Category Archives: Gatsby’s Green Light

In pursuit of the ‘orgiastic future around each and every corner” Gatsby’s Green Light is about truth, introspection, and the American Way

HWHN – Philadelphia

#hwhn

I saw two solar arrays of the 1MW size on the drive between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. 1MW is enough to power about 400 homes and costs between $3-$4M to build in a ground array. The panels still produce on cloudy days.

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I sloshed around City Center Philadelphia as the snow storm got underway

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Someone choose to lay down on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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Philadelphia is full of great words and always makes me think hopeful thoughts.

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I played music at World Cafe Live and Fergie’s Pub. We got the whole bar involved for a Paul Simon tune at Fergie’s. Great Inclusion – Great intention bubble. Saturday night the city was ghost town – it was oddly inspiring – TIME was open and the band was cordial and warm. I broke my mother’s rule to never follow a jazz band with an acoustic guitar but it worked out just fine and I met a bunch of great folks. All things considered – Philadelphia was a wonderful trip. Now its on to the next place. To find me, book me, partner with me, message me go to KenCoulson.com

Here’s What’s Happening Now – Harrisburg #hwhn

#hwhn – The idea is to share the experience of my travels with music through pictures. Sometimes they will be of the city I’m in, nearby nature or interesting people doing great and wonderful things. This weekend I’m in Harrisburg, PA playing at the Midtown Scholar. You can listen to the show here: Live Music

Today was a beautiful day and Tracy and I decided to take a walk through the city. Here’s what we found

The Ice has packed in the river making a beautiful scene

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The whirlpools and floating mini-bergs inspired thoughts of album covers

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This shot of Tracy walking down the bridges seemed to capture the meeting of two worlds, the natural & the industrial

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Travelers are greeting with a question

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This almost seems painted to me – It conjures many emotions.

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Check out the full album on my FACEBOOK page. Blessings – Ken

The Forever Smile – Lyrics and Album Notes

The Forever Smile by Gatsby’s Green Light

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GGL is: William Earley, Hari Ganglberger, Lucas Gould & Ken Coulson

Production, Mix and tracking by Steve Hansen, Hi-top Studios, Stamford, CT

Mastered by Alex Theoret, Turtletone Studios, NYC

Artwork by Sally Jane Thompson, UK

Sonic Bomb LLC 2013

 

ALBUM: THE FOREVER SMILE

CATWALK OF LIFE

You’re a C Chord   on the catwalk of life

I can see you’re shadow shine in the night

You’re the last flag standing stuck in the wind

Blown in the darkness      ready to win

You’re a moment  one that I know

The one that just happened      no ones quite sure

You can see through window panes  understanding everything

Nothing lost            nothing gained      indecision lost in vain

You’re the reason I grow old     respect the world being bold

Cause I rather be a dreamer     than conceive in mediocre reality

You’re the essence          a tug towards the end

Where everyone is waiting                   to meet up again

You’re the tiptoe              on the edge of a knife

Death is spectacular                   even in life

You’re the fire                    deep in the soul

Seldom rekindled              but man to you glow

You can see through window panes  understanding everything

Nothing lost            nothing gained      indecision lost in vain

You’re the reason I grow old     respect the world being bold

Cause I rather be a dreamer     than conceive in mediocre reality

COMEDIAN

Been standing there        for like a thousand years

And only the best have I ever hated

But I got a friend    he’s a comedian

and all the while the laughs over-rated

But I haven’t lost where I haven’t been

Descriptions of life and depictions of men

Takes all you got just to get back again

And all that I have I put back

So I shed a tear      for the innocent deer

Stuck in the headlights and tied to the hood

But she’s on the mend     my laughing friend

Ready to stand in the bright lights again

But I haven’t lost where I haven’t been

Descriptions of life and depictions of men

Takes all you got just to get back again

And all that I have I put back

Waste away           you’re relevancy

You’re what I describe my funny friend

You’re a comedian          smiling to the end

You’re wry I’m melancholy

But I haven’t lost where I haven’t been

Descriptions of life and depictions of men

Takes all you got just to get back again

And all that I have I put back

Comedian   Comedian   Comedian

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THE APOLLONIAN

We fight for the all    We won’t hide  Lift my friend from the fall

Fight off the cries   allow your heart your spirit your one true guide

Gather your stone   Love is true   love will guide you home

For one and all   the truth is the land belongs to us all

Open your heart and be free

Imagine the lasting dream

Open your heart and be free

Dare to dream what the world can be

1st verse again

BRUTIS

So we walk out of the desert here’s Wondria

Oooo behold this land

We’ve found it                  now people with nature thrive

Wonderful

With the love of the people     Forever hand in hand

Smile upon brightly         the mother of the land

One and All             Heed the call         keep the peace    for eternity

Wait something                 feels different

My heart        my head      are at odds

The Pain                                it slowly retards                  I’m not myself

This stone     my soul                     hold on

Cause you’re all destined to follow me or you’re all destined to fall

With the power of all the Blechstone fear and greed will conquer all

You can run              you can hide    but when you’re found you’ll fall into my spell

TRIVORIC

Why the long face                        What is there to be sad about?

The end of human race   its what you’ve all set about

Doing                        ruin                 and rage

And we’re here to help

To integrate corruption  to stimulate combustion

Everyone needs help

Dreams of common men            they have no hand in our plan

Leave a bad taste?         to reveal your destiny?

There can be no happiness                    until they knee to thee

If not you      someone      else

And we’re here to help

to facilitate the destruction     To integrate corruption

Everyone needs help

Crush Dreams of common men    Crush dreams of commom men

crush dreams of common men   and sow the seeds of their defeat

OM Pram

I don’t know you but I always will

Love you

Love you

Cause you speak the truth

Om     Pram  Om     Pram  Om Pram

Hold me        Love Me                   The World

Love Me        Hold Me                  The World

I don’t know you but I always will

Love you

Love you

Om     Pram  Om     Pram  Om Pram

Hold me        Love Me                   The World

Love me        Hold Me                   The World

Hold me        Love Me                   The World

RUKUS/REMEDY

People get ready  the crops in the ground

The good queen she’s married and loves all we’ve found

{Down in the valley                        To the high peaks above

Wondria our bounty         On wings of the dove} not sung

The Soul and the Heart for one and all

We’re still gonna rise after the fall

So now we gather            together as one

The Good steed of nature          cannot be undone

Trust in the mother            the maker of love

Raise up the peace          hallelujah the sun

The Soul and the Heart for one and all

We’re still gonna rise after the fall

JUGGO VIVO

Who ever showed us all the strength of the heart who ever showed us why

When it is time to leave this world     all we leave is our words and our tries

Whoever taught us all the depths of the mind       who ever taught us how

Once it is time to raise a glass to the dead and remember our crimes

Cold and Alone     and nothing but winter’s dog bone

Oil drips from the sun       and reason is left to no one

Whoever thought we’d reach the ends of this earth who ever really tired

Who hasn’t asked for gods help after all other reason has (died)

Cold and Alone    and nothing but winter’s dog bone

Oil drips from the sun       good hearts are left on the run

And Cool be the ones     whose pleasure from freedom’s blood comes

When it’s oil instead of the sun                        and reason is left to no one

KAYA: EARTH ANGEL

 

Earth Angel                 I heard you packed your bags to leave

Where you going?                 And do you have room for me?

Cause I wanted to tell you  face to face

That I really would miss your smile

And I want you to stay here

Kaya      don’t go

Kaya      don’t go

Cause I wanted to tell you  face to face

That I really would miss your smile

And I want you to stay here

GRETA SOUL

Greta             Here to help you groove you body down

And let’s roll

And if your spirits need a rise                 She can            She will

Greta             Here to help you groove you body down

And she will

Cause when your spirits need a rise     She can   She will

And when you need a minute look inside

The souls the only teacher for the heart of a man

And if you take the reign then life’s a hip ride

You have a great soul                       body and mind

And if your spirits need a rise                 She can            She will

Cause when your spirits need a rise                 She can            She will    You’re gonna groove your body down

And now your spirit gets a rise                 She can            She will

Song 9,10 – Rukus Remedy – The Forever Smile

Celebration time! We’re so pleased with the re-emergence of the banjo in popular music. It one of those things that tells me that people are hungry for true vibrations. What are true vibrations? There the one’s constructed out of emotion, born of intent, forged from the deep pressure laden- ventricles of the heart,… I digress, see I always seem to get serious when I talk and that’s why I try to encourage myself to remember to have a guitar in my hand if I am going to open my mouth.

In this case is was a Banjo. I picked it up from the friendly folks at Acoustic Corner in Black Mountain, NC in December 2012. Great place, great instrument.

Rukus represented that party. The one in celebration of our lives and the gifts that the land can provide. It’s also about community and the importance of coming together and giving thanks. And finally not being afraid of being yourself. I guess that my journey in music has been a lot about that.

Remedy is kind of like that contemplative hangover where the great ideas fall out. Maybe it was the most Bela Fleck influenced part of the album. The banjo lick had been around since my early fumbling and the guys just wrote around it in a thematic way to capture the inspiration. I can see Otis telling Annalee she’s still got to be in the fields before sunrise and remedy playing in her head reflecting in the dreaminess of the emotional celebration.

LISTEN HERE AND CHECK OUT THE LYRICS BELOW

RUKUS/REMEDY

People get ready  the crops in the ground

The good queen she’s married and loves all we’ve found

Down in the valley                        To the high peaks above

Wondria our bounty         On wings of the dove

The Soul and the Heart for one and all

We’re still gonna rise after the fall

So now we gather            together as one

The Good steed of nature          cannot be undone

Trust in the mother            the maker of love

Raise up the peace          hallelujah the sun

The Soul and the Heart for one and all

We’re still gonna rise after the fall

Song 5 – Om Pram – The Forever Smile

Morning Meditation, that’s how this song started. Really the whole journey to this album in different way represents some part of the path towards awakening.

Om Pram is the fifth song on the Forever Smile from Gatsby’s Green Light

I was doing frequent yoga at this time and my favorite teacher, Erin, was bringing a lot of singing into her classes. In this way and many other, she was connecting the participants in a truly beautiful and lasting way. She helped write this song. I told her she was ‘on fire’ because fire represents such a powerful transformation of matter.I left her classes with a reborn feeling, kind of like a cerebrally driven intelligence of the body. I’d feel like I could do anything and I would be perfectly content if that ‘everything’ ended up being nothing but an appreciation of the wonderful and beautiful world around me. I wanted to start my day with that feeling and so Om Pram was crafted as a piece for my morning.

Om means ‘Universe’

Pram symbolizes ‘Breath’

The song evolved as a kind of request. Let the universe love me, let the world be my guide and of course I lend my trust to it in the process. It was a deeply gratifying song to make and I think the whole band was able to achieve a similar feeling about what it might be capable of.

The song takes place in eastern tuning – open D.

At the time, Luke was also using in his practice a lot of Indian scales and talking to me about the shift in notations allowed with the time of day. Of course the fretless bass was the perfect instrument to fill out the song.

As Hari and Will crafted there parts, Hari immediately turned to the Digeredoo and Will’s ghostly guitar melody became the impetus for the missing vocalization in the chorus. We knew we had some with its own power. Something that came from somewhere beyond simply four individually in a studio making music.

We saw the finished project kind of like a reusable rocket for the mind, capable of thought stimulation as well as transportation. Maybe it’ll be something Space Travelers listen to? We don’t know, we just hope whoever does listen is able to journey down the path that we did when the song came forth.

Listen to OM PRAM exclusively release HERE & NOW

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5 Steps Towards Tangible Sustainability

This past Sunday, I was setting up to play music in support of the Whole Planet Foundation at Whole Foods in Westport CT when a man approached me to say hi. He looked over my meager media table mentioning something about a birthday party for his son and asked me about Gatsby’s Green Light. As I was explaining the project, his attention perked up when I said the word ‘Sustainability’. He was intrigued but clearly frustrated. “What does it mean in terms of action? Specifically?”

Seems many people, in his estimation, are hearing a lot of the buzzwords in the sustainability field, ‘green’, ‘organic’, etc but not knowing exactly what they can do to invest in our collective future.

I could empathize with his frustration. Having spent the last year studying the problems and trying to find or create meaningful work in the field, I was just getting through the initial learning curve of sustainable living practices. Habit transitions are tough but look deeply and you will understand the crucial nature of the change that is required. Here’s my list of 5 things you can do to create a foundation of sustainable living for yourself and hopefully, by discussing and encouraging these actions, for others as well

1.) Grow Something: We started a small garden and compost late last year. To our amazement, our mustard and spinach grew through some pretty cold conditions and we enjoyed the fresh food on omelets and salads. In the spring we plan to double the size of our garden, fence it and grow food inside. You can grow sprouts in a jar and many traditional retailers have a variety of seeds on hand. Take the challenge, fresh direct from you garden vs. store bought. I think your bodies and taste buds will know the difference.

Our Compost Bin gets started last year

Our Compost Bin gets started last year

2.) Vote with your Dollars: I was playing music in Whole Foods and here’s the thing. For a multi billion-dollar company Whole Foods does some great things but they are not local. I hope WF continues to become a learning center, using their scale and success to do things like: buy their buildings and install renewable power to become their own micro grid, onsite composting, waste energy implementation. WF aside, you need to vote local and vote clean with your dollars. Here are three great ways: 1.) Join a CSA for some of your fresh produce throughout the year: http://www.ctnofa.org/CSAs.htm. 2.) See a community play or music event 3.) Bank with a credit union or local bank. Why? They typically will invest directly in your community making small business loans, grants, scholarships etc

3.) Make a Culture Investment: For those of you around in the 60’s, you knew that music and art defined, not only our smiles, but our hearts, souls and minds as well. This is the understanding that drove me to express myself through these very mediums. In a very real way, supporting local and traveling artists over the monopolized commercialized alternative is a very real way to promote sustainable living. Pick culture that supports the ideals of your community and lift it with your dollars.

4.) Speak up on Clean Energy: I had the pleasure of doing a deep dive into Solar Energy production over the last year. It is truly amazing and makes me happy just to think about the fact that we could power ALL we do with clean from the sun and wind forever with zero fuel costs. The public tide has turned on this now it’s time for the government to do what we are asking here. Sign this petition here: http://ecowatch.org/2012/expedite-renewable-energy/

Solar at a waste facility in CT

Solar at a waste facility in CT

5.) Waste Not: One of the biggest things we have transitioned to over the past year is adhere to the four R’s:

Recycle: .Our local transfer station is pretty good where we can recycle glass, plastic, junk mail, mixed paper, cardboard and more. The key is to be really diligent (store you used batteries up for a bigger trip) and, if you can, to get involved with your town as to why they might not be able to recycle certain things.

Reuse: I’m pretty excited for our used ‘Chobani’ container pepper garden this spring. You’d be amazed at how many plastic containers you are throwing out. Most recycling centers don’t handle these well so re-use is the best option. The uses are unlimited from spare change containers to plant pots even a drinking bowl of the cat.

Reduce: Focusing on writing over the past year and being out of the ‘traditional’ work pattern has made this one easy for me. In our home we turned a $75 dollar investment in energy efficiency into an estimated $3000 saving in year one. For you financial types, annualize that rate of return then think about the growth potential if even a small percentage of building and residences achieved such savings.  Here’s info on the CT program: http://www.cl-p.com/home/saveenergy/rebates/homeenergysolutions.aspx

Rethink: When you start to understand how serious the problem of waste is (I won’t inundate you with scary facts here but there are many) you’ll understand the importance of taking the above actions. Additionally, we need community leaders to help redefine how our communities function, standards at restaurants, zoning for new building, incentives to waste less. All these actions and more need to be community driven. The government should be steering the ship, the people need to row. That is the only way true change will occur.

Thanks for considering these changes, there are many more that we can all take together through our communities and I’d love to hear and share your successes as well.

-ken

Ken Coulson is the founder of Sonic Bomb LLC, a mixed-media company that uses art to raise awareness about sustainable living solutions. He is an advocate of Natural Capitalism, a multi-instrument musician and is writing his first book, Annalee & The Forever Smile. 

Musical E-motivation

Music is really that supremely important

Imagine life without its’ rhythm, its intention and dynamic, color and space. Without it’s articulation. All conversations are not musical but a great conversation certainly is. All communication however can be thought of as containing the elements of music. The ones that don’t work are filled with discord. The ones that do are harmonious and lead to progress. For only the absence of music in totality from a society could confirm the juxtaposition of the fable on the tower of Babel. Music transcends basic conversation to sit among the inexplicable joys of life. Our passions or our drivers that should not be confused with the ones we download to keep our printers running smoothly.

I choose to try to articulate that inexplicable joy we get from music, that sustenance, that spark and that push to go on when all else seems poised and ready to thwart the good and right and true intention of ourselves and our loved ones. So then our music must be about changing the world in ways both subtle and profound. Because it is there to push us back into the fray when all else seems lost. It is there to force the hard conversation to establish a foundation for growth. It is there to reinforce our true selves out of hide and into the beautiful light of life. Let us then, or ,we must consider the true emotional content of music herself.

True emotion will never dissipate. Love and Courage and Kindness are the most powerful emotions. Like all true vibrations, once brought forth with intention they will last forever, even if they grow faint from time to time. The true vibrations the true intention of our lives is to be at peace and in wonder. Simplification supplanting these true emotions or worse working towards the short wave polar opposites can only remain relevant to constant reinvention. Now that was confusing. Let me put it another way, CSN only had to make Déjà vu once and it will last forever. It is about as powerful as music could be speaking to people on opposite sides of our unique and abstract system of human labels. For those on the right and the left, the Christians and the Jews, are all trying to ‘Teach their children well’. This infused Love Courage and Kindness become more present, the dynamic of the vibrations increases, when we need them most. Like now, true vibrations are exercising their intent to be heard felt and lived. Through their emulation we will change the world and then if we’d like we can blame the music. Because that has happened before as well.

Becoming an active channel for true emotional content is our natural path. You will have access to more information and walk a path of peace and wonder. You will have an effect and you will be heard. Follow the music, follow your heart and when you’re ready craft a world of harmony. It’s waiting for you right now.

Gatsby’s Fall Run Oct 2012

GGL Fall Run

Oct 2012

 

I hadn’t expected the tour to end in Long Island but here I was at the Eastern tip of New York State strumming my guitar for thirty people around a fire pit, including the bride and groom. OK so maybe it wasn’t a gig in the traditional sense but for me it may have been the most important one. Moments ago, the crowd had been restless and in full assault of the single bartender attempting to keep their hands full of shots of tequila and vodka. The bar was loud even though the music was not and I couldn’t help thinking that for the attendees it was a Pavlov response to being in one too many loud bars where they try to pummel you into rhythmic submission with canned and emotion-less music. The crowd was boisterous full of kind but very tough men. Due to the frequency of emotionalism I am often emitting it was the type of crowd I would have to be careful with.

“Yeah, go man! That’s it.” said the man to my left as I bounced through Neil Young and Johnny Cash. I was exhausted, playing and traveling for a forth day, and the colors and faces around the fire pit were blending and blurring. I got the feeling that many of the folks had not been exposed to true vibrations in awhile. The effect my guitar had on them was similar to what I’ve seen happen often to children when the music happens. They must receive it, it is too important to ignore. Similarly, these men and women who came together in celebration were called to the fire pit almost subconsciously. They left the discord of the bar for the harmony and emotion of the guitar. True vibrations, filled with emotion, are powerful and the live format is scientifically different to various recorded formats. Additionally, when recording have been made purely with commercial intention, that can be felt and they don’t last as long as those made to effect large social change, both light and dark. Men who had been defensive softened and thanked me; I in turn thanked them and went to bed.

A day ago, we had been on my buddy Dean Carlson’s Wyebrook Farms in Pennsylvania. It was an incredible day for GGL and myself to play for sustainability surrounded by so much of it in practice. We played on a stage powered by the sun and Dean has various other examples of sustainability in his farming, market, vehicles, and energy supplies. We met many farmers and their neighbors well versed in our food challenges and many of these folks will be partners in the near future. It is always special to see a large age range when music is occurring and this is what we got at Wyebrook. The conversation was inclusive and the participation of most in attendance heightened the educational and therapeutic effects of the music. There too, I was breathing in the smoke from a fire pit but, support by the circle, I hardly noticed. Warmed by the sun, the tremendous energy of fresh, humanely treated local food, and kind folks we played on through the afternoon before thanking Dean for having us and letting the Ghost of Soul shuttle us back to Connecticut, at sometimes warp speeds.

@ Wyebrook Farms

Catwalk of Life

Letters >>

Comedian >>

Letters

Heart of Gold

Baila Luna

Juggo Vivo

Badfish

Apollonian

SET II

Britus*

Annalee*

Rukus*

Diamonds

Hallelujuah

Portland Song

Harkin

The night before we had been in Harrisburg PA, home to many friends and relatives including Dennis on the percussion and vocals for GGL. The whole crew stayed with my family, whom we see and play music with often. We have invested in a special bond that allows one day together to feel like five. Slowing our selves and our time down has allowed us to capture more of it and I am thankful for the kindness I am often surrounded by. We were playing at the Midtown Scholar, a rare and used bookstore in downtown Harrisburg. It is a spectacular place with wonderful acoustics and a quirky design perfect for sparking revelations of the imagination. Did I mention the coffee? Its probably one of the more important things for me. Strong coffee made with clean water will become more rare, so appreciate it and thank the purveyor the next time one is placed in your hand. Especially if its’ you. More about water later. The show was great and we connected with many engaged and aware folks young and old. This is why the bookstore and the farm are natural venues for me. We are coming together to exchange information and emotion in a positive way. Removed are much of the competition and distraction embedded in clubs and bars and among musicians. When that changes, the music scene will thrive once again but that is all I will say about that. Invigorated with powerful coffee, made with love, we played on. Many children came and danced; it was all I needed.

@ Midtown Scholar

Catwalk

Letters

Closer

Juggo Vivo

Apollonian

Harkin

Annalee

Portland Song

I added the Philadelphia date last minute to extend our trip and play more music together. We would be a four piece before being joined by Dennis in Harrisburg. Common Grounds is a non-profit coffee shop put together to being people together. It is a great and true idea. Earlier that day, the GPS device had taken Primetime, on its’ inaugural voyage, through an area of Philadelphia called Nicetown. It is a largely black neighborhood and extremely poor and resource deprived. It felt like a totally different world and I know that everyone in the van was deeply affected by it. These jobless and heart breaking ghettos exist all over our country. People are starving and dying in them each day. It is a function of poor access to resources, food, water, and education over a multi decade period. It is not a necessary part of our society and not one taken up by choice or lack of effort. It is a condition created over time by poor economic formula and ill intent. Like the shantytowns of South Africa, it is an image that will burn with me and drive my action. One only needs to travel to know the truth.

Back at Common Ground, we were jumbling our start times. Hari had realized he had forgotten his kick pedal and would have to devise a solution that only he was capable of. In the end he angled his kick like a Tom to the left of his hi hat and played it with both hands depending on the song. I’ve got the video to prove it. We love playing music and the band GGL has been a beautiful part of my life. It is beginning to encompass all I believe and hold close. The emotions in each vibration carry our hope and knowledge and desire for kindness and honest action.

@ Common Grounds

Catwalk

Letters

Juggo Vivo

Apollonian

Annalee

Portland Song

Three days, well four depend on whom you ask and I was back at the barn trying to figure out how to do it again and for longer. GGL has a few winter dates and a January Tour of VT shaping up with sights on Berlin in March. We’ve got the videos for Annalee and the single and story to release. We’re happy to have the support we have and look forward to returning it when possible. We play for a sustainable way of life; we play for the truth. To our friends old and new we say thanks and may love remind us all that it is all there is.

Gatsby’s Green Light

What Will Shakespeare and Stephen King taught me

 

Will Shakespeare, Stephen King and I were sitting on a bench,

When Will said, “ You know Ken, it’s all about the act of the art? ”

” It doesn’t matter what you think, Will!” Stephen interrupted “ It matters what he’s got to say” ignoring my existence entirely while gesturing outward towards ‘it all’.

“Precisely Mr. King” said Will

It was something about William Shakespeare and Stephen King that got me going again. Not that I wasn’t going, I had been performing, writing a few new songs, and trying to find effective ways to interact with people as an independent musician and writer, right sizing my life, considering my carbon footprint but I had been sleeping way too much. I had a lot of fits and starts running around in my head and maybe I just needed to let them go, let them brew in the subconscious and cavernous recesses of the mind. It had been awhile since I was struck awake at 4am or until such an hour, struck with burning idea and vicious cause. Struck with the idea that I had to get on the page for it’s importance to anyone, any single soul including my own, might be too important to lose. Now I care about a great number of things, chiefly the planet and our potential, but as such I could be writing about any number of little or big things and maybe I had been just becoming a bit overwhelmed by it all, by the levity of it all. This is indeed, powerful stuff. As Stephen King would say, Magic, and I had to be reminded that I too absolutely and unequivocally believe in magic.

If Will Shakespeare was just a name behind a movement, a movement that saw art as the most powerful medium to affect social change and spread awareness in a period of intense oppression and harsh living conditions, then isn’t that the most important thing there is. After all in those days the bard’s song was often considered heretical and even when cherished and secretly revered was still kept in the cellar next to the wine, only to be brought out for the good times and emotional bribes. Then quickly tucked away so it were not to show weakness in the hands of those that beloved it so secretly. Not one could argue we’ve come along way from artistes’ being branded heretics and burned at the stake; after all there is an Art & Entertainment industry. But then again, one could view the industry and it’s surrounding media as a modern day rendering factory for artist designed to squeeze dry and spit out any peripheral talent willing to go along. The superstars, those with talent and wit and the ability to maintain integrity while navigating the various career and image pitfalls as they climb out of the chasm of opportunists, lichens looking for a ride to greener pastures. Smart businessmen capable of seeing the qualities that people with part with their green paper and maybe soon gold bars for. No different than any other industry, with the singular goal of ending up with more. The problem isn’t the process, it’s the definition of ‘more’. And then there’s the guy who ended up with the ‘most’, wasn’t he smart? How did he do it? Maybe he’ll write a book about it and a whole other line of cutter and pasters will show up to prove how smart they are. And thus, all industry was created and all industries fell. Back to art Metaphor, indeed. They all fall back to art.

And then there’s Stephen King, who came along and said if your not going to take it seriously, if it isn’t like making love to you, then kindly get the fuck out! Call yourself a businessman, a fishmonger, a programmer but not a writer. Stephen said no matter what, when you take it seriously someone will try to make you feel bad and it will hurt. You might even learn how to make yourself feel bad and become so good at it: you’ll quit.

Quit what exactly? This business of art? No, the art itself. The business part, after all, can be routine and oh so dour. The business part is unfortunately ugly and contradictory to the art in the first place. It’s the art that breathes life into everything. It’s the art that make us human AND part of nature at the same time. It’s the art that has something to say, something that will not be kept down. It’s the business that taught non-artist’s how to cut and paste to capitalize on the talent of the artist. As such, we are undershooting our potentially in a big way and the storyteller will continue to tell you that. In a small way, in a love song, in the flash and fade of the pop industry, in song written to sell, in words to die for. In it’s falsehoods, the industry, is still showing you the right way. I see a universal story so deep and powerful that I can often barely articulate it. I see the wrong story being told, told by technophiles, business minds, politicians, and that aforementioned flash and fade pop music industry. Stephen and Will might say the wrong story being told can still illuminate the right path but often I worry. In a big way, I understand I guess the misnomers ripe with humility necessary for a word of sanity backed by evidence to make it in edgewise. Be humble before the ignorant King, for it is he that knows the door that leads to the land and its spoils and also the door that leads to the lion.

It’s easiest at 4am, being honest. Beginning to question our current paradigm and accepting all that’s wrong with the human problem; the ignorance, the bigotry, the war, the state of the planet and the ignorance about that as well. It’s easier for me to know that art is about telling this story. And I needed to be reminded that what was keeping me up at night was what is also keeping me alive. Not being judged by the industry for it or by an artist who feels it somehow behooves his or her goal to criticize because simply, with a nod to Mr. King, who the fuck are you? I’m making love here, and love is all there is.

Day 15 – Black Mountain, NC 1313 miles

Black Mountain, NC is a spectacular town just East of Ashville. Great local food and wares, It reminded me a lot of Silvermine, CO for some reason. I stayed at the Red Rocking Chair Inn, whose rooms are all named and, I guess themed?,. The owners were very friendly and as I were traveling with Music they showed me the cheapest room for the night,.. ‘The Music Room’. I smiled at the irony and settled in to my room adorned with notation for wallpaper and other musical trinkets. This was a random trip out, that I am glad I made. The guys I met a rapped with had me close to moving down there and maybe that might come to be. I won’t write about the energies they spoke of just yet, but I have a feeling they were right!

Bob Hinkle and the the others at White Horse are kind and welcoming folks and I will know them for awhile 😉

 

White Horse Black Mountain

Portland Song

Letters of My Youth

Baila Luna