Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Don't you boys know any nice songs?"

I had fielded the phone call around seven.

This is G-. Im going to the space. Im going to the bar. Should I bring your flute?

Sure, why not. Ill be at the bar round 9.

See ya there.

I cleaned off sweat caked from a workout and ate some cheese for dinner and found the top that would be not to hot but not to cold in the cool Daegu monsoon evening and walked to the bar.

The bar was dark and empty and the bar Angel was dressed in dark clothes that sagged around her. I taught her about my tequila glass and she found it for me. I taught her how to fill it up. I sat at the bar. I regretted not bringing a book. It was 9 pm and I was alone with the bar. I asked for some paper and doodled and tried to write words but the words didnt flow and I missed the metallic clatter of my thoughts on a screen. I drank my drink and I waited.

G- came down and we talked magic. The tequila started to work on the empty stomach and it was a little magical. I felt good, better, happy. Talking is lovely. We moved to a table and spoke Kabala and drank and let time pass. The Musician walked into the bar about ten minutes later and joined the table. I bought him and owed drink and the conversation flows and suddenly my flute is on the bar. Hyun is setting up the mics for the jam that is scheduled to ensue. We talk warming up, but we just start playing at the table. I feel the cold smooth keys under my finger and realize why I like typing so much.

Its the improvisation. When I play piano I can feel my thoughts spilling out on the cold hard keys and I know where that feeling is just before I hit the note and when I tap the note there is the feeling and it is whole and complete and formed in sound. And when I play the flute I can feel my hands wrapped around that sleek hard metal, round, smooth, clackity clack, but the clacks make my thoughts and I can hear my emotions whining long and slow from a metal pipe that my lips are pursed around. I ebb and flow and listen to the rhythms from the guitar next to me and the words flowing out and words like thick as a brick make perfect sense to my fingers and my emotions. Yes, yes, thick, that is how I would describe them.

We discuss that Tull is currently touring Europe and Im green with a desire to and see them play. To watch the magical gypsy Ian Anderson dance around the stage singing from the gut and playing flute from the bottom of his toes. I want to wrap myself in his rhythms as he plays on stage and feel that simpatico. And Id be jealous that I couldnt be playing it myself.

The mikes are set and so are the drinks so G- and I hit the stage. I apologize ahead of time for what I know will be the ensuing caterwaul in the quiet bar, but the barflies smile, and the Musician promises to cheer us on, and so we play. I find most of the melodies just fine, find a place in them for myself, cut a new path of my own emotion through them and give an undertone and an overtone in a minor or a major. Let that f be sharp and kiss the lips of that b chord. Its lovely if you do it just write. Music done just right. I only manage to mangle it when I give up trying to find myself and instead try to find the music. Bad idea, I cant catch the tone of Teach your Children oh the irony, that I cant find myself in this song, that here, I suddenly stutter and sputter and fall out of key and off the charts.

I am despair.

Lets just jam. Consoles G-.

And so I start if off and open it up in a nice D minor pentatonic and dare the guitarist to follow suit, he chases me up and down the scales so I duck him in a nice G major but he saw it coming and we jam, we improvise slowly, listening to each other for clues, making melodies where there were no melodies. Like writing a story, like making love, pure creation, thought in the air, fleeting, existing only in that time, that space, that moment, here for those who are listening, and gone when it is finished, chased away, the dead ghost of raw emotion and inspiration never to be heard again.

The Musician follows us and I chase my tequila to the bottom of the bottle shaken by my music and a sense of exposure at playing so freely in front of so many people, or so few. We slam and stomp along as the Musician plays out Joes Garage, and we laugh and have the jovial moment that wants to be had. I head home round midnight, Cinderella who has tied one on. I have my flute, and a bar scribble and the lyrics to a folk operetta and my emotions in a hard packed case and my brain in the bottom of a glass.

The music wasnt awful.


total-spender said...

Do you play to foreigners or Koreans?

Artist, writer, musician. Anything else we should know about?

Saradevil said...

I also make my own clothing.

I just bore easily, it's not that special.

We mostly play to whoever is in the bar, on a quiet Wednesday night like this one it was slightly more foreign then Korean, but only slightly. I think maybe one more waygook than hangook, so pretty close.

The players are also a mixed bag, it's good fun.

kodeureum said...

I'll be missing open mic this week for a visit with some friends in another town so perhaps you could use the extra available mic time for some more free-form jams. I'm sure you'll find another appreciative audience. :-)

John C said...

TS, she has skills all foreign agents envy having. I'm praying she's not detained or anything. Miss the post. Wah.

total-spender said...

John C

You should see her skills when it comes to the opposite (same?) sex.

If I had said skills I'd happily miss a post (only ONE though). She really is gifted !

Saradevil said...


I've been insanely busy. But I promise I'll work on it. The problem with having talents is that occasionally you get caught up in the other ones.


I just have good eyes.

Saradevil said...


You will, of course, be missed. Jamming may or may not ensue, depends on if I can get my second down there.
If nothing else I have tequila.

total-spender said...


"I just have good eyes"

And therein lies the problem: I went blind years ago (think about it) !!