Musicians live in a world of fantasy, aural color, imagination, and all to frequently self-delusion. But I am fond of reminding people that what we do on a daily basis certainly beats working for a living. That’s not to say it isn’t hard work, but it is to say that we frequently get much more joy out of what we do than do most people. But every musician wants to go beyond the daily performance. We want to be known for all time, for posterity, and be known beyond our little home audience, be that some small town in Wyoming or downtown, New York City. So, what do we need? We need a place to make our dreams come true.
Over the next year my lovely wife Jen and I are embarking on a home project that is every musician’s fantasy. We live in the beautiful Prospect Park area of Minneapolis, last refuge of civilized man in America. We love it here. The area’s claim to fame is the fabulous Witches Tower water tower that some young pup named Robert Zimmerman wrote a song about. That song, “All Along the Watchtower,” made some guy named Jimi Hendrix a whole lotta dough. Mr. Zimmerman then changed his name to Bob Dylan. Prospect Park is a great place to raise our boys, there’s a lot of music and art going on in the Twin Cities, Jen teaches at two colleges and is the Principal Clarinet of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. We have a modest 3 bedroom 1911 house in a great neighborhood where one cannot swing a dead cat without hitting open-minded liberals, college professors, gay couples, etc. It’s simply a great place to live. But we have a modest 3 bedroom house, two growing boys, and not enough space for me, her, all my stuff, all her stuff, and certainly not the 1900 7′ Steinway (named Nadia, after Madame Boulanger) that takes up at least 1/3 of the living room. What to do?
Following in the footsteps of some friends of ours we are building a Garage-Mahal. We are tearing down our old, nasty, dank garage, putting up a new 2 car garage, and on top of that structure we are building a brand spanking new music studio. We are working with an architect and an acoustician, and we hope to create a small but lovely sounding room suitable for recording solo and chamber music. We are also hoping to use the room for very small chamber music parties which shall be recorded both aurally and visually and streamed to the internet. We want this little space to becomes a mecca for classical musicians in the upper midwest who are looking for a place to record music cheaply and well. Frankly, we hope that this becomes one of the most versatile rooms in the world. We are open to suggestions as to what we should do, so feel free to comment.
As the process continues I will be posting updates. I’m hoping to talk our architect into allowing me to post some of the ideas so that the whole process is open to the world. And then at the end – we’re going to throw a Par-Tay!!! Live on the net. Who knows? Maybe my buddy Yo-Yo will make and appearance. Stay tuned.