Ebb & Flow
To be Musicians, for the sake of the Joy of creating, we found it necessary to meet as co-conspirators in the deep recesses of the studios at Mo's Music Studio in the Harmony Yarn building in Coeur d'Alene, regularly working up Tunes, hashing over old ones, presenting the results at Contra Dances and Coffee Houses until, people asked us if we had a CD? . . . Well. . . No, we didn't, but started thinking of what would go into a CD if we made one, just so we could satisfy the cravings of those loyal Coffee-House fans, and Contra-Dancers who sensed that here was culture in the making and that Joy could be allowed. . . that Love and Peace and Happiness and little girls and boys spontaneously dancing their little sillies out could be something much more than frivolous triviality. . . . much, much more. I started two Christmases ago, by creating the little 6-track, limited edition disc called 'Dance Like a Wave' featuring some poetry, including Yeats' 'The Fiddler of Dooney' read by, yours truly, Mo Oliver, a little Bach on guitar, and a few of the reels and jigs that Dave, Char, Melody and I had polished to the extent that we could move concert audiences (emotionally) and smiling dancers (emotionally and physically). Aaron Birdsal put this piece together masterfully in a few sessions at Audiojerk Records on 15th Street in Coeur d'Alene, in between classes as he worked on his degree in Music. Between this Xmas disc, and a few equally masterful recordings by our guitarist and mandolin man, Dave at Char and Dave's basement studio, we worked up a 'Demo-CD' that we could be proud of, and that folks could hear to see where we might be a good fit in among this town's developing venues. When we started to work/play at MetaMusic Studios up in Garwood, we were beginning to realize that the Soul of Music can best be expressed live, and that too much layering and editing and tweaking and engineering, no matter how masterfully done, will only sound like that. . . and that masterfully contrived cannot do justice to naturally live, so Rick's single-track system became a blessing in disguise. We could go there, with joy in our hearts, intending a good recording of some pieces we all felt were ready, and play them until we no longer felt the joy, and I would come back later and see if we had something we could work with. In the cases where we didn't, we just went back and recorded those again, all five of us in the same room. . . until we liked what we got. The lesson in all of this, which I had already begun to learn from the late Alex Starr, may he compose in Peace, is that performance is the best preparation for recording. I'm sure there are cases in which the opposite may be true. However, folk music has the hardest time plugging into the 'culture industry', and it's life can only be lived. It cannot be boxed up, canned, downloaded to disc or hard drive. It is alive. . . and well . . . beginning to Flow again. 'Never in my long life as a musician have I heard four people play in such perfect harmony and without missing a beat. Listening, I sense their respect and affection for the music and for each other. This is folk music at it's finest.' B.J. Morris, 85-year-old conductor, pianist, writer.