Spirit Grooves Blogs

Published on March 22, 2014

Spring is trying to spring, but still mostly cloudy and cold, but I am not complaining. This is much better than -20 degrees or 0 degrees. On one of our "flattish" roofs we broke up a block of ice as big as a couch. It must of literally weighed a ton. Elsewhere on our buildings some gutters have collapsed and bent in two from the ice weight. This has been the coldest and most persistent winter in my memory. I have seen cold before, but not relentless cold as this winter has proved. There was no January (or February) thaw.

As for me, I am working on roughing out the plan for our documentary film about Michigan as a place where music arises in this world (I am sure there are others). Ian Gorman, a friend and one of the great recording engineers of this area, is coming to our studio next week to fine tune it. Bless him for his generosity and diligence! At the same time, I am now gathering together video equipment, finding cases to safely carry it for location shooting, starting to design the studio sets, and all of that. Right now it is just my son Michael Andrew (also a photographer and videographer) and I as a film crew, although Margaret will be there and she had done video work before. Perhaps a couple of others will join us in this project.

We are working with the Library of Congress and Todd Harvey, collections specialist for the great American folklorist Alan Lomax material, part of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Part of our documentary will be covering Alan Lomax's work in 1938 here in Michigan. Lomax would later write that Michigan and the Great Lakes area is, and I quote, "the most fertile source" of American folklore that he had encountered. The film we are undertaking will hopefully review the Lomax material and visit other great Michigan music centers, ending in the present with the Earthwork Music Collective here in mid-Michigan. Indeed, Michigan is a great music source and resource of music. It is time to document it a bit.

[Photo of a Calla Lily I did some time ago.]