Battle of Muses

Battle of Muses

Am I the only one out here or do others have swings in their creative muses? I’m not talking about swings between creativity and non-creativity. Rather, swings between artistic muses. I was always interested in writing and drawing and it seems I’ve written and drawn a lot of things from my early school years collected in a basement file. (I’ll never forget writing my version of Brave New World on a green sheet of legal paper using an old Remington typewriter with non-friendly keys when we lived in Ohio.) That’s in the files. I think my mother was my major inspiration for my desire to write and express myself.

She was an inspiration in a funny way one might not think of. By this I mean that my mother always seems close to something she was always striving for. But never quite reaching it in my reflections. Perhaps this is why she gave me the love of the arts and creativity in my life. In essence, my mother seemed ultimately unfilled in life and searching for this fulfillment. However, I wonder how different she was from all the women of her era. A search that would take many years and even now is only beginning.

* * *

I loved to build models and had my own little model-making desk in the basement of our home. My desk was in the other room in the basement where my father had a huge model railroad layout that filled most of the basement of our home. I was an avid model builder as was my father. I spent hours helping him dream up and build his model railroad layout. I think it was fifteen feet wide by thirty feet long. A huge model railroad layout outside a club.

But I also loved music and taught myself piano on our old Cable Nelson spinet piano in our living room. I remember coming home from school each day and sitting down at the piano and playing out songs or ideas of the day. I had a few months of music lessons but was bored by the whole thing and ended up teaching myself how to play. Mostly by ear with a small piece of musical knowledge in all of this. I had a band and first played drums in it and then played bass. For a number of years, I played a great Steinway piano in a restaurant in Ohio. After work that is, as I was marketing manager for a local company in town.

The Beverly Hilton Sign Out My Window

What about my interest in photography and film? They certainly qualify as muses who visit me regularly. Sometimes they are the dominant symbol in my life. Other times they are other symbols (artisitic muses) wanting center stage in my life. But, what about my interest in photograpy and film, images and moving images. From my father most likely. He always had a “motion picture” camera or regular camera with him.

Dad ran a successful Lincoln car dealership in Culver City in the 50s (Fraim Lincoln Mercury) right across the street from MGM studios. He knew a number of movie stars at the time. Charlie Ruggles. Joe E. Brown. Margaret O’Brien. Clarence and Marion Brown. Others I vaguely remember but met on various occasions. We lived in Beverly Hills and out my second story window at night I could see the great blue sign of the new hotel Beverly Hilton Hotel, rising over the tops of the trees. I  remember the night I met this elegant couple named Clarence and Marion Brown at my father’s Friday night film event. Clarence was the first director at MGM, Elizabeth Taylor’s first director. I met Marion in her late 80s for dinner with my parents at some place off of Sunset and right off the 405. She was regal and elegant much as I had remembered her back in the days I first met her.

Many Friday nights, my dad put up a big movie screen in our living room and showed films of the time. It was a big day in my life when he gave me a Super 8 camera for Christmas one year. I made a number of small, weird films in college. Along with a few calssmates, one a rising star in the school’s theater arts department. My roomate in college. Rooming with a rising actor. We had one other roomate (Mr. Bear) but beyond us three, no one knows the true story of our little room in the fraternity house in the late 60s.

* * *

My father always had the best music and camera technology in the world. Period. He was an old southern boy from Mississippi who never lost his accent. But he was also a brilliant student in aeronautical engineering helping create one of the first flying schools in the nation. During the war, he was promoted to a General and found himself coordinating the logistics of the Wright Patterson air force base in Dayton, Ohio. That’s where he met this girl named Martha from a prominent family in Dayton. Martha had gone to Smith College and was coming out of her first marriage which did not work out. Meeting the young General from the south working at Wright Patterson, what could possibly go wrong?

The story of my early life is told so much for me in the photos my father took at the time. To me, they are symbols of a particular time in my life. Personal symbols and I am glad they were recorded on film. So glad my dad was a photographer. I acquired this particular interest (muse) from him. But so glad my mother was an artist and writer and acquired this muse from her.

I wonder about the cycles and changes in the posts to the Midnight Oil Studios site from 2016 to the present in 2019. t I do feel that this whole movement and battle between my own artistic muses is best seen on the Midnight Oil Studios website in its blogs from 2016 to the current 2019.

What could possibly go wrong in Vegas?

The site shows the development of various arts. None ever dominating.

It seemed so much like this with my mother. She seemed always on a search to me because the ultimate goal of the search always remained elusive.

Perhaps this is one of the things that have given me an explorer idea of life. The history of my mother.

We analyze parents so much. But so important in this analysis it seems to me is an interplay between one’s various artistic muses over a period of time.

Not sure what all of my site so far shows other than conflict over a final answer to some question. One can (should) debate the question as well as the final answer.

Korg Minilogue and Zoom H6

Anyway, brought up some electric music machines from the basement that have been dormat for a few years and and hooked them up for the first time in my office. I started out with an incredible piece of technolgy called a Zoom H6 tape recorder, interfaced it with a Korg Minilogue. Experiments in overdubbing on the amazing little H6. Anyway, it looks as if the music muse is returning in my life. Of course, it never really left. Less interest in writing and more in music. Interestingly, I post much music online, via Midnight Oil, in the past year.

So strange to be getting the Minilogue from its shelf in the basement. I have never forgotten it but have simply moved on from my music muse. Any love or muse in one’s life of course never leaves ones heart and mind. It seems so much like an adult version of Toy Story and in many ways it is.

New music flows from the Minilogue. She has been sleeping for almost two years in the basement.

Awakened by me bringing her up from the shelf in the basement. Why the Minilogue? There are so many othe musical devices in the basement.

Anyway, a relationship with the Zoom H6 and the Korg Minilogue recorded as a return of this muse to my life.

Monitoring that obnoxious little meme. Should be able to handle this. But hey, I’ve never been involved in any PR or avertising scheme. But could there be any other great schemes than the rich ripping off the poor in so many communities around the nation? The rich on the blue side of the political spectrum other than the red side. A documentary. Exploratory surgery to discover questions as much as answers. Midnight Oil blogs from 2016 to 2019. A documentary about the cycles of art.



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