About Ash Fork

I have a very short time frame today which fits as I've been writing about the little people. I know next to nothing about them, really, though I noticed this week that there has been trouble brewing between two bands of Dwarves modeling themselves after "Kiss." Some things are just in the air; I write about them and then I discover them. Dwarf Rockers are on a roll.

Once in awhile I throw in a blog about the Ash Fork Series, for new visitors to the site.

Ash Fork is like performance art in that I began to do it because I could, cheaply and easily, publish my daily writing. The writing itself has become a necessity for me, and when I don't do it for awhile I begin to get quarrelsome and petty. My mind depends on it because my imagination is active, and if I do not write, the contents are not digested. Information which is not digested just lays there on the brain like a dead parrot.

I have gradually realized that with the Ash Fork series I have begun to get used to writing directly from my fingers onto the page without an opportunity to come back and censor what I wrote. The effect has been a gradual movement away from pure creative output to be edited into something later, which was my configuration at the beginning, toward something more balanced. I have begun to realize that this is an exercise of feedback and adjustment. And it is an exercise of responsibility.

At the beginning it was obvious to me that writing something from scratch without rewriting was almost absurdly difficult, if not impossible. It is like Mozart composing right from the stars, channeling perfect form through sound vibrations. Something so difficult couldn't be expected. But now I am no longer sure it is not like everything else, a matter of practice. It is the art of spontaneous storytelling, and when I look at several different streams that I have begun I see how they could come together into a river before hitting the sea.

My first album was naive because I didn't know how to write to my voice, and I didn't know the mechanics of singing. But it forced me to go beyond what I knew how to do enough that I got voice lessons and began thinking in terms of something more than the intellectual content of the narrative. That was an area of confidence. I had no clue about making music other than that I had listened to a lot of it, and what I liked best, always, were the singer songwriters, like Dylan, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, everything from Hank Thompson and the Brazos Valley Boys:

"She makes her underwear, from the hide of a grizzly bear, and bathes in ice cold water every day."

to Leonard Cohen:

"I bought a man his supper. He did not wish to look into my eyes. He ate in peace."

There is something about the story which separates it from the pyramid of law. It doesn't rule over people, it rules among them.

And so I guess the Ash Fork Series is my practice place for spontaneous storytelling, and that it is a work evolving along with my learning to play music, and learning to use my voice. When you end up in the Midget Underground with me it's the first time either of us is seeing it. I am not using some unfinished story or pre-existing idea. Ash Fork is spontaneous storytelling.

Oops ...

The time, she is up.

Posted: Fri - April 28, 2006 at 02:11 PM