Archive | November, 2011

Fall Night

26 Nov

A few days ago, we received a visit from a dear friend. A bearded friend. A friend whose prodigious skills in the arenas of diving, tennis and philosophy make me feel impish and unserious by comparison.

Truth be told, he’s the best artist I know. And he has earned the ever-present paint splatters on his pants through suffering, hard hours in the studio, transmutation, and something like prayer.

He once broke wind in my car. He did not apologize. From that day forward, I knew we would be pals.

So when Josh Von Nonn came by to play guitar recently, I was pretty stoked to sit down and record some jams. We smoked and talked well into the fall evening. And toward the end of the night, we got on a nice little roll.

There’s something about jamming with a guy like Josh. As the base lines and lead runs crisscross and meld… as the licks fall away and bounce back and jump over the moon… you can feel a real, actual convergence of spirit. When it’s good, that’s what is happening.

I think what makes it so fun is that, for most artists, creation is basically a solitary act. It’s you and the empty page, or the empty canvas, or the microphone, or the kitchen, or the sporting field. You’re communing with something that’s beyond, or that is inside yourself.

So when you get the chance to commune with a real, live, wind-breaking fellow guitar player, you savor it. I think it’s something akin to child-rearing, or construction work, or any other form of shared creative struggle. What comes out is often a little ugly, or a little off-kilter… or it can transcendent.

This selection from my evening with Josh is an example. It contains moments of ugliness, and strangeness. But I also hear moments of transcendence in here. Transcendence of my own limited sense of musical style, and the “box” that I normally play inside.

I call it “Fall Night,” because we created this on a cool fall night in Annapolis, with the windows open… and because it sounds like a fall night. I’m thinking this would make nice background music for making food, or love, or something along those lines.