Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Play Us A Song, Give Us A Smile

My friend Joel has the most unique and identifiable laugh of anyone I know. It's kind of a "gugh, gugh, gugh, gugh, gugh," but not in a Popeye kind of way. If you've heard it once, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

I met Joel a long time ago, during what was probably my second life in Bend. He was immediately one of those people that I capital K Knew, but it took us a long time to actually realize why. It was like the future me, today me, yelled back over her shoulder a message when I met him- "Just wait." Our Ven Diagrams of friendship gradually overlapped, through common friends and common haunts, to the point that we sing harmony together in a couple Central Oregon bands: the Rural Demons and The Sweet Bonnie Gayle Band.

Besides his harmonies, Joel plays pretty much everything. My personal favorites of his instruments are the slide guitar and accordion (although he recently acquired a piano which I may have to borrow sometime).  It was apparently especially fun to play in the back of the truck on the way to its new home.  Joel is never one to keep the music stationary. He takes his accordion to alleyways, breezeways, retirement homes, where he will always draw a passionate crowd (even if the passionate crowd is only one or two people).  People can't help but be buoyed by whatever he plays.

I had been wanting to do a collage of Joel for a while, because while I know Joel, I don't really know him.   One time, it must've been during my fourth life here in Bend, we sat outside during artwalk on the ledge of a window discussing the fact (not the idea, mind you, the fact) that we both had "Old Souls," and how fascinating it was when all the Old Souls start to congregate.  He's been on the periphery of quite a few important moments in my life, though I don't know if he realizes this.  Perhaps that is why I wanted to use him as subject matter, perhaps it is a way for me to get to know that Old Soul a little bit better, even if it is from a distance and through my artistic lens. Or maybe it's a way to thank him for being a person in my life that adds quite a bit of depth and color.  Anyway, thank you, Joel.

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