“Because people don’t know what nature looks like without trash.” That’s what Jon said to me after we finished filming out on the banks of the Potomac. I asked, mostly to myself, why there was so much trash out there. Stupid question, I know, but his answer revealed an awareness of his environment, and a matter-of-fact-like disappointment with the lack of everyone else’s.
Jon goes down to the banks of the Potomac often, he says, to find what little escape he can from hilltop life. Just ignore the planes, kayakers, litter, cars, joggers, bikers, dog walkers and the monuments of Rosslyn, and you find yourself in the center of nature. He often takes his little guitar with him, a hand me down from the sister of a former girlfriend, hoping to find some inspiration from what little piece of nature he can find refuge in. This song performed here was made up on the spot, an Abditum exclusive, if you will.
Jon’s music, even the more practiced number that he played in his room with loop pedals and vocal harmonies, has an air of spontaneity to it. His songs swell and recede. You get the sense that if you let him, he’d keep playing, adding layer on top of layer and emotion of top of emotion, reacting to his environment and feeding back into it in a self-perpetuating cycle.
Despite this spontaneity, Jon is very careful with the art he produces. He wants to display his creativity, and in this case his process, as best as he possibly can. Not just a glimpse into his art, or an eschewed representation of it. But an accurate, blossoming view of his creativity. And if he doesn’t capture it on the first take, well, he does it again.
Find Jon’s work here.