Vance Transitions at Iron Horse and Falcon Ridge - film at eleven
Hi VanceFriends & Fans
I’ll be here, at two of my homes :
Aug 3-5 - Hillsdale NY (corner of NY, CT, & MA.) The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival http://www.falconridgefolk.com/
Aug 11, Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall http://www.iheg.com/
1) Flying Aces Nationals-
As you might have heard, I fancy myself an amateur aviation historian, and I build replicas of real aircraft. These replicas fly. They’re made out of balsa wood, covered with tissue not unlike what you’d find in a shoebox, and they’re all powered with rubber bands.
I will do this forever.
(Google “Vance Gilbert Nene” for a few videos)
I’m sure it has had an effect on my career, and I don’t care. Well, I do care, but there’s not a lot I can do about it. That’s how both addictions and passions are.
The group that I am affiliated with… OK that I’m on the council of ... is the Flying Aces Club, and that’s apparently not a big enough group for Siri to know to capitalize each one of those words in the title, so I’ll just go back and fix them.
We have a bi-yearly national event, a yearly Non-Nationals, and this is where many of us from around the country gather. We gather to not only gently compete against one another re: fidelity to scale, workmanship, and flight time aloft, but also to lay eyes on one another and assuage our hearts and souls that yes, indeed, the other individuals that do this are still out there! Sure, we have the Internet, but what we get at these nationals is truly FaceTime - no Siri, that’s not the FaceTime I’m talking about - I’m talking about people looking one another in the eye and saying verbally or with even a wink: “I see you, I get you, I love you.“
Well that’s a grand-ass spool up to a transition… The transition being that I recall clearly my first time flying models on this field of glory in Geneseo New York in 1986 and watching so many folks I’d read of in the magazines running, flat-out after their overhead creations as they spiraled, for minutes in uncontrolled free flight, down the grassy field.
And now, 33 years later, I help some of these people up the stairs to the banquet hall. I walk hand-in-arm with their wives from the parking lot, hoping that she remembers me 20 minutes later. And I find myself sitting in a comfortable chair next to my car in between the flights that I take, holding court to starry-eyed 20 to 40-year-olds as to how to trim this plane for flight or how to make that plane’s landing gear more flexible.
This transition takes my legs.
I invite you to go back and listen to my song Old White Men with this background to one of the most beloved portions of my life.
2) Swannanoa Gathering-
I was awake yesterday at the Quality Inn Geneseo New York at 5AM, I bid my close friends and in situ roommates goodbye I drove seven hours to Boston, unpacked my car, repacked my bag with fresh T-shirt and underwear, and was on a plane to Charlotte North Carolina, rental car, and onto the campus of Warren Wilson College (well, Siri knew to capitalize *that* so apparently that institution is larger than the Flying Aces Club...) where for the fifth time I am a performance and songwriting instructor at the Swannanoa gathering… (Siri did not capitalize “gathering” and I don’t know whether to be elated at her sense of equality or just give up hope that all the things I do are such outlier fringe events that Siri doesn’t give a shit).
There are a few songs schools in the country and that are similar to this – Rocky Mountain Song School in Lyons Colorado, Kerrville Song School in Kerrville TX, Ellis Paul’s New England Songwriters Retreat, and the soon to happen Liv Taylor Retreat: https://livingstontaylor.com/about/retreat.
Granted, there are a few, not quite as serious but still nice, cute, places-to-strum-and-pick-on-vacation-song-gatherings about, like SAMW in Winnipesaukee.
But I’ve seen great working musicians come out of Swannanoa. I get to teach alongside Ellis Paul, Kathy Mattea, John Gorka, Peter Mulvey, Tom Paxton, Janis Ian, just to name drop a few over the years.
So I’m driving and musing in my head about what my next model airplane project is going to be for the 2019 nationals - dammit Siri you didn’t capitalize “nationals” once again, - while slime you Teini asleep (“simultaneously”, oh Siri for Pete’s sake) thinking about music and musicality.
Talk about a swirl. Fried ice cream. Chocolate in chili. And yes, peanut butter and bacon on a sandwich. These are things that don’t seem to go together but if you ask various people on various days you’ll find sworn adherents.
That was my drive from The Quality Inn Geneseo to Boston, the flight from Boston to Charlotte, and the drive from Charlotte to Asheville. Honestly I don’t remember my current audiobook.
That’s ok Siri. You can change current to “curry”. I’m good with transitions. And coriander.
- Come see me in Northampton MA, Philly, Asheville NC (Hi Swannanoa folks!!), and in Shirley MA
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