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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Charlie Baum Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (1933-2009) (146* d) RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009) 29 Jul 09


When I think of Mike Seeger, I think not only of the musician (though he was a consummate performer) but of the person who introduced me to the music and musicians of America. I think of Clarence Ferrill and the many others whose performances and essences were captured by Mike's Nagra recorder, and Mike's extensive notes that helped me learn who these people were, since their music had spoken to my soul as it did to his. He was such a good performer that he could divert attention away from himself and directly to the song and its sources.

I'll always remember the vocal week at Augusta back in 1984, where he taught me how to listen. Listen to the timbre. Listen to the bends. Listen to the attacks. Listen to the releases. Listen to the decays. Listen to the dynamics. Listen to what's said and what's unsaid. And if you can, watch the performer. Watch their posture. Watch their eyes, or lack of eye-contact. Watch their fingers. Note every detail, and then don't get so caught up in the details that you lose track of the big picture, because that's also where the soul of the music lies.

May the experiences of his next phase of his life bring him, and us as well, appreciation of the details of his life, and the wonder of the soul.

--Charlie Baum


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