When I came to New York to come to school, I expected my life to be nothing extremely different from what it had been anywhere else. Sure, I’d meet new people and experience new things, but I really wasn’t prepared for the kind of people I would meet in New York City. The second I walked into the Sidewalk Cafe for the first time in January 2008, I introduced myself into a life of people and music that is so colorful and so full of richness that there are times when I really don’t believe it could exist. I met Mr. Rick Patrick and Master Lee at Sidewalk Cafe in those early winter months of 2008. They really are honest men, fascinating storytellers, musicians, and all around good people.
Yesterday, I dropped by Mr. Patrick’s house and did a bit of recording with storyteller (also a juggler, comedian, musician) Master Lee. I met him some time ago through Mr. Patrick (a musician and storyteller who will appear in a collaboration tomorrow). We set up the mic in Mr. Patrick’s beautiful Harlem home, played around with the positioning and recorded it about 4 times before we really felt like it was finished. I played the cello standing next to Master Lee (I found myself wishing I was sitting as I forget playing classically comes with needing more balance than what I play now…). There are sections of Bach Suite Preludes and improvisation as well.
Master Lee and Mr. Patrick perform everywhere. Not only do they perform, but they started a monthly storytelling event called Talkingstick. (They have been in the New York Times as well…) Talking Stick takes place in the Rubin Museum of Art. The Rubin Museum of Art is a nonprofit cultural and educational institution dedicated to the art of the Himalayas. I’m including a video link to number 98 of the Talking Stick here: http://blip.tv/file/1310511/ Talking Stick is a wonderful way of fusing art and music, and I would encourage those of you in town to attend!
About Talkingstick, in their own words:
Talkingstick was founded to give the truth a safe place to be told. We speak to universal truths by telling deeply personal stories, stories that changed our lives. We have learned there are guidelines to help us achieve this goal. They are:
- Tell the truth
- Speak from the heart
- Go deeper - Mix the tribes
Speakers include storytellers, poets, comedians, writers and musicians. We’ve been to the Friends Meeting House, Tibet House, St. Mark’s Church, Bowery Poetry Club, Rubin Museum of Art, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Taliesin Spring Green. Talkingstick events float between locations because these truths belong to us all.
Master Lee and Mr. Patrick are fascinating people. I am honored to present you with a 365 installment from each of them for the next two days.