Friday, October 5, 2007

Head in the clouds

For those of you that have been digging the pictures, here are some more.

The festival is over and what a time it was. That is nearly is far as I had planned. I have yet to find a place to live. In a town so small, in an economy like this, rental houses are not to be found. I secretly hoped that someone would let me stay at their cabin for a low-ish rent and watch over the place. Trouble is, I didn't meet any of those kind of people yet. If I were inclined, I could get a modest brick home for less than $75k.

I have been trying to write songs by laying down grooves as I come up with them. This has been happening since about July. I've fine-tuned the five grooves thus far and what has happened is that my music has become instrumental. I've got this killer thing happening in F [dropped D, capo 4]. The music is pouring out, but I can't sort it out yet. I further recognize that I can't rush it. Especially singing. I can only sing for about an hour before I get tired. And without a quality mic, I can't tell what I'm doing right or wrong anyway. The studio work will begin as soon as I can plug in somewhere quiet. In the meantime, I have been trying to get proficient with doing with my laptop and the AC inverter near the car. I'll probably get going with that soon since I don't know when I'll have stable housing, but the music must get going!

I can tell now with some of the way the notes are coming out of the guitar that I crossed over into some great new land. Unfortunately, it heightens my self-consciousness as a songwriter, singer, and mandolin player. My guitar has been loving the humidity, but as some of you know, my guitar 'opened up' before I left, since about June. It sounds every bit as good as a 30 year old Martin, coming in at 9 years of age. It probably has 30 years of notes rung through it though. So it's hard for me to stink up my own guitar playing with lyrics-in-progress and voice-in-progress. It comes across, quite legitimately, that perhaps I should just stick to playing it. Yet that is not my intention.

On the mandolin, I'm on a strict Monroe-instrumental diet, lately consisting of Roanoake, Wheel Hoss, Old Ebeneezer Scrooge, and The Methodist Preacher. I composed a dark piece on the mandolin in open D-minor that I think sounds Romanian, so I am using reference from the true account of the rule of Vlad The Impaler. My brother-in-law followed up my vampire-flick kick from Christmas (I know, how appropriate I am) by TiVo-ing some vampire documentaries we watched before I left. The tale of Vlad is what inspired Bram Stoker's version of Dracula. However, it is so horrific to think of being impaled, that I am not sure I want my first instrumental piece to be associated with that tale. The reality is that a freak like me would've been one of the first stuck up there. Anyway, the idea of running from a horrible inescapable death fits the tune. Hey, I didn't ask for it, it just came out in one piece, entirely improvised, in total darkness a few weeks ago. I've been trying to figure out since then. Here it is as it was first played in the dark. You can hear the bugs and you can hear how I couldn't see the damn mandolin. Listen all the way through if you can.

That's some of my doings for now. Sound as ever,

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