Creative Spaces

4 07 2013

bron-yr-aurI am a guitarist.  I took up this amazing instrument in the mid ‘70’s.  I saw a friend of mine play three songs—“Time In A Bottle”, “Dream On” and “Smoke On the Water”–the riff that launched thousands of guitarists in those days.  I freaked.  I fell in love.  The love affair continues thirty-seven years later.

I owe a great deal of my early formation as a guitarist to Led Zeppelin in general and Jimmy Page in particular.  I learned a lot of the heavier Zeppelin tunes in those days–“Whole Lotta Love,” “Heartbreaker,” “Ten Years Gone”, etc.

But I was especially drawn to their acoustic work, preferring wooden music to electric.  It was just so interesting.  Rare chords.  Alternate tunings.  Mandolins.  J. R. R. Tolkien in the lyrics.  Songs like “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” (a cover), “Over the Hills and Far Away,” “Gallow’s Pole (another cover),” “The Rain Song,” and, predictably, “Stairway to Heaven.” In later years, I added “Kashmir” (in D-A-D-G-A-D tuning for you guitarists), “What Is and What Should Never Be” and “Ramble On.”  Multiple overdubs creating marvelous sonic textures.  A world of wonder and colorful sounds.

A fair amount of Led Zeppelin’s creativity in those days emerged as Jimmy Page and Robert Plant retired to a little cottage in the Welsh countryside, named Bron-Yr-Aur (Welsh for “golden hill).  It was here that music was inspired and created that endures to the present day .  They even named music after this quaint locale, pictured above (“Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” and “Bron-Yr-Aur” from the Led Zeppelin III and Physical Graffiti albums respectively).

Where are your creative spaces?  A cottage?  Water?  Forests (my personal favorite)?  A hermetic perch in the corner of a house?  Your local Starbucks or Panera Bread?

Image Credit




6 responses

4 07 2013
David Kanigan

I picked up the guitar as college freshman. And quit. One of life’s regrets. I applaud your pursuit Christian.

5 07 2013
Christian Fahey

Thanks David. It’s never too late, my friend. You’re the kind of man who could still pick it up and have fun with it. Appreciate your own posts these days!

6 07 2013
David Kanigan

Thanks Christian. I need to add it to my Bucket List. Have a good weekend.

6 07 2013
Christian Fahey

You too, David. Enjoy!

6 07 2013

I wish I had the forest and cottage, but usually it’s just a corner of each room in my small house (well, the house is large enough, but I only have the downstairs). In my dream home I think there will be spaces in each room for different creative projects… now it’s a bit jumbled, but functional. Love the photo.

6 07 2013
Christian Fahey

We have a Victorian farm house. However, like you, we’d secretly love to have a cottage like Bron-Yr-Aur. They seem not only quaint but full of mystery and creativity. Thanks for reading!

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