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Quilt detail - Sue Stevens

Detail of a quilt made by Sue Stevens

My cousin Megan reminded me that my aunt made me a dulcimer for Christmas one year. She was a huge influence on where my music has taken me. She encouraged my mother to give or she gave me a banjo and my first mandolin, as well as making the aforementioned dulcimer. The dulcimer was wicked out of tune all the time and couldn’t be put right but it was an awesome gift anyway. Sally was a big supporter of bluegrass, of which I do not play, but the instrumentation has sunk in and I love those acoustic american folk instruments. The mandolin has stuck with me. My mom and aunt where both quilters and crafty people of all types. I think that is where I get my creative side. Thanks mom. Thanks Aunt Sally. I dedicate “Sew What” to you two.

Here is “Sew What”, one of the songs from Simple Songs. I’m not sure the mandolin part is going to make the final cut but check out the rhythm section. It is a 1955 Singer Featherweight sewing machine. Rock On!

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Henry Moore, Reclining Figure, 1951, Fitzwilli...

Image via Wikipedia

Not for money! That is for sure. What is it about the creative process that drives us? I know enough musicians that spend countless hours practicing alone and with bands and they earn little money. They have day jobs and squeeze their “art” in as best they can. In fact the best guitar player I have ever heard bar none was playing in New York City for tips in a coffee shop the size of my small living room. I see this drive to create in dancers, visual artists, poets, cabinet makers, teachers and countless other of creative people as well.

I know for me I can only watch so many episodes of the Partridge Family marathon before I find myself out in the yard welding hunks of metal together or plugged into my recording equipment working on a new piece.  Art or great art isn’t really part of the equation. I just end up trying to create something.

There is an interesting interview with Daniel Pink and Clay Shirky at Wired.com about this topic. They talk about how much free time we have and how (for a brief time, in my opinion) people used to fill up their free time watching TV and now they use their free time creating content on the net. I like the idea of Cognitive Surplus, great title. I think about pre-electricity days when most people lived on an agricultural calendar. There must have been vast amounts of free time in the winter. This is when people quilted or played music or hand crafted furniture, or maybe just drank the winter away.

Another interesting bit is this video or animated lecture by Daniel Pink about why people are not motivated primarily by profit. Shocking thought hmmm?

I guess I’m not the only one that wonders this: Same question with some inane comments, a blog discussion about the animated lecture by Daniel Pink.

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