This is Marvin Payne interviewing Marvin Payne for Meridian Magazine on the occasion of the release of my (his) new album “ALL I AM,” pictured below in the picture (below).

You can distinguish me from me by the designations “Interviewer” and “Artist,” signified by “Int” and “Art” to preserve pixels, which in this publication are more valuable than this publication seems to realize.

Int:  So, you seem to have made a new album, here.
Art: No “seem” about it. Here it is. Look up and you’ll see it.
Int: Oh yes, quite impressive. How did that picture come to be?
Art:My son John, a filmmaker… (He doesn’t actually make film. The film is made by some company in a factory somewhere. He just puts it in his camera and exposes it briefly.) John was setting up lights in our living room in order to photograph his little sister Adwen for a resume portrait. Um, do you know how to type an accent above the last syllable of “resume”?
Int:No. But we have an editor.
Art: Well, Adwen was still upstairs getting herself perfect and John asked me to sit down on her stool so he could see if he had the light right. While I was there, he exposed some film briefly, because, hey, it’s pretty easy to do.
Int: And your photography budget for the album instantly shrank from $500 to zero.
Art:  Yes.
Int: Because you didn’t pay John?
Art: We feed him.
Int:  You feed him?
Art: Very well.
Int: Is there music behind or inside or, well, contained by the picture?
Art:Oh yes. There’s a Compact Disc in there.
Int:Is that what we used to call a “CD”?
Art:Very astute, acronymically speaking. It’s a technology that was quite popular briefly, when people were making what was called “albums.”
Int:I remember those.
Art:You must be older than I.
Int:Actually, I’m not.
Art:Now people get their music through “streaming services,” usually a song   at a time. Soon it may be a verse at a time, then a phrase at a time, then maybe a note at a time.
Int:How do artists like yourself feel about that?
Art:We hate it.
Int:That’s a strong word.
Art:Then let’s say we like it less than the old way.
Int:Can you tell us why? I mean, in layman’s terms?
Art:Are there laymen reading this?
Int:Oh yes. Myriad.
Art:Weird name.
Int:And laywomen, and even some of your more precocious (and, in this publication, more spiritual) laychildren.
Art:Okay. Well, mainly we make a whole lot less money that way. But even more mainly, we long to create a series of songs that are bound by a certain concept, or feeling, or milieu.
Int:Is that French?
Art:Yes. Like “resumé,” but without an accent.
Int: Without an accent, how can you tell it’s French?
Art:It’s spelled funny.
Int: So, these milieus, are they important?
Art:Less so now, since the demise of the album concept.
Int:But you just made one.
Art:Yes. All by myself, actually.
Art: Because I’m 73 and never really acquired any “marketable skills.”
Int:“Marketable skills”?
Art:You know, like a dental hygienist has, or a Drug Kingpin, or whoever…
Art:Are you sure about that?
Art:Is the editor sure?
Art:See? That’s a marketable skill!
Int:I’m beginning to see.
Art:And the people who make those multi-mirrored outer space telescopes, or those guys that make money out of just having money.
Int:Got it. Thanks. How about interviewers–marketably skilled?
Art:It’s a gray area.
Int: So, you’re none of these.
Art:I’m just a song-and-dance man.
Int: You dance?
Art: No.
Int: Are there any other reasons you made this album?
Art: Other than that, I know how? That I played all the instruments, that I wrote and produced a song every three days over the course of a month?
Int: Yes. You know, like a passion to share the beauty you’ve seen in the world around you, in the people around you, in the wonders of Creation…
Art:Is that with a capital “C”?
Int:Of course. And the irresistible compulsion to seek order in the chaos and   pull it into some kind of shareable focus. To testify poetically of what you know to be true. To mirror the dreams of your listeners in words they haven’t yet uttered. To speak truth to power in words the elite may not even comprehend. To bare your frailty and invite compassion. To, in the    words of Don Quixote…
Art:Donkey who?
Int: …“bring a measure of grace into the world.”
Int: Yes, what?
Art: All that stuff. Everything you said.
Int:Why call it “All I Am”? Is there some kind of anatomical aspect?
Art:No, no. The “I” isn’t even me.
Int:Who is it, then?
Art:Who it says.
Int: Who does it say? Come on!
Art:“I Am.” It’s a name.
Int: So the album…
Art:Is all about that name.
Int: So the songs?
Art:Are from that point of view, about those values, exploring that relationship.
Int: Even “Rock Me Like I’m Home Again”?
Art:Especially that one. And “Tender Bird,” about a child leaving a heavenly home and being asked to remember the love they felt there. And a cell phone-waving anthem called “Children of the Dream.”
Int:  What inspired that one?
Art:“Bill and Ted Face the Music.”
Int:I think I’m gonna like this album.
Art: Somehow, I thought you would. I do.
Int:Where do you get it?
Art: Silly, I already have it.
Int: I mean, where does “one” get it?
Art: Same place as “many” get it.
Int:Which is?
Int: Did I hear you right? Is that a place?
Art:It’s virtual.
Int:Oh! We seek after those things!
Art: Yes, we do.
Int: Thanks for the interview, man!
Art: Not at all. Thank you!
Int: Yes. Okay.

Listen to “Children of the Dream” Below: