning of its words. When an annoying car drives past, contemplate the harsh sound of it’s motor and the sonic spectrum of its reverberations. When you hear a distant radio, don’t focus merely on the singer’s voice or the song’s name, but rather contemplate the clarity of its frequency and listen to its static.
5. Prevent these sounds from forming a hierarchy; prevent them from occupying the foreground or retreating to the background. Always remember that you must place all sounds at the same distance from you.
6. You will find that your greatest difficulty is concentrating on the sounds themselves, for the thoughts, impressions, and memories that these sounds conjure up will persistently take over part of your concentration, pushing the real-time sounds to the background. Make sustained efforts to return to the sounds arising in your present moment, for your mission is only to listen to them, not to think about their meanings.
7. As time passes and you steep yourself in what you hear, you will discover an increasing number of sonic details around you. Each of these details will lead you to another; each sound will lead you to a neighboring one. At this point you will find that your inner voice gradually diminishes at the same rate by which you immerse yourself in your sonic environment.
8. When you ultimately succeed in listening to the place in its entirety, you will find that the distance between yourself and the space’s sounds has diminished, and that you have become part of the place. You will find that no one around you notices your presence; everyone will pass by without seeing you.
In Beirut it is rather normal (like, in a way, in Vienna), that if you dedicate yourself to any art you get in touch with many other forms of art. The art-scene is small, people from different disciplines know each other and many work in more than one field of art. Mazen Kerbaj
, for example, who is working in comics and music, or Raed Yassin
, the double bass player and visual artist, or Tony Elieh
, the electric bass player and photographer. With time I got to know more people and discovered friendships between photographers and editors, musicians and visual artists, filmmakers and museum curators, &c. The concerts of the festival took place in spaces that were on the one hand designated music rooms, but on the other hand the music happened in art galleries, most of all the experimental ones. Some concerts took place in cinemas. And so the people come together and mingle and work together and the musicians produce the soundtrack to a movie and the editors play a supporting role and the music video is made in exchange for the soundtrack and the graphic designers design the covers of the records for the label of a musician if it is not done by Mazen and so on.