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  • Photos of CACAW by Stas Kravets, visuals by Mamiko Kushida
    Live at Home Audio, Brooklyn

  • "I’m sure at one time or another we’ve all heard ourselves ask "what for?" or maybe as Miles, Trane and Cannonball put it, "So What." I spoke with an Iraq war veteran today about democracy. We came to the conclusion that because we live in a society of many, no shared system is ever perfect or immune to improvement. We spoke of racism in the 50’s and 60’s and how, despite being cut short, MLK’s efforts remain profound even to this day. We said, though this country may have its flaws, yes, its inherent strength lies in its ability to self-correct despite ideological or numeric inequivalence, i.e. minority vs. majority, voices can be and are heard even if it takes several generations. I had never really contemplated the meaning of democracy in the context of self-correction in that no matter how biased or unjust circumstances present themselves, as faithful citizens, we remain eternally hopeful in our nation’s capacity toward self-correction. 

    Then I heard Miles play on “So What”, then Trane, then Cannonball and perhaps for the first time, the question of “So What?” or “What For?”, as attuned to my own musical spirit, became a little clearer. I wonder how often we, as voices in the vast chaotic wilderness, consider how important our sound truly is in the notes we chose to play and by what grander conviction we trust those notes to, as they find their place and eternal echo. Then I heard Miles’ answer, then Trane’s, then Cannonball’s. At the time, it was what it was. As any great work of art, in terms of repercussion, we ascribe meaning and consequent profundity after the fact. It was just an hour in the studio, one bus ride, one injustice too many, a decision to challenge what is in the hopes of affecting what can be. So in that sense, PLAY ON all my brothers and sisters who believe in the power of music and self-expression in the trust, faith and unending hope in our world’s capacity toward ongoing, inevitable, and eternally essential self-correction.”

    -Phil Doyle