"The Lyric Writer" is my longest runing manuscript project. It begin with a true story about "The Father Gander Book' project, a series of children's nursery rhymes and children's songs created in the early 1980s (while I in the transformitive wave of time and age, that i the first of my works ever to see the light of day, beyond the boxes, notebooks, lone 4 walls, and filing cabinats of this self taught writer. And yes, decades later, I still feel it was good enough.
And so, this sole event of a song came to carry some importance in heart, thanks to Joe Young; a Hartford Connecticut cartoonist, educator and a parent of art, culture, community and home.
Somewhere in my archives is the xerox copy of the song used on that day, compete with a drawing of the main character from his syndicated strip Scruples. One of (if not thee) first of it's kind featuring a carton character with skin that was not asumed to be, what some call, caucasion (only).
Although I was not in attendence, it was preformed, as part of a music program, inside the Hartford Public School System, via an old school overhead projector, in an auduitorium of chlidren all singing the poem-song, which sings round again the top when you reach the end again. It was the first time that something I soley created from nothing, touched the world at large and returned to my heart, and it doing so beyond my doing, thanks to my work with inner city youth as director of the XY Eli danceParty; a Public Access TV Show Producer by Eli Williams. This touched me to the depths of my humble gratitude, this little tale of a poem that sings, litterally came to forge one of thee cornerstone motivating experiences of my life as an artist, and human being.
XY Eli, as a new TV producer of a Yong Adult (YA) ' Popping, 'Break Dancing', and 'RAP' TV show, possibly the first, or easliy one of the first times RAP was very aired on TV in History. The art form at the time was not constidered valid as a musical form by the establised gate keepers of the music industry. The TV show was recorded at the first location of HartfordConnecticut' s first Community Access TV Station HCT on South Whinney Street. Some believe its swell of creative activity, moved the oppesion of racism brewwing inside adolesent inner city kids, and the release of having voice, was so explosive from out of a voiceless opession, that it grew to bring to life the fist art's High Scool in Hartford Connecicut ever. But, all cliams of what, when, who and where are irrelivant complared to the human price and cost of racial oppression from all fronts seaking evironmetal, economic, and social jutice.. To be treated like people., by the social system at large. It has truely been amazing to watch the last 35 plus years born of million of civic minded community leaders to the world of difference; the pouring of talent and heart; into yet another form of oppesion of music, and art by industry set to control the voice, if not agian supress it .
As time moved, so did I from Hartford to Boston. At the end of 1985, and for a 10 year spell, I mostly delved with my creative being into body/mind work through the movement and healing arts, thanks to Bonita Weisman's arrival in Hartford Connecticut, and her bringing with her to the public outside the word on dance, but to include non-dancers, with the first of it's knd in the city, classes in Contact improvosation.
Years later, my life became extreemly more public as a preforming artist. This reignited the Lyric writer in my soul; the Open Microphone venues (called Open Mikes at the time) in Cambridge and Boston became my life inside of living. Here via a free speech pulic medium; andthis venue to venue living lived on an on throughout readings all over New Engand and into New York.
And so it was that some dd not deem Public Poetry Readings as valid as the preformance of song. So what?
I love free thinking, and questioning of all oppressive ways; and still to this day I do. it's good enough.
----- In addition to being n autodidactic poet, author and a singer/songwriter, I did become more interested in words,and all they are & are not, than notes, scales, keys, cords. So following my years in the movemet and healing arts, then on into and to poetry readings, little by little the vast spectum of writing styles and the ever elongated depth of adult subject matter ... The father GAnder Book Project now includes mostly top drafts works I consider my most persious. Many have been redrafted, renvented, recorded, tweaked. and perforrmed through the decades, and sometimes style; and on occation with different instruments and with or by other artists in the most humble to most profestional recroding settings. Still is it the foundation of how I became a writer at all. I've been writing since the early 1980's. Still good enough, this Nurcery Rhyms was the first ever to see the light of day outsides of my writings alone in the den of my imagination born.
September 14th, 2016 C.C. Arshagra