It is true that I am married to the foremost modern classicist alive today, so I am attuned to art in a certain way. My husband sculptor Sabin Howard is the standard bearer for the radical notion that beauty, excellence, and the artist’s skill matter, and he’s a stickler for high standards in the visual arts. I support him in this. At the same time, I’m more inclusive in my definition of ‘art’ and ‘artist.’ I find that art is a joyfully multifarious phenomenon, resisting boundaries, and its practitioners are legion.
A few months ago, the clerk at my favorite dry cleaner fell into conversation with me. It turned out that he yearns to write novels. He’s Spanish, an immigrant, passionate about literature: Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende. He’s taking a writing class; when I march in with a sweater that needs spot removal or a shirt that needs pressing, he tells me about the books he’s reading and the one he’s writing. It’s uplifting to share these conversations with him.
Recently I was engaged in an online conversation regarding some computer business when Jibin the programmer related that he had done the soundtrack for an upcoming Hollywood movie.
“That’s pretty cool!” I enthused. “Tell me about it.”
Unbridled is the story of a human-horse relationship, he informed me. It will be released in 2017. Eric Roberts is one of the stars.
Once upon a time, I owned two horses. I’d still rather be riding than doing just about anything else. So I googled the movie. Sure enough, on IMDB, Jibin George Sebastian is listed as the musical director for Unbridled.
The movie looks serious; some of the themes are dark and intense. But the concept of redemption through a relationship with a horse is appealing.
“How did you get to do the music for this movie?” I asked.
“The producer is my client for three years,” he informed me. “I’ve been sending him music all along. So he knew about my music career. When he told me about his movie, I asked him if I could do the soundtrack, and he said go ahead.” Jibin George Sebastian used ten studios in five countries for the song in Unbridled.
Mr. Sebastian is an engineering and MBA graduate with a background in music. He studied classical music at school in his youth and won many prizes; from then on, he taught himself. He went on to win the All India Fame music prize. His first album was called Divine Love. His biggest album, Beat of Indian Youth, speaks out against social evils.
Now Mr. Sebastian runs a music production company in India. He’s both an entrepreneur and a music composer. Clearly he’s a polymath, and what a delight to discover this talented soul when I didn’t expect it.
There’s an unpredictable quality to the love of art and the desire to create. There’s something inscrutable within those who surrender to art’s demands. That’s part of what makes it so juicy and delicious—part of how art enriches our lives. A random stranger turns out to be a budding novelist or a music composer.
Or perhaps chance reveals that someone we see every day harbors a secret imaginative self. The staid-looking lawyer writes thrilling erotic poetry; the conservatively-suited doctor paints wildly expressive abstract oils. I have a neurosurgeon friend who sculpts. He’s dedicated enough to pour bronze out at his country home, though I wouldn’t recommend that as a general practice.
Sabin’s livelihood is his art, a rare and fortunate path through life. But the profession of art isn’t the only way that art comes into being. Art is like life itself…protean, unruly, seeping out of the smallest cracks to pour forth into our consciousness. Like a sticky ooze or ray of light, and just as tenaciously splendid.