"Currently" with Jeffrey Silverstein
For our new "Currently" series, we send an artist five open-ended questions to answer, and when responding, they can elaborate as much or as little as desired. The questions are intended to capture a snapshot moment - what an artist is grappling with, appreciates, and dreams about for the future. Responses are posted verbatim, as soon as they are submitted, so as to provide a platform free of editorial skew.
Our second "Currently" entry is from Jeffrey Silverstein, a Portland-based musician, writer, and teacher. Having cut his teeth in New York working for MTV, Silverstein moved out to the Northwest, and in addition to his music and writing career, now works as a special education teacher. Y'all know that I have a soft spot for those in the education field. His recently-released album You Become the Mountain has earned critical acclaim, and his writings have appeared in publications including October, SPIN, and Aquarium Drunkard among others. He's a man of many talents and interests, and was kind enough to share a bit about his life with us.
- What creative project(s) are you working on?
Lots of writing. Just finished recording a mew EP, hosting ‘Felt Time,’ a new bi-weekly radio show (Tuesdays 7-9PM PST) on Dune Buggy Radio and am curating a covers compilation of one of my all time favorite records. Hoping to be able to share more about that project in the coming months.
- What topics, ideas, or movements interest you?
Black Lives Matter, racial justice, climate justice, Portland’s mayoral race, loving-kindness, ego death, mindfulness, beginner’s mind.
- What music, art, or words do you feel drawn to?
Cannot stop ordering books off of Thriftbooks. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of Pema Chodron, Sakyong Mipham and Gretel Ehrlich. A few recent favorites are The Solace of Open Spaces, The Places That Scare You, and Turning the Mind into an Ally. Been celebrating Black Music Month by listening to and discovering a ton of soul, gospel, dub, funk, etc. Artists I’ve had on repeat are Supreme Jubilees, Gloria Barnes, and John Lee Ziegler.
- What self-care practices are you finding helpful?
Trail running, meditation, neighborhood walks with my partner, taking pictures of flowers.
- What do you dream about, for days ahead?
Mostly concerned with staying in the here and now.
You can find links to much of Jeffrey Silverstein's work on his website, and a sample of You Become the Mountain is embedded below. Cover photo provided by the artist.