As we continue our march towards Springs renewal of life we must also mourn the passing of two of my favorite creators that I admire for their dedication to their arts as well as the fruits of their labor.
(Snow Mandala from a winter hike with Hazel)
Grandpa Geuze of Drie Fonteinen
I first heard Isao Suzuki in my everlasting exploration of jazz. Even in my early days of high school I can remember being drawn to the concept of jazz music and can still recall listening to Kind of Blue by Miles Davis on a cassette tape that I borrowed from the local library. Since that early foundation was laid I have been making my way through the history of the art form via live performances, documentaries, books and yes of course vinyl. Jazz comprises a good portion of my vinyl library and I find it a great way to experience the history of our civilized world and the environments in which they came from. In this never ending search, I acquired a Mal Waldron album called Left Alone Live 1. I had a little knowledge of Waldrons work but hadn't ever acquired an album of his and the price was right so I added to my library. Upon listening to it I was drawn in by a unique and fuzzy bass tone that perked my senses and had me grabbing the jacket to inspect the line up. Curiously, I realized that this performance had taken place in Japan and had Mal utilizing a trio consisting of Japanese musicians with the bass maestro listed as Isao Suzuki shining at me from the liner notes. It was at that moment that I became aware and intrigued to hear more work by Isao Suzuki and in turn dive deeply into the world of Japanese Jazz, or as the folks in the know call it... J-Jazz!
In this quest I have slowly acquired a good arsenal of Suzukis' work through various means of listening and googling. I have found lots of his work accessible through youtube and would highly suggest these solo albums if you are interested in listening to his magic:
(all currently available to listen to on youtube with a quick search)
I knew he was up there in years but I also knew he was still actively playing music and had this secret desire to see him live one day... sadly that dream will not manifest itself in this realm of reality but every time I listen to his enchanting and hypnotic low end I am forever grateful that his catalog of music will remain for generations to come.
Here is a few snippets from my pensive listening session while absorbing his transition into the next world...
To accompany my intensive listening session in the Rootcellar Studio, I had to pay homage to Armand by cracking open a dusty bottle of his Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueze. I will spare you the long history of lambic and the magic of spontaneous fermented beer and urge you to put down your hazy IPAs and experience a true work of fermentation magic that is present in all Armands creations. I will share that the couple times I briefly met Armand and was able to experience his passionate yet sublime thoughtfulness, it all made sense why his creations taste so beautiful and well balanced.
There are lots of creative people in this world but only a handful I have come across that harmonize their life experience and passions together to form products that epitomize their actions and philosophies behind their creations. I believe both Armand and Isao are beautiful representations of this and I know their spirits will live on to inspire generations to come. I give thanks for the universe guiding me into their light and hope sharing a glimpse of my inspiration with each of these indivisual may inspire you to dig deeper into their work and anyone artistic endeavor that speaks to you on a personal level.
(Aged Gracefully in the Rootcellar for 10 years)
A few shots from the rootcellar during a magical night of sights, sounds and flavors while I channeled my creative energy into a tribute painting of Isao Suzuki.
I'm going to close out this post with a poem by Walt Whitman entitled:
Something startles me where I thought I was safest,
I withdraw from the still woods I loved,
I will not go now on the pastures to walk,
I will not strip the clothes from my body to meet my lover the sea,
I will not touch my flesh to the earth as to other flesh to renew me.
O how can it be that the ground itself does not sicken?
How can you be alive you growths of spring?
How can you furnish health you blood of herbs, roots, orchards, grain?
Are they not continually putting distemper'd corpses within you?
Is not every continent work'd over and over with sour dead?
Where have you disposed of their carcasses?
Those drunkards and gluttons of so many generations?
Where have you drawn off all the foul liquid and meat?
I do not see any of it upon you to-day, or perhaps I am deceiv'd,
I will run a furrow with my plough, I will press my spade through the sod and turn it up underneath,
I am sure I shall expose some of the foul meat.
Behold this compost! behold it well!
Perhaps every mite has once form'd part of a sick person—yet behold!
The grass of spring covers the prairies,
The bean bursts noiselessly through the mould in the garden,
The delicate spear of the onion pierces upward,
The apple-buds cluster together on the apple-branches,
The resurrection of the wheat appears with pale visage out of its graves,
The tinge awakes over the willow-tree and the mulberry-tree,
The he-birds carol mornings and evenings while the she-birds sit on their nests,
The young of poultry break through the hatch'd eggs,
The new-born of animals appear, the calf is dropt from the cow, the colt from the mare,
Out of its little hill faithfully rise the potato's dark green leaves,
Out of its hill rises the yellow maize-stalk, the lilacs bloom in the dooryards,
The summer growth is innocent and disdainful above all those strata of sour dead.
That the winds are really not infectious,
That this is no cheat, this transparent green-wash of the sea which is so amorous after me,
That it is safe to allow it to lick my naked body all over with its tongues,
That it will not endanger me with the fevers that have deposited themselves in it,
That all is clean forever and forever,
That the cool drink from the well tastes so good,
That blackberries are so flavorous and juicy,
That the fruits of the apple-orchard and the orange-orchard, that melons, grapes, peaches, plums, will
none of them poison me,
That when I recline on the grass I do not catch any disease,
Though probably every spear of grass rises out of what was once a catching disease.
Now I am terrified at the Earth, it is that calm and patient,
It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions,
It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseas'd corpses,
It distills such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor,
It renews with such unwitting looks its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops,
It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from them at last.
Last years compost pile is this years fertile soil!
And with death comes life.... the first blossoms on the homestead of 2022!