After our quartet rehearsed a few pieces for an outreach next week, Chihiro invited us into her tatami room to watch the broadcasts of some of the concerts that HPAC has done for television. I never see these productions, since I don't own a television; after the concert and recording I mostly forget they happened.
So I sat in her floor chair and put my legs under the kotatsu table's blanket and felt extremely cozy and comfortable. And we watched ourselves several months ago. It's not often one gets to watch themselves unaware. It's a little creepy. I'm spying on myself. And all the evaluations that I make of myself as I think I am, and make of others as I see them from the outside, get culled together as I watch myself as another person. It's a strange feeling, but so hard to turn away. What am I thinking, how am I playing, can I see something here that I can learn from?
It can be easy to become judgmental looking at oneself. We don't express these feelings to other people as we see them from the outside, but we can be harsh on ourselves from the inside. It's that time of year when we make resolutions for ourselves based on what we think we need and how we could improve. I think it is a wonderful thing to seek continued growth and to reflect on what we can do in that way. But with what eyes do we see ourselves as we make future plans? Are we looking at ourselves kindly despite the "flaws" we think we have?
It was a very bizarre thing to watch today; to observe myself, to observe myself observing myself. And to carry that awareness of observation to all the other people in the program, including the cameramen and directors who made the production and their stylistic choices. Some things I liked and others I didn't; and to simply be aware of that judgment as it occurs, to see what the mind does as it observes and categorizes experiences.
And apart from that, it was really cool to see what the programs actually became. I had no idea that one of the guys on stage was the architect for the HPAC building, for example. And as the camera swooped through the 10,000 people singing a highly edited Beethoven 9, I got to see their faces and watch them sing from a much closer perspective.
Maybe it's just been to long since I've watched television.