Friday, 6 August 2010

Tale from the River Bank

Band rehearsal yesterday evening - and photo session. We took our instruments down to the river bank while Karen snapped away. Roly, Andy's three-legged dog, came to help and sing along: his vocals are very impressive and he could easily find himself starring on a reality television show. We've now, thanks to Karen, got over 100 shots of ourselves playing, some of which will be very useful for publicity and others for a Youtube video slideshow. I've posted one of her photos here: (from left to right) Andy, Jack and I, jamming on the banks of the Swale.

We finished playing quite late. When we got home, I took a glass of whisky for a walk down the lane to look at the stars. The hang-glider shaped constellation, Cygnus, was hovering overhead. It was the first dark sky I've noticed for months. The longer I looked, the more stars I could see. There was no sign of that pesky aurora borealis the TV  people keep going on about (there rarely is round here -or in Ireland apparently - although there is an amusing post on aurora hunting over at the watercats, if you haven't read it), although I was lucky enough to see a shooting star later on. Playing music with other like-minded people really leaves me feeling good - I'm reminded, as we hopefully all are from time to time, how good it is to be alive. I also found myself reflecting on the nature of music. I remembered hearing a Sufi musician say how although he was a Muslim when he wasn't making music he couldn't describe himself as such exactly when he was: he felt he existed in a state beyond words where it would be dishonest of him to seperate himself from the mass of humanity, Muslim and non-Muslim. (I heard him speak a long time ago: I hope I've represented what he said correctly). 

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Continuing a theme from yesterday -thoughts about famous people from people who were close to them personally- it's back to The Andy Warhol Diaries. Pat Hackett started as Warhol's volunteer secretary and ended up taking down his diary - he'd phone her every day and she'd sit with a pad, noting down everything he told her:

Andy was polite and humble. He rarely told anyone to do things - he'd just ask in a hopeful tone. ... He treated everyone with respect, he never talked down to anyone. And he made everyone feel important, soliciting their opinions and probing with questions about their own lives. He expected everyone who worked for him to do their job, but he was nonetheless grateful when they did - he knew that any degree of conscienciousness was hard to find, even when you paid for it. And he was especially grateful for even the smallest extra thing you might do for him. I never heard anyone say "thank you" more than Andy, and from his tone, you always felt he meant it....
The worse things Andy could think to say about someone was that he was "the kind of person who thinks he's better than you" or, simply, "He thinks he's an intellectual."...
He never took his success for granted, he was thrilled to have it. His uniform humility and courtesy were my two favourite things about him.
Pat Hackett: Introduction to The Andy Warhol Diaries

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And finally...

9 comments:

Jessica Maybury said...

the part about you playing music and then going out to look at the stars reminds me of a time I spent in west Clare with some dear friends. We went out for a walk at night and crossed a river. I'll always remember the sound of the water rushing by in the dark.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for this. Funny you should say that. There is a stream by the path I took, and the sound of the stream figured strongly that evening too!

John Hayes said...

So glad you're happy in this new musical venture--here's to many evenings such as the one you described.

Funny, I would never have thought of Warhol as the humble type--can't judge a book, etc!

Von said...

Lovely post..are you watching for the Mars/Moon show?

George said...

A very nice posting, Dominic. It gives me an idea of what your life looks like when you are supremely happy. Music, friendships, and stars -- what more do we need?

Rachel Fenton said...

It's lovely to be alive when something - music, writing, whatever it may be - takes you outside of yourself and you experience something wonderful.

Very cool photo.

Argent said...

Nice pic! There is something about music that takes us out of ourselves and our defining roles I think. This why I'm not keen on music being used for any purpose other than to be itself (I was once the very uncomfortable lead vocal in a christian rock band - yikes!). Reading about Andy Warhold like that has really opened my eyes. Even discounting any hero-worship which may have coloured her memories of him, Ms Hacket's portrait is a fascinating one and makes me want to find out more.

the watercats said...

cheers for the mention, and cool to see what you and your new band members look like.. There is indeed something very nice about an evening of music shared, it happens far too infrequently round here.... and that video... I'm left feeling more than a little bit odd after watching it :-)

Ann ODyne said...

I bought the Warhol Diaries at the time of publication and the (pre-web) media buzz was enormous. Everyone wanted to be mentioned and a separate 'Guide to' was published.

It is interesting that the 2 men* who most-shaped US popular usic/art culture - Andy and Les Paul - were Polish.

*yes yes Elvis I know, but without Les Paul where was Elvis?