Friday, January 25, 2013

The Devil's Picturebook no. 4 - Ace of Diamonds

Ace of Diamonds - important message, or a valuable gift

     When I first heard him play I just wanted it to stop - I hated it it, I didn't understand it, it seemed like an invasion. When I first met Craig Lieske we shared a practice space, for a while we shared drummers as well. Vaudeville would have our two hour beer soaked practice of songs with a heavy downbeat and structure, then our drummer and Craig would play this wacked out noise that I couldn't stand - it was disturbing my drunk. 
     Years later I managed the Flicker Theatre and Bar and Craig was a part of the experimental scene happening there. He often played or help organize shows there, some of the most adventurous music I have ever heard in Athens. Sometime between 1994 (when I first heard Craig play) and 2001 something changed in me - my ears and brain had opened to the idea of improv, the idea of going out to parts unknown and either failing or succeeding, didn't matter - that wasn't the point. The point was to try to find the magic stuff, and to go there bravely. Sometimes you catch lightning in a bottle, sometimes you flail blindly in the dark - that's the risk of trying to create something right before the audiences' eyes and ears. Craig taught me that. That was his valuable gift to me, and his important message to everyone who ever heard him play. Children play music, adults practice music. If you are lucky you learn to be a child again and open your ears and play and play and play.
     Rest in peace Craig, or in some atonal netherworld full of noise and feedback.

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