What now?

Some interesting news this week: this is probably the last year that Metlay will be leading thngs at Different Skies.

I view this with very mixed feelings. Different Skies is of course the first place I’ve ever played keyboards live onstage (and on TV for that matter) and should it not continue after this year, I’ll certainly miss it greatly. I’ve been privileged to play with musicians way above my level, and even if I only get to do it once more I’ll feel as if I’ve been a lot luckier than many.

It will be a very different process without Mike leading it. Different Skies has been very much an expression of Mike’s ability to get the best from wildly varying people; there are several others who could do something like it, but Mike’s absence will be a big factor. He has the ability to form a rapport with nearly anyone, and is really the face of Different Skies not only to the outside world, but to Arcosanti. Different Skies may have become enough of a thing in itself to keep going even without Mike: there are several members of the core group who could lead the process and do it well.

Different Skies is quite unique: a music festival that happens because people volunteer to spend a week learning to play together and composing the music that will be played. Even if the Arcosanti version stops, the concept will live on, I hope – and if it doesn’t, it’s been an incredible ride and a wonderful chance to spend time with friends who I don’t often see in person, but who are some of the best people I know.

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