I would like to write about Mark So's music, but I’m not sure how to do it. I have written and rewritten many things over the past two weeks, trying to find a final form for an essay I would like to give to him as a sort of gift, an appreciation. Mark's music is important to me, and I would like to tell other people about it, to start a conversation about what it does and how it might be doing it. I want to try to understand it without diminishing it. I want to elucidate my appreciation of what I have come to realize is an enormous accomplishment without closing the window on further thought.
But like a backwards film of foot steps in the sand, I keep picking up my traces as I go. I am writing, rewriting and unwriting my appreciations and have little to show for it—and less to give to Mark.
So, instead of a finished essay, I would like to present my appreciations as they evolve, to continue to change them but leave a trace of my meanderings as I wander through the gossamer labyrinth that is Mark So's music.
Below is a letter that I wrote to Mark which I am putting here with his permission. It is the beginning of my thinking about his compositions.