from-Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our three year journey between homes
(Goat Suite Saga #5b)
February-March-April 2011 (the desert outside Las Cruces, NM)
“Happy Easter, Happy Spring everyone”…thus began the preface to the e-mail I wrote to my ‘little list.’ “I hope this longer vignette offers to you some music interest along with a little encouragement in whatever you’re facing today. And, this season instead of thinking ‘bunnies and peeps’ think: goats!”
After recounting my ‘goats in the garden’ incident; revealing both my strange emotional response to it as well as the overall musical inspiration I’d been receiving from those goofy goats, I pushed the ‘send’ button.
It was quite cathartic.
Shortly thereafter, I received a touching e-mail response from my brother.
Dear Laura: All of us here wish you, Terry, and all there a Happy Easter…including the goats who feast abundantly on your earthly dreams of a garden but repay you with inspiration in that which fulfills your soul; music.
Only you could devise melodic meaning from goats. Goats. Really? Well, it is a universal truth that from simplicity comes genius.
For your consideration: which of these two endeavors do you wish to grow more abundantly?
And as far as crying is concerned, it is truly underrated just like laughing. An emotional physiological reaction can lend a sense of control to a psychological conundrum (I love it when I can use that word!) In other words, you did something positive with the only thing you ultimately have control over – yourself.
My heart truly goes out to you for those ‘serious issues’ that lurk in the background and sucker punch you guys as the opportunity arises, but just as ‘the goats were just being goats,’ – the Laura should just be Laura.
“When I first started the martial arts, a punch was just a punch. Then I trained and sweated for years and learned all the fancy martial arts techniques only to discover a punch was just a punch.” Bruce Lee (sorry, don’t got any chapters and verses to quote, but well….. in simplicity comes genius)
Geez, such deep insights from my baby brother…
Needless to say, the garden never really took off, but my music did grow.
After the ‘goats in the garden’ incident, ideas abounded building upon my goat-bleat minor third motif. At first, I tried using a tremolo section against syncopated chords. That was challenging as tremolo has never been my strong suit. However, it could certainly serve as a motivator, forcing me to polish up my technique for that section of music at least.
I worked up some UKE techniques to add texture and to ‘ground’ the classical guitar; kind of ‘dirtying up’ the classical end to accommodate the subject-inspiration matter! And then continued on by incorporating a UKE tremolo against a walking bass idea, pizzicato, thus adding another level of texture.
In all of this, I began to hear how I could insert those 12-string vamp tracks* to a UKE and classical guitar section for a sort of ‘battle of the instruments’ representing goat interactions.
Within a few weeks, I had worked up a Master Score with three short ‘movements’ complete in itself, but available for future fleshing out and expansion. “Goats in the Garden at Midnight by the Light of the Full Moon for two classical guitars, UKE and 12-string guitar.” Nice.
I love those goofy goats, and I love getting my hands in the dirt, but it sure felt good to be rolling around in my world again.
*In June 2010 I picked up a ZOOM H4n at Sweetwater Music during our stay in Indiana. Playing around with the germ of an idea (totally unrelated to goats!) I recorded those rhythm and chord progression tracks mentioned above on that powerful but tiny piece of electronics. Note: the ZOOM H4n is a sturdy handheld 4 channel recording, editing, mixing device that is truly user friendly to non-techie types such as myself…highly recommended…end of commercial.