I wondered when you wrote “Monday I would fly home from Albuquerque” how you felt about leaving New Mexico to fly to your new home after living in Santa Fe for so many years?
That’s a fair question and one I asked myself before I left. I didn’t leave Santa Fe because I don’t like it. I left because I wanted to discover something else. That experience might be pleasant…. or not. Consequently I didn’t feel strange or sad when I got on a plane to fly out of Albuquerque. I also know that I will be back in Santa Fe every year. There will be rehearsals before some of the tours, there will be visits to friends, and I will go to Upaya.
I know Santa Fe well. After all, most of my life was spent there. I arrived in 1986 when I was 27 years old and I stayed until I was 62. I can look at the sky in the morning and usually know more about the day’s weather than any app can tell me. I know where to obtain any supplies I might need. I know where to eat. I know how to bake sourdough bread at an altitude of 7,500 feet. I know that water boils at a temperature of 198º (92ºC) – instead of the 212º that are required at sea level. I know a lot of the trees along the paths I walked most every morning. I said hello to the same murder of crows who greeted me noisily. Familiarity creates intimacy. That’s all lovely and good and I appreciate it.
Still, I wanted to experience more places. I imagined that having to relate to a new location, finding my way around strange neighborhoods, getting to know a different landscape, perhaps having to learn a new language, would keep me fresh – literally. Perhaps I feel that exactly because I am getting older I need to challenge myself in this way. It would be too easy to walk 100 feet to my studio and sit in the same spot I sat in since 1996 – the location of the chair marked with white gaff tape on the black rug – and simply continue until, eventually, it all comes to a hard stop.
One night, a few months ago, during the process of selling my house and studio, I woke up with a start at 0130 in the morning. When the house is sold, where will I record? My studio is literally perfect and can’t be replaced! As I laid awake I had an idea. What about building a traveling recording rig and using studios in foreign countries, in places that might inspire me? I could find a studio in Saigon, for example, and bring my guitar, a microphone, perhaps a mic pre-amp, and a laptop. I would literally only need a quiet room, some wiring, and a control room where I could set up the computer. After I promised myself that in the morning I would search for studios in foreign cities I was able to fall asleep. The next day I did search for studios and not surprisingly found that there are lots of studio that can be rented in many far away places.
After my house sold I bought a camera. Actually it’s not A camera, really, for me it’s THE camera, a camera I had wanted for many years. Now that I actually bought this camera I want to, no, I need to feed the lens new sights, new everything. An adventure to be continued.