I used to think color was such a rich way to communicate emotion. I felt that colors were somewhat universal in their effects—that they could speak straight to the soul, in a way. But time and education has made me realize that color is a highly (if not entirely) subjective realm.

Ever since I was in high school, I’ve had a deep love for the work of the abstract expressionists—Rothko, Pollock, Newman and the like—which I think is related rather directly to my passion for instrumental music. In both cases, I wanted to experience or express the ineffible. Any reference to the physical world immediately shattered the experience. The art or the music that referred directly to anything outside of itself became much too specific. I didn't want to be spoken to. I only wanted to feel. But now, about a decade after I discovered Rothko and his fuzzy rectangles of pure emotion, I look at his paintings and say, “So what?” Yes, they're lovely, but colors are fickle when it comes to their significance to any particular person—they are extremly limited in what they can say by themselves. I used to think I really connected with Rothko, but it only took one research paper on the man to realize that he was putting far more meaning onto his canvases than I was ever getting out of them. We were not communing like I thought we were. I just thought (and still think) he made pretty paintings.

I suppose that at this point in my life, I want art to be more specific. I want art and music to get their heads out of the clouds and deal with the intricate complexities/devastations/joys/general messiness of this life we all find ourselves living, and bind us together so we can stand it.