i helped to build a recording studio, not to make money, but to make beauty. it wasn't made by me alone, and in the end, it wasn't even run by me, but it lived for a long time.
today we had the closing party for the studio, after roughly, maybe, ... a 14 year run.
here is the eulogy for the studio which i wrote as i was thinking about what it meant to close the doors, which i could not speak at the party, but which i wanted everyone who came to hear.
This is the thank you, to all of you, that I will not be able to deliver. As I was thinking about the day when the doors close, and this event, even imagining opening my mouth left me choked up and mute. So at enough of a distance that I can make it from line one to the last line, I am writing this down.
Let me tell you about how this thing came to be. This was not a vision cast by a future looking person. This was not a long hidden wish suddenly come true. This was for me, a dream I discovered, in small pieces. It was a dream which I never really understood enough to own, but was continuously beautiful to enough people that it became something real.
Once upon a time I had a corner of my basement where there was a place for me to play bass. Then there were a few microphones and a drum kit so the Sunday morning band from my church would have a place to rehearse, then there was the ability to record rehersals, then suddenly it started to look like a recording studio. As this transition is happening, I am somewhat amazed at this transformation, it is like I woke up one morning, looked out into my backayrd, and a tree I did not plant is suddenly bearing fruit. It felt like the hand of God was writing something down, and I was watching a story unfold.
There are many great stories about the studio, the two that capture the story that I think I understood best are these. One day, a band which was stuck in between being famous enough to have fans in multiple cities, but not famous enough to catch the attention of a record label was in town, and needed a place to rehearse, and so ended up in the basement. They looked around in wonder at what was growing into a really excellent little setup and asked what the heck was going on. I said something like, "I am not sure, but I think what is happening is that God is trying to make a place for musicians who have art to make, words to sing, which are powerful and beautiful and which change the world, but are not intended to be mined for either commercial profit or worship service support." Which was something I was sort of making up, as I tried to figure out why I had a recording studio in my basement. When I said this, the lead singer broke into tears of simultaneous grief and joy. The pain of long days feeling alone, and the wonder that she had walked into a place God had apparently made for her, both at the same time, and no response but tears.
This much like how I feel about today. There is a grief at the passing of this place that has no proper response except tears, but there is also a joy that must be sung also, of the beauty that has happened here, and that will, as it did in my basement, inevitably find a way to make something unexpected and marvelous appear. It has been a privilege to be a part of that process, and know that there is plenty of hope and new dreams of wild wonder waiting to walk through the curtain that today feels like an impenetrable ending.
The second story of the studio is of a day I happened to be reading poetry at a house concert, along side an artist who had recorded in the Red Rock Recording version of the studio. I had read my poems and was settled in to listen to the songs and stories of the young man and his guitar. He told the people in that room. "Here is my CD, please take it for free. These crazy people recorded it for me, and wouldn't let me pay them. I just don't know what to do about that".
This too, is how I feel, about all of you who have worked to bring beauty from this place. I am undone by the generosity that has happened here, and there really is no action that seems adequate to such a gift except to give what I have whenever I can and maybe learn to be a little bit more like the kind of crazy person who is willing to take chances, to make this kind of thing happen.
at the tail end of the party, after almost everyone was gone, we started writing on the walls with markers, and there were many fun things on the walls, and that was a blast, and then i decided i wanted a poem there on the wall too