Songs are flowing and an Appalachian autumn is currently re-tuning me for another Wyoming winter. Aaron Davis & the Mystery Machine will be rolling out some heady announcements in the next couple of months, including a couple of festivals already on tap for 2018. But first, a ramble. (FYI – I’m rambling more lately via a new instagram account, aarondavisongs)
I’m not sure why The War of Art by Steven Pressfield hadn’t come onto my radar previously, though the timing is fortuitous. When Screen Door Porch first decided to take a hiatus, I was a bit on edge. Pressfield tackles the idea of personal Resistance when it comes to creativity, and doing the daily work that can eventually lead one to The Muse. The discipline of seeing a creative project through from start to finish can be a battle, and starting such an undertaking is perhaps the biggest hurdle. Having opened a studio in Jackson Hole a year ago and picking up the pieces as a solo artist now, I’m trying to crush Resistance with fervor. Here are a couple of excerpts from The War of Art…
“…when we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen…unseen forces enlist in our cause, serendipity reinforces our purpose. This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filling. Ideas come. Insights accrete.”
“We unplug ourselves from the grid by recognizing that we will never cure our restlessness by contributing our disposable income to the bottom line of Bullshit, Inc., but only by doing our work.”
SDP ended on a high, and a few folks pointed out how rare that is—a band taking a pause under its own terms after a decade of The Life. I’ve tried to embrace that concept, tried to look beyond the crossroads despite Resistance waiting in the wings. I’m not without outlets, and I’ll put my hands together in appreciation for them, and appreciation for the good natured musicians that I still get to work with (though I’ll indeed miss making music with my wife). Three Hearted Studio has three fun projects in the works and on deck that I’ll be producing/engineering. Acoustically, the cabin has made recording a game changer. It’s blowing my mind. A few mic upgrades doesn’t hurt either. In addition to AD & the Mystery Machine, Boondocks will be back in action soon as well.
Telamon of Arcadia, a mercenary of 5th century B.C., is known for saying, “it is one thing to study war and another to live the warrior’s life.” I’ve realized that when I take a break from the warrior’s life, one of two things happen. In the short term, such as a fly fishing trip (my fave pastime), refreshment is superior and rejuvenation occurs. If I stay away too long, I’m reminded of a Levon Helm quote from his book This Wheel’s On Fire: “When I’m a working musician, I feel like I’m successful no matter how big the show. If I’m not working, I feel useless as hell.”
It’s time to dig in, folks. Can’t wait to see what I dig up!