Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Artist Jason Hoopes
Title Year of the Snake
Label New Edge -
Released On 9/26/2013

YEAR OF THE SNAKE is a work conceived by three bay area artists: composer Jason Hoopes, choreographer Peiling Kao, and writer/visual artist Karl Jensen.

Year Of The Snake is a metaphor for “cycles of self-transformation”. In an age of hyper-competition and dependent convenience, we lose sight of the personal process and power of self-transformation, and what it takes to enter the process. What it takes to enter the process has much to do with Empathy.

Empathy is a practice. We have to do it for it to be. This requires vulnerability, which requires strength, through courage. These things are in turn built upon positive learning experiences, even as we accept that learning includes an element of trauma; transformation is traumatic.

Self-transformation concerns the application of the Will upon processes which are already in motion, and always have been. We die. Birth, death - same door. Knowing this, what do we see? Knowing this, what do we want? And what are we doing about it? We have a chance to participate in the shaping, the form, of our own transformation. But it is something we each experience alone or not at all. Such solitude is traumatic. Empathy is the Will acting to harness the inward power of Solitude and send it outward, opening toward, defining space, leaving useful room, useful because empty. Sometimes we practice Empathy in front of a mirror; be gentle with yourself as you shed skin.

As personal perspective changes, the traumatic shedding of old skin, and the acceptance of new forms of understanding, provide useful lessons for compassionately ushering in needed societal progress. You never have a finite number of chances to become, and your becoming helps others do the same. You're not invited. You're inside. It is not as important to get the message as it is to send it. You are invited. This is the spirit of this work.

Thank you for listening.
released 26 September 2013

Jason Hoopes: composition, improvisation director, piano, electric bass
Jeanie-Aprille Tang: spoken voice, electronics
Marielle Jakobsons: violin
Emily Packard: violin
Crystal Pascucci: cello
Nava Dunkelman: percussion
Noah Phillips: electric guitar
Elise Cumberland: singing voice
Leanne Kelly: singing voice
Zeina Nasr: singing voice
Erika Pipkin: singing voice
Jennifer Rannells: singing voice

Titles / Lyrics are excerpted from larger bodies of text written specifically for Year Of The Snake by Karl Jensen.

Recorded by Ron Guensche, Littlefield Concert Hall, Mills College, August 2013.

Mixed by Jason Hoopes.

Mastered by Myles Boisen at Headless Buddha Mastering Lab, 2013.