Sunday, September 13, 2020

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn

 Lately I have lost some of my hearing and, as a result, some of my enjoyment of music. I attribute it to a combination of high altitude and allergies, but whatever it is, I am not as active in the music scene as I used to be.

One of the ways I could remain active in it (as I have always loved music) is to write about musicians and their lives. A biographer chooses to play a role in history by putting a focus on someone's life, thus making people in the future more aware of someone's contribution in what we know as the world. It is hard to describe music in words, or even musical contributions (describing the influence of one's music on the direction of a genre, for example), and I am not sure I would be good at it. But I've become interested in non-fiction as a genre and have been writing about my family, and may continue with non-fiction just because I can.

Now, about Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn. They are interesting people and good musicians. They have a young son who gets various nicknames based on the banjo skill he has inherited. In some ways it's a story about touring, because Bela Fleck is known for a constant touring schedule, and it's hard to raise a child on that. 

That's all I have to report. I like them. I would go into it trying to make them look good, and trying to show the influence they have had on the banjo and on the kinds of music one can play on it. I don't know if I'll have time to really carry out this project. I started looking into them: their tours, her time in China, his trip to Africa to find the roots of the banjo. It was the kind of story one could easily get more involved in, and write a good book about. It's a project. It's on the table. It might happen. If you know any leads, let me know.