WORK. It's what we do, what we obsess over, celebrate, complain about, get paid for. We may call it Art, but it's still work. Particularly for creative types, where we do our work must have something to do with how it turns out, for better or worse - yet we rarely get to see behind the curtain.

We would like you to share something about your special place where creativity blooms. So where do you work?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Staffs & Chaffs

Doug & his Tres
Doug Pauly draws creative inspiration from many sources. A working musician for three decades, he is a gifted jazz guitarist, a skilled transcriber and a great teacher. We asked about his work space and got a very complex response that raised more questions than it answered - so we decided to investigate further.
Doug & his grass weaving
 For decades the New Yorker magazine's weekly night-life calendar has famously cautioned, "Musicians live complicated lives..." This is true in Sacramento as well as in the Big Apple. Just try pinning Doug down on his favorite workplace. That might be on a bandstand with a dozen musicians working behind a noted singer; it might be a solo stool in a cool night club; it might be his compact lesson room at the Guitar Workshop; or it might be his cozy little home studio. Then again, it might be the cemetery where he walks the dog and hums little ditties that eventually turn into jazz tunes. OK, too complicated for a simple little blog - let's look at the home studio.

The Home Studio
Doug's studio is comfortable, compact and ergonomically suited to his needs. A Mac computer is front & center, the heart of his transcription operation. He has written charts for hundreds of jazz standards and pop tunes and is sought out by many professional musicians for this specialty.
Custom-built book cases hold decades of accumulated music. There's room for one guitar stand (currently occupied by his "Tres" a guitar-like instrument of Cuban origin), as well as one visitor seat and a bit of recording equipment. And there is his all-important "window on the world" opening to the verdant garden yard. 
The phantom Grass Studio
We took a stroll in the garden where Doug showed me his weaving studio in a converted garage. The guitarist is also a grass weaver! He harvests California native grasses, weeds and grains and transforms them into complex and elegant wall hangings.

Staffs & Measures

Shafts & Grains
It turns out that scoring music and weaving grasses are not so very far apart, artistically speaking. There's a steady measure, rhythm and texture to each kind of art - from a visual viewpoint. And aurally speaking, clear and complex guitar fingerwork blends nicely with the soft rustling of wild grasses.

Doug Pauly is an accomplished musician and weaver residing in Curtis Park, Sacramento. His music can be heard at DOUG PAULY