I actually made it back from the Poconos in time for my stint at the Allentown Art Museum for a nice opening of American works celebrating nature, including some stunning Audubon prints, some bronze works, etc. I was asked to play downstairs in permanent display in front of the baby Jesus. The room sounded nice though, and I could do it acoustically. they set up a bar in there as well, but that didn’t affect the sound. It also drew in the elite there for the opening.
Aye, there lies the rub and tonight’s reflection on the gig. I was asked by WDIY, my local radio station on which I do occasional shows, to donate my music for this opening of American natural art. Seemed a no brainer. I’m an American Natural Artist, myself. Believe me, I welcome any chance to play for people. I relish the opportunities.
I knew next to none of these folks, and they made little effort to listen to me, whilst chatting with others in this other high society. And that’s fine. I’m there to add sonic disturbances in the ether, and it’s a gas to play my mandolin in a room filled with major centuries-old paintings.
I was struck by the fact that I am a working, creative artist in this community, and I am willing to donate my art for the Sake of Art, but in this very instance, I am not considered an artist worthy of a consultants’ wage. Occupy was not a fluke.
But….. and this made my evening…. I was blessed to have two loving folks come over, listen to a song, and then sit down for the next hour. Eitan and his great mom and myself proceeded to have a fine time amongst the finery.
Eitan, another new name in my book of names (I memorize them all.) began to hit me with wonderful questions that made me think. Cool. It started with parts of the guitar… neck, body, but why’s it a neck? Good question. and we were off and running.
Eitan and his mom Gloria plopped themselves down in front of me and I stepped into my Zone, in the middle of a major art museum. The three of us talked, clapped, sang – all those good things people do in an art museum. Eatin knocked me out with his connections. Dig these: Pete Seeger, Johnny Cash, protest music, Beatles, Elvis, baseball…. I did songs I didn’t know.
Did I say Eitan plays piano? I would love to hear him play. There’s a mighty musical thing going on with Eitan, and it was so much fun to share our music.
I bring this all up because Eitan, his mom (and myself , as both artist and fellow human) really need this kind of community-based Arts exploration, at this intimate level, to celebrate our differences and treat others with love and respect.
We connected, and is was in the middle of this culturally baffling situation, and it made it all Worth it. and that’s a capital W.