High Concept – Sunflower

Sunflower is an instrumental piece of music written by Mason Williams. For those of you who don’t know, Mason was the head writer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Also, he is a classical guitarist/composer (ex., Classical Gas) and has dabbled in conceptual art. In 1967, he had the idea for a film: to draw the world’s largest sunflower with the sun itself becoming the blossom. According to Mason’s idea, it was to be drawn by an old bi-wing aeroplane by skywriting. Due to technical difficulties, the film didn’t turn out. However, the still photographer was able to take a few black and white photos.

Musical Slide Show

While the music was written to explore a compositional concept, it originally had a different title. However, Mason changed the song title to use it as music for the short film. So, you might think of it as a slide show with music. And, it turns out that the actual event took place on my birthday of that same year. Enjoy!

Hop on the Bus, Gus

Another interesting conceptual art piece by Mason was a life size photo of a Greyhound bus, folded up and put into a box. In addition, it had a limited edition of 200 copies. After its release, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) installed a copy of Bus in the lobby in January 1968. Mason Williams

Poetry Spotlight: Remembered

As it so happens, this poem was inspired by my experience at a men’s Pow-Wow up in the Sierra foothills. I spent a weekend with men, singing and dancing and hanging out in a large canvas dome. Along with that, I gathered with Doug Von Koss (creator of the Noah Project) and a few others one morning to sing the sun up. Most noteworthy, a fire was lit on the second day and was kept burning all night long. As the fire burned, one or more men danced around it all night until the next morning. In some traditions, this is considered as a “giveaway” to Mother Earth.


Written by Marshal Jon McKitrick/ July 2001

Bare feet on hot dirt, dancing in a circle
Carrying burdens from my past
Weighed down heavily in the heat of the bright sun
By the pain in my heart

As I move around the circle, I feel heat
Like a hot sidewalk under my feet
And then I feel coolness of evening, soothing and welcoming

Stepping into and out of the Paradox of my life
I realize and remember:
“Hey, I don’t have to punish myself to be Holy
And I don’t have to be good and perfect or else…”

The long road with no ending is my Sacred Road
I am right where I need to be, moving in the direction of Life
And by remembering what I have forgotten, I am being
The gift of helping others to remember

So the Dance of remembering and forgetting
And remembering and forgetting continues
And the Great Mother Drum of the Universe
Booms out Her call:

“Come follow my voice, dearest one
Step by step, Breath by breath
Your sorrow is deep and your joy is wide
And you are loved and remembered”