Just a few months after getting the tattoo of my beloved Hohner Erica, I’ve gone and finished the set. Below you can see may latest ink, a rendering by Moonman Sam of the Black Baffetti — my Dino Baffetti three-row Tex-Mex. I love the R. Crumb style. This will probably be my last ink for a while … at least until I get another box!
Got this done today. A bit of fatalistic faldarall thrust in the face of a cold, unfeeling universe. I like it. So there. This was done by Moonman Sam (Hill) in Hallowell, Maine.
Bangor Daily News photographer, videographer, blogger, and box player Troy Bennett (who I corresponded with here) is producing a series of short videos about Mainers and their tattoos for the BDN blog. Last week he came to my home to talk about my tattoo and French accordeon music.
BONUS POLKA DOWN BELOW!
Let’s review resolutions for last year:
|Music is my joy|
1: Keep playing! (Don’t know if I dare be more specific than that)
2: Keep blogging … a tremendous amount of fun this year, and I have some very nice big projects in the works.
3: Sing and play … at the same time. My eternal resolution.
How did I do? It’s complicated. (Forgive me for perhaps over-sharing, but I can’t write this if it’s not honest.)
I’m going to say that, in many areas, this has been the worst year of my adult life. My wife ended our marriage after fourteen years. And twelve days ago I lost my job.
But music … music has been my salvation. I recorded and released my CD of French music, L’Autre Diatoniste, an amazing artistic experience working with friend musicians and a very smart, collaborative sound engineer, Caleb Orion.
I have begun work with a new group featuring clarinet, mountain dulcimer, me on accordion, and a French mezzo … the group is Le Bon Truc. I have to tell you … I don’t have a great history with bands. The psychological element of playing in a band is very difficult for me … But these musicians … it is an amazing experience playing with them. We’ve had about four gigs, and have four more lined up already between now and March.
|And also, the tattoo|
I acquired a Dino Baffetti three-row F/Bb/Eb. Acquiring things is always nice, of course, but the point is that getting this new instrument with a three-row quint tuning (as opposed to a two-row + acc) has really made me pay attention to both instruments in a new way. I’ve thought about getting the Baffetti tuned F/Bb/acc so that the fingerings between my two boxes would be transferable (and transposing), but I feel like the two boxes being subtly different is actually making me a better player.
Thus, in terms of my resolutions, I have played more. I have blogged more. I have not worked on singing while playing. Instead I joined a group with a vocalist.
MEET THE NEW RESOLUTIONS. Same as the old resolutions (more or less).
1) Play more.
2) Blog more.
3) Work on group playing (i.e., being more flexible in terms of harmonies, accompaniments, and melody. Friend clarinetist, Steve, plays these amazing obligatos. I would love to be able to do that.)
The barrier to these is a creeping (occasionally raging) depression. I’m working on it. Seeing someone. Medicating. Doing what I think is necessary. But it’s gotten bad.
I look to my music for respite and joy. When in doubt, do your art. Here’s a set of polkas performed by Le Bon Truc. They always make me happy.
Thanks for listening.
My kids are tattoo fiends of a sort. I’ve always thought I might like a tattoo if I could get the Right Thing. That thing, of course, is my accordion, the Saltarelle Pastourelle III. I wasn’t just looking for a generic diato tattoo, it had to by My Box. My kids found an artist who could do such a thing and, as a gift, they paid for the below tattoo. The artist is Moonman Sam Hill, in Hallowell, Maine. I’ll let the work speak for itself, but I am delighted by the R. Crumb illustrative quality of it. The words are, L’Autre Diatoniste, which is also the name of … y’know … my CD.
|Picture by Julia Kimball|
That dime is there to give you a sense of scale and level of detail. That’s on the inside of my forearm. Also, since everyone asks, yes, it hurt like a M*&^#r F*&^%r.