Friday, February 23, 2018

two hundred ninety-one

It is a truthful smell.  It has been a while since that scent
The stage is set
hit my olfactory nerves.  Just like peering into an old photo though, the recollection of memories come wafting in.  It's a bit overwhelming for those of us who keep ourselves open via links to our senses.  It's funny -- some folks observe when you are overwhelmed and they say things like "come on, wake up.  You'll miss something."  Ha.

The stairs to Aaron's West Asheville apartment are ascended and that soft punch of truth hits.  Smells like fresh herbs, fresh bodies, and fresh ideas all wrapped up in an old two storey building burrito of domiciles, a market, a bar, and several other shops on the ground.  But I instantly go up.  Way up.  It's been building -- Asheville was home for a decade and there are loaves of experiences.  Some fond.  Some foggy.  Some, just plain ole crusty lessons of life (but with lots of AVL flavor).

no looking back

This time.  It is good times.  We've got some creativity at play.  Aaron, a well known NC musician has invited me to accompany him during his CD release party performance (see blog entry 290).  Instruments are brought on the journey: a freshly recycled canvas, easel, and of course, paints.  Most importantly there is the tool of inspiration.  "Les will you work on stage during the piano performance and create a live painting?" asks Aaron.  Sure.  That hasn't been done yet.  It's an opportunity.  It's on my bucket list to make a painting from start to finish in front of a captive audience.  The magicians make it happen right in front of your eyes.  Let's see what kind of rabbits conjure up.

We arrive at the venue, The White Horse over in Black Mountain.  Lights are trained, the piano is mic'd and we dance a bit with the stage layout to establish the best way for all to see, hear, and experience the upcoming performance.  There is also time to focus a bit more on exactly what is to be painted live.  It's not nerves that are forming.  It's pressure.  A bit of pressure forces decisions and feeds the real possibility of staring at a blank canvas on stage in front of an audience.  Oh, and there is only an hour and a half to summon & paint the muse.  I got this.  I got a can of caffeine too.

Aaron and Shalene amid the audience
The intimate venue fills at approximately 75 patrons. The house goes dark.  The lights on the stage make purple shadows.  My back is facing many souls.  My face is full of a stark white 4ft x 5ft canvas.  Thanks to Sara and her daughter, Desi for providing the giclee printed canvas.  Yes, the freshly primed canvas used to be a giclee (that's a fancy facsimile of an original artwork, folks).  Ha.  Layers indeed - I'll take a massed produced digi printing and make it a one of a kind, an archival Les III original.  That's what artists do -- we take elements of what already exists and make them into new experiences for all.  Thank you for the assist, ladies.

Aaron Price & Les III
The album of instrumental piano hymns Aaron is releasing is aptly titled.  Bob, the White Horse emcee introduces Aaron as an artist who contributes creatively to many bands and organizations throughout the area.  (Check out a sweet article on Aaron here.)  "Tonite is his night" says Bob.  And with that Aaron walks out and begins to create music on a piano.  The blank canvas begins to capture brush strokes.  There are several guests that contribute to the musical experience throughout the evening.  An invocation.  Operatic vocals.  I feel the prayers from others there in spirit.  The stage lights lay hot on my neck.  There is a wall of black just behind me and it is composed of souls hungry for art.  They are well fed.  The senses once again ignite.  I am in love.  Sharing with others.  Like the title of the cd, this event is an "Offering".  There's one available for you to nab here.

Thank you White Horse, Aaron, and all the folks who were part of the enjoyable event.

Anybody feel a title for the painting?     

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