Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lou Plays the Blues in Lewes ...

photo by sean, © 2009

I spent four hours today at the Lewes Farmers' Market handing out leaflets for our upcoming Lewes creative writing course. As usual when out and about in the community I met some great folk, including Lou (above) playing the blues ever so sweetly on his Gibson guitar, glass slide on his pinky, fingering the fretboard with his other three.

I also talked with Lou's lovely wife who told me about his formal music training, and how he loves to busk. In response to my telling her that I was recording Lou on my little Sony IC recorder (which I carry, along with my compact digital camera, pretty much everywhere I go*) she asked if I had requested his permission to do so. Fortunately, for the sake of clear conscience, I had just a minute or so beforehand gone up to Lou to let him know that I had started recording him while simultaneously watching him play and handing out leaflets.

In talking with Lou again later on he explained that he had originally worked in theatre (until the administrators essentially took over and created jobs for themselves writing grant proposals), that he'd also written for the BBC, and that he is thrilled, now, to be doing what he most loves to do — busking, while earning a bit of cash (and I can report that he had done very well for the length of time he played today). As a guitar player myself, I was wholly inspired.

That's the good news. Now, the not so good ...

I had asked Lou if it would be okay if I were to post an excerpt of my recording to Mindful Living Guide. He said yes, that that would be fine ... but (apologies, Lou!) I mistakenly deleted the tracks while transferring them to my computer, the first time that I've ever lost a recording. I had somehow left off the final three (all of Lou) in transferring 63 others tracks to my PC, and then, deliberately, deleted all 66 recordings from my recorder thinking that I had already copied over the three recordings of Lou.

The upshot ... the recordings are forever lost.

So, dear Lou, if you happen to check our website, I would be grateful if you would please send me a brief email. Perhaps you would consider sending me an .mp3 recording of your music for me to include within this post? A brief bio would be most helpful, too, if you feel inspired to send one my way.

At any rate, thank you for sharing your beautiful gift of the blues with all of us today. Your presence was greatly appreciated.

UPDATE (Thu Mar 19): A new post (with .mp3 links to two songs) inspired by an email received this morning from the man himself.

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* I bought the IC recorder in Spain last summer, using some of the euros I had earned in teaching English to Spanish kids in the seaside village of Tamarit, near Tarragona. I had long wanted a digital recorder for my journalistic work, interviewing folk for articles or podcasts, but also for my personal use.

And, so, the other 63 recordings (stemming from mid-February through to today) were of myself — recording my own poetry, my ideas for poems, Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (so as to get this poem in the marrow of my bones in preparation for writing an ode inspired by Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, though styled on Keats' formal structure), poems from Robert Frost, Rumi and some classical Chinese poets, an essay idea or two, and bits of inspiration here and there for inclusion within my writing course lesson plans.

I also record personal reflections, oftentimes while out on a walk, as well as the myriad sounds of nature. Last week, for instance, I made several recordings of the wooded stream on the banks of which I meditate several times a week — ideally, daily — and of the birdsong there. Later, as I walked up and down the undulating fields which surround our village, I recorded a clamor of "kaahing" rooks, now paired up for spring, even in mid-air.

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