[Harp-L] Musical Inspiration, Muses and Women
- To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: [Harp-L] Musical Inspiration, Muses and Women
- From: Michael Easton <diachrome@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 13:44:11 -0400
- In-reply-to: <201207271305.q6RD5BIb009163@harp-l.com>
- References: <201207271305.q6RD5BIb009163@harp-l.com>
Haven''t started a thread in a while but I wanted to share something
that happened this past week.
As musicians/artists there are times we look to outside sources for
inspiration and motivation.
Most of us can possibly say it's in the musicians we idolize to become
as great or as near perfect as them. Mine has been Butterfield for 40
But there has to be a second force or drive when it comes to creative
improv. when performing.
Some of us find it in the bottle, at the end of a needle, or a puff.
Others find it in religion. I find it in women.
My wife who is a hot blooded hispanic artist offers me most of my
inspiration but there are times that the daily condition can
create an intense desire to express feelings through the music one
play's. At the end of the day when I practice those primal emotions
can affect the
way I'm able to work out new ideas on harp.
Last Saturday I had lunch with a very dear friend I hadn't seen in 30
years. I was pretty much a shy person back then. Had a hard time
feelings toward someone so I lost out on many chances at romance.
Rather then words I expressed myself in music. When we drifted apart
I decided it was time
to come out of the shell and set the harp aside and learn how to
express feelings in words. Took a long time and at times a lot of the
wrong things were said in trying
to get it right.
So we talked for close to 4 hours. When it was over we parted ways but
the echo of emotions from 30 years ago started to creep to the
surface. Since emotion fuels my
musical creativity I used it for the forces of good. :) I went home
and practiced until I was dripping in sweat and my tongue was bloody
from abuse. What came out of that moment was
what I've been searching for for 40 years. I had the Butterfield
vibrato but never his chops. I finally found the level of passion in
his playing and was able to make it my own.
I stood before my God and understood.
I was so excited I emailed my old friend, my muse, and told her how
she effected me. I may have gone overboard in my admiration because it
scared her. I wanted her to know
I found that level of musicianship that hung before me like a carrot
on stick but I could never reach. I don't think it would have
happened at this point in time if it weren't for the hours
we spent together just talking and getting reacquainted.
She phoned me last night before I was to play and we spent the next 50
minutes talking and I tried to reassure her I wasn't trying to start
an extra marital relationship. That she was the spark
that started a change 30 years ago and now she was the spark that
helped me find my musical center. I didn't know how to express my
gratitude to her without sounding obsessed in the email.
It came close to me hitting the stage so I had to end our conversation
and hopefully misunderstanding.
There is this woman at our weekly blues jam the musicians refer to as
"Big Red" because of her long red hair that she pins up. When she
hits the large dance floor she is in her own little world. Nobody can
Not a hippy chick. This gal has Bob Fosse/Paula Abdul dance moves.
You can tell she is a pro dancer. Most women at the jam are envious
of her because they dance like "white chicks".
Earlier in the day I decided to dedicate a song just to her. I told my
musician friends I was going to play this particular song for her. I
usually play the sideman part but I need to work on my vocal chops so
I led the tune. We did Mellow Down Easy but not Walter's or Paul's
version. I told the drummer to give me a primal drum beat then we
broke into song. Sure enough we lured Big Red onto the dance floor.
That was the inspiration I needed to drive the song. Most of my harp
buddies will go out in the audience to "entertain" the females. I had
a goal to just entertain this one woman and hopefully pick up on her
energy. . So after everyone took their solo I eyed Big Red and started
walking toward her on the mostly empty dance floor. In the year or so
she has been coming to the jam no other musician ever approached her.
She responded by coming toward me and for the next 4 minutes she
gyrated her body just inches from mine in the center of the dance
floor as I built this intense Butterfield like solo for her as we
exchanged glances.I fed off of her motion and she feed off my playing
to her dance moves. The 7 piece band picked up on the energy and the
groove got tighter and the rhythm stronger. The audience was howling
as we made this intense primal mating interaction feeding off of each
others energy but having never touched. We locked in on each other as
if everything else didn't matter. The musical ideas just flooded out
of me in raw energy.
I headed back to the stage to finish out the song. When it was over
the audience was roaring, the band had big grins on their faces and I
was drenched in sweat feeling very satisfied that I could finally
myself musically in a way that eluded me for decades.
When I left the stage I approached my friend's wife who is the 2nd
best dancer there and knows Big Red. I found out her name is Kelly.
Red finally had a name. She left right after my set so I never got to
talk to her.
Like my old friend she may or may not have gotten the wrong impression
if I told her how she moved me. I will continue to find inspiration
and passion from women whether the source is my wife or someone in
the audience or a friend. I don't think I will start approaching
woman like I did Kelly but it was a special musical moment.
My old friend told me it wasn't her, that it was me that found my
musical rapture last Saturday. I only wish she could have seen me
play last night.
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