I have been bandying about the idea of a blues jam but have not settled on a venue. That it is not unfolding of its own accord is a sign to me that it is probably not the right time. So I will bide and wait and work on expanding my community of musicians. I’ll let you know how that goes.
In the mean time I produced this music video about ‘throwing people under the bus.’ It got some laughs and it was fun to make. 🙂 I have started work on a new music video that will involve a dancer. I’m excited about the project. The theme is basically, ‘we are more than we appear to be.’ The music is well along, but the dancer will need to rehearse her part and then we will need to shoot.
While I continue to feel drawn in different directions musically, I feel myself settling in on producing an mainly instrumental album. Anyway, that’s where I am right now. We’ll see where it goes. As I practice both trombone and voice I hope to improve on both fronts, and since I enjoy these activities I am also, of course, having a great time.
In other news, I wrote this article on field reversing the Adams Rite 4510 Latch if, like me, you suffer from an addiction to door hardware.
At Eye On Life, Rosa Farrington’s poem ” #ferguson” created a bit of a stir, attracting some comments. While our poets attract a fair number of readers, few of the readers comment, so this was new and refreshing. Over the Christmas holiday Donal Mahoney favored us with some very interesting poems as well, and what the hell I also threw one into the mix for good measure.
A note to poetry submitters to Eye On Life: please submit only works that have not been published elsewhere. The first thing I do with a poetry submission is paste the first few lines into a Google search and see what comes up. If the poem comes up on poetslovelygarden.com or whatever, I have to reject it. This goes for your blog, too. If it is already on your blog, readers really do not have a reason to read it at Eye On Life. Okay, enough bitching. On with the show – or is it one with the show? Hmmmm…
Musically I am continuing to compose and lyricize, and will venture back to the Lizard Lounge with a couple of musicians (to be finalized) from The Rubenoff Project. Two songs in ten minutes and a chance at performing a third tune in the final round if chosen. If you’re in the Harvard Square – Porter Square, Cambridge area on Monday, January 19th at around 8:30 pm, please stop by and cheer (or boo).
My second favorite tune from the Lilypad was “You Locator.” We’ll probably reprise that at the Lizard Lounge.
Submissions are up at The Poetry Locksmith, which is COOL. We are blessed that many new poets have found us at Eye On Life, enriching our pages with their work. I (and we) are grateful. Please stop by and enjoy the voices of Nina Longfield, M. Drew Williams, Valentina Cano and many others.
As I mentioned I have started posting a little of my own work at The Poetry Locksmith, too. For years I felt it was a conflict of interest, but since we changed the design of the whole site a couple of years ago, and because I do not place ads on other poets’ poems, I have had no place to put ads on the Poetry Unlocked pages. Now I can put ads on my own work and feel that I have not done anyone wrong by marring their work with advertising – only mine. At the same time it gives me a creative outlet. It’s a win-win situation.
Musically things are often quiet in the summer because band members are on vacation, but now things are beginning to flow again. Gigs are scheduled for Unclaimed Freight and Too Klez for Comfort already, and I hope to schedule a performance of my own work soon. I will be sessioning with a brand new group of musicians at the end of August to see where we can go. If good recordings result I will be sure to cue you in.
My latest and greatest music can always be found at Reverbnation, a site that offers promotion services for musicians and composers like me 🙂 I have a few tunes there for your listening pleasure.
That about sums up my creative activity for now. Hope you all are having as much fun as I am.
Motion is a lovely illusion, full of nuance and visual stimuli. The orderly-seeming motion of water and the mysterious effects of moving air are certainly fascinating phenomena. Motion only exists because of relative position. The motion of an object can only measured by its changing relationship to some other object. It must be traveling either away from or toward some other thing. Both objects are either in the process of coming to be or ceasing to be. The path of the moving object is always a curve because both the objects and their relative motion have separate relationships with the energy and motion of the expanding universe.
In the midst of all these unpredictable eddies and currents I write to you unsure of everything, including my own existence – or perhaps yours, or both. One might ask, why? But why might one ask?
During the month of June, The Poetry Locksmith feature at Eye On Life was blessed with a good crop of poetry submissions. We posted poetry from perennial contributor Donal Mahoney, new poets J.K. Durick, Frank C. Praeger, Cynthia Vantresca, Maria Picone and others, and returning poets Michael Estabrook and Diane Webster. Please stop by and read their fine work. You can read some of my work there, too.
Things have quieted down musically, as they usually do in the summer when many of the musicians I play with are away. I will also be away for a couple of weeks and away from my instrument as well, so when I return I can look forward to getting my chops back. I did manage to get the last piece from our recording session up at Soundcloud if you would like to hear it.
I have been working on some new music and will keep you posted as to my progress.
I wrote a couple more articles about door hardware, too, if that is one of your vices 😉
Thanks once again for stopping by.
A time of endings and beginnings.
Monday is the deadline for entering the Eye On Life Poetry Contest, offering $150 in prizes. As it stands right now there are five poets entered, so odds are great for all of them. If you were to enter right now you would have approximately a 1 in 6 chance of winning the $100 first prize. Of course there are usually a few last minute entries, so in the end the odds may not be quite as spectacular as they are now, but I’m sure they will remain quite good given the low turnout this year. This will be the last Eye On Life Poetry Contest, ever.
In music, Monday is the end of one phase and the beginning of another. Today I will rehearse with what is ostensibly (or perhaps potentially) my band that will play music that I have written. Today it will be decided which tunes we will record. On Monday night we will meet at the studio and make recordings, ending the first phase of this project. In the second phase of this project, the studio will provide me with sound files that I will use to market ‘my band’ to some local clubs. The last phase of the project will conclude when we perform my music live in front of an audience. I’ll let you know how it goes with all that.
In the mean time the resurrection of the Klezmer band, “Too Close For Klez”, is well underway. Last night I played with members of TCFK at a local middle school fundraiser for their music department. It was a lot of fun. We have a gig coming up later in May.
In other news I wrote this recipe for our favorite vegetable stew, complete with a video of me for comic relief.
Recently it has been a time when the swirling influences have gelled in marvelous kaleidoscopic momentary formations. At other times it has seemed as if I were wearing a trench in the Earth with the sameness of my days, and while there remains an element of that, doors have opened and I have opportunities to pass through them into new and exciting spaces. So it has passed that my companions, Desire and Despair, have at times been at odds, but as through time I have come to know them well I can greet each with equanimity and detachment for the most part; and being aware of those times that I succumb, I can afford to be amused at my inner stories rather than tortured by them. As I have said before, I am a very lucky man.
From the vantage of detachment I can look upon the boiling pot of influences and be grateful for all of its patterns – both those I would have chosen for myself and those that I would not. I can see, also, both the effects of my careful stirring of the pot and of my leaving it be. I have found (and am advised) that leaving it be is usually best.
So it seems that in my immediate future I will record my own music with fine musicians and have multiple opportunities to play R & B, Klezmer and jazz; in my intermediate future I will perhaps have an opportunity to perform my music in public, and I will be traveling to a distant land with my lovely wife; and in my later future I have no doubt that many delightful surprises await. There is some other stuff going on, but I think I have touched on the highlights. Now we’ll see how it all unfolds.
At Eye On Life the Poetry Contest is off to a slow start with only two poets so far competing for the over $150 in prizes. If this keeps up one of them will have to win two of the prizes. That won’t do. Be sure to enter right away so you don’t have to worry about the March 31 deadline. At The Poetry Locksmith, Donal Mahoney has continued to bless us with his prolific work and Samuel Vargo has returned with more of his eclectic and thought-provoking verse.
I wrote a couple of articles for newbies to door hardware – “Door Handing for Hardware Dummies” and “How to Order Hardware for Small Commercial Projects” – and a poem. Also I am working on a how-to article about what to do when your lock explodes, video included. It should be fun. I did the video already. I’ll let you know when it’s up 😉