I’m a musician. Did you know that about me? I go to work like you, hang with my family like you, mow the lawn again, tend to the inner turmoil of being an ever-aging adult with responsibilities and doubts. The usual stuff.
But when I have any free time, I’m thinking about music, about my songs. In the wee hours of morning, I write and practice, and after the bus ferries me back home from work, and after the dog has gotten her walk, and dinner has been made and enjoyed, and after the lady and I have our time, I practice, or fiddle around in the studio, maybe write a little more or send off an email or two to some venue. Discovering and rediscovering guitar, writing songs – these no longer seem like things I would label as mere hobbies. Making music – being a musician; whatever you want to call it – is as firm a part of my being as the need for human contact, sustenance and sleep (what I probably should be doing now, on this rainy night). Music is not just what I do; it has become, partly, who I am, even though I’m not always so loud about it.
This past winter and spring, I had the opportunity to work with one of my good friends in Ithaca. His name is Tim Gera, and he is an extraordinary videographer and storyteller. He has shot a fantastic documentary about refugees living in Buffalo, sat down with inmates in Attica, and produced several exceptional promotional videos for local and regional businesses and non-profits. We first worked together at the local weekly paper, where I served as a reporter and he was the photographer. Together, we covered some fun stuff, including creeping around a shuttered psychiatric facility for what turned out to be one of my favorite pieces ever. We stayed in touch after we both left news, and over the years, he’s called on me a few times to write and record original music for his video pieces. Last winter, Tim pitched an idea: “What about a short doc on you, Lou?” Hmm. Uh. Okay. Why not?
Here’s the fruits of that effort. It’s called “A Place in My Mind”, and it’s a short documentary on Me The Musician – the writing and recording ends, anyway – and why I make music, along with minor deviations from that general theme.
I want to thank Tim for his professionalism, time, patience, excitement and just general good-heartedness. He really did a beautiful job, from a visual standpoint but also in conjuring up this idea to weave a story around the unsexy, solitary way I build songs in the studio. Tim’s a great dude and friend, and extremely talented. Hire him!