Piano Puppet Poem – Part 3 of 3

Faceboof live logo along with 3 4sets of Ricky Bye;s hands playing piano.

The final in our three part series – Piano Puppet Poem – with Cincinnati favorite.

BLUES, BOOGIE WOOGIE, AND NEW ORLEANS PIANO

Ricky Nye

Cincinnati, Ohio


Piano Puppet Poem – Going Live in three, two, one… Is this mic on?

What inspired you to do FB live performances?

When the Covid shutdown occurred on March 15th, 2020, all my live performances were cancelled – after spending my adult life focused on performing, the absence of work was thoroughly upsetting…I looked to broadcasting a weekly Facebook Live program as a way to stay connected with the world, an opportunity to still have a gig of sorts and a way to seek support when I had no income to speak of.

Ricjy Nye at his piano in out series Piano Puppet Poem.

What were your expectations going in and has experience matched that?

I had no idea what to expect – I just dove in head first ! What I didn’t predict is how loyal my viewers would prove to be – I began broadcasting on March 21st, 2020, so I just came up on one year of FB shows – one of those “one year ago today” posts came up on my page and I saw the very first broadcast – the comments made that day were from folks that are still commenting today – that sure made me feel good !

Why did you choose Friday @ 7PM EST USA Time for the broadcast?

Friday seemed logical because it’s the start of the weekend, and 7:00 PM seemed just right – I keep the program at one hour just like a TV show, and a once-a-week schedule also meant I wasn’t oversaturating or coming on at random times – same date and time each week makes it a no-brainer. Also, for folks in Europe and the U.K. (where I built a following over the last twenty years), they could catch me real time (12:00-1:00 AM in the U.K., 1:00-2:00 AM in Europe) if they weren’t early risers – plus, all the shows live up on my Facebook page (facebook.com/rickynyepiano) to be viewed at any time.

Your broadcasts are simple but sound great. What technology is involved? Cable or DSL Internet? How do you mount the broadcast device? Any advice?

I like the idea of presenting an acoustic program – it’s sonically and visually intimate. There are several ways to skin the proverbial cat, and some folks go all out with production – I like the “it’s just us” approach…I use an iPhone X mounted on a tripod…early shows I just used the built-in mic, but when I found my signal could be stronger I did some asking around and was advised to get a Shure™ MV88 microphone – it plugs into the charging port of my phone and is operated through an app where I can set sonic parameters to suit what I’m doing. Since the program is one hour I must be sure the phone is fully charged.

Your wingman that fields messages and provides additional support – was that planned or just happened? Do you recommend having an assistant when going live?

I do recommend having an assistant if possible – how many times have you seen someone on Facebook Live staring directly into their phones to read messages? It appears they are staring directly at you – odd and unsettling…I am fortunate to have a girlfriend (celebrated artist Karen Boyhen) who likes what I do – she was with me from they very first show, and I am grateful – I have a system where I play three tunes, then Karen passes me the hellos and requests she jots down from viewers – this makes the show truly interactive.

( Ricky’s FB Live Assistant, Karen Boyhen, runs and art and merchandise empire: https://www.geezlouisetees.com/)

Cartoon of Ricky Nye on a piano for Piano Puppet Poem.

When the music venues open back up, will you continue doing these FB live broadcasts?

I know that I will, but the show may move to Thursdays to accommodate the weekend work I’m predicting once the vaccine is more widely distributed and herd immunity starts coming into play – this has been a valuable way to connect with folks all over the world in a travel-free manner.

What is it like emotionally to do this with no audience?

The first few shows I found it a bit odd to be performing to the back of my phone – but when I viewed the show the following day and read the responses, I could see that folks were happy I’m providing a distraction of sorts while everyone is sequestered – each week, even after a year of broadcasts, I’m still thanked for bringing music into their homes…also, this is a high-quality audience ! I’ve spent years (along with playing in concert settings) being in non-concert situations where I’m not the focus, working in an incidental capacity – luck of the draw says I could be playing to a room full of jerks, or maybe I’d be in a situation where I wouldn’t know a single soul in the venue – but I know that when I’m tuned in, I’m being viewed by people who specifically want to see what I’m up to – and that is very beautiful !


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Inducted into the International Boogie Woogie Hall Of Fame 

Voted Blues Artist of the Year in CityBeat Magazine’s 2019 CEA Awards

Voted Best Local Musician in CityBeat Magazine’s “Best Of Cincinnati” 2018 Reader’s Poll

Newly designed website:  www.rickynye.com

Poem Puppet Piano Part 2 of 3

Sunset on the beach with 2 people in a silohuette.

Here we go! Part 2 of our series – Poem Puppet Piano

Headshot of Scott Bywater with hat.

Poet & Musician

Scott “Scoddy” Bywater

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

BREAKING NEWS: Here’s a recent interview by Scoddy discussing her current musical relase

Who is the narwhal? Scott Bywater introduces Greetings from Adventure Bay

Or just go to listen/purchase now and support musical artists!

Poem Puppet Piano Part 2 Targets Discussing A Recent Publication Celebrating 10 years of his Poetry.


Scoody hiding his face with a book during Poem Puppet Piano Part 2.

10 years is linear, this collection of poems is _________?

Why 10 years? More time during pandemic times? A personal milestone?

It’s been ten years since I came back to poetry, set up a blog (thesilverpepperofthestars.wordpress.com) and quickly got into a rhythm posting new pieces as they were written. And since then, every nine months or so, I have enough for a book, so I whack it on a USB stick and pop over to my little neighbourhood printer and they print it up for me. The next one, due in a couple of months, will be volume 12 in that series.

So to mark the tenth anniversary, I decided to put together a thematic collection, something of a sprawling collage of a love letter to Phnom Penh, jumping around in time, leaping gaps in on-going attempts to seduce the city onto the page. It’s called Many ways. Three years ago I did a similarly themed collection called Some of the many rains of Cambodia; there’s a little cross over but not much.

Scoddy with reading galsses at a poetry night.

Most responses and feedback from people at readings, postings on Internet, or those who read the poems and later comment to you?

Most of the intermittent spontaneous responses I receive are via internet postings, when I’ve managed to touch something, or express an atmosphere that is particularly apt for someone, that speaks to their condition, as the Quakers say. For those people who are active readers of poetry, and are often quite frank about that, the discussions will tend to be in bars and restaurants, over wines or beers. While I love doing readings, they can be somewhat intense affairs, and the conversations tend to be deferred until later.

Many Ways book cover by Scott Bywater.

What drives sales of your books?

I have a small following of people who keep up to date, often (I’m told) dedicating one of their shelves to my books, all in a row. And it’s not just these volumes now, also I have a couple of long-form poems in book form, and two collections of music interviews. Like with so many things, if you keep doing something long enough you become part of the landscape and achieve some sort of respectability.

Scoddy riding a bike in Cambodia.

What is the future of your poetic artistry coming out of the pandemic? Same path, new energy or direction, and/or taking it to a new level with technology?

Ha ha – actually we’re not out of it yet. Cambodia had a brief slowdown last year between March and May, and then we were pretty much back to business as usual; however there was an incident last month and the country is shutting down again. So ask me about coming out of the pandemic in a couple of months.

To some extent I feel like I wrote myself dry on the lockdown last year, I’d just be repeating myself. But who knows what might happen next. Inspiration is an elusive thing sometimes. But of course that is one of the delights of poetry – there are no limits bar those you put on yourself, and often I’m surprised that I’ll go for a month without writing anything, only to cough up two or three within a day or two.

The particular downside at present is I haven’t been able to properly launch the new collection with a reading, which is always good for sales. I have been discussing the possibility of doing a livestream reading, particularly for those outside Cambodia.

WASH with Scoddy at Equinox in Poem Puppet Piano Part 2.

Can we expect any future projects similar to the WASH collaboration using words and audio-visual works in a live or studio environment?

My ambient composer collaborator Warren and I speak about this from time to time. We have a couple of things in the vault that are just waiting for some love and attention, and when we cross paths we always talk excitedly about working on new projects together. I’d say there’ll be something new from us within this decade.


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CSP palying at Equinox in Poem Puppet Piano Part 2 article.
Explore Scott Bywater’s world – Not bad for a Tazzie lad!

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Puppet Poem Piano Part 1 of 3

Peuppets and amplifiers by Paul Brooke.

Exploring the current lives of three artists during the Pandemic of 2021 beginning with Puppet Poem Piano Part 1.

Time for Puppet Poem Piano Part 1 Interview with Ohio hero Paul Brooke.


Sculpting away is Paul Brooke in Puppet Poem Piano Part 1.

3D Design & Sculpting

Paul Brooke

Cincinnati, Ohio USA


Paul Brooke butter sculture.

UPDATE: November 8th, 2021. FYI- Paul is famous for his work in butter here in Ohio!

Puppet playing bass by Paul Brooke.

Where do you get your Inspiration for original works?

My inspiration comes from just wanting to make the things I see in my head able to be seen by others. My dad would always bring home big stacks of used printer paper so I could draw on the back. I was 2, my grams did watercolors, one of the 1st things I remember is her teaching: “hey, that’s a paintbrush, not a mop”. In 2nd grade, I had an art teacher who offered me free art lessons over summer break. She was so nice, who does that?! In high school I also lucked out with 3 great art teachers who actively kept me out of trouble, let me create my own art study and got me some of my 1st paying freelance gigs.

Elf angel statue created by Paul Brooke.

Favorite medium to work in?

My favorite mediums these days are clay and sculpting wax. But I didn’t start sculpting until I was into my 30’s. Before that is was just pencil on paper.

Blonde haired heavy metal puppet.

Favorite medium for profit?

As far as earning with “art”, the toy industry has been the most profitable and fun. So that’s where I stayed. Whether the economy is good or bad, people always buy toys.

Model of electro-mechanical dragon head and neck by Paul Brooke.

Electro-mechanical puppets – what started you doing this?

Puppets and automatons have always fascinated, I made marionettes as a child. I started making automatons only recently, during COVID-19 lock down, to keep myself sane. I’ve always like to collect things, motors, gears, odds and ends. If I decide to make something, I usually have parts on hand. I call it junk sculpture.

Doll head with frizzled hair.

Changes to your work during pandemic?

When the lock-down started, I got laid off from the best job I ever had, lost all benefits and family Heath insurance, no severance package. But, I had been a freelancer before and now I am again. Things were slow at first but getting better. When the epidemic subsides, I think we will experience an economic and creative boom. I’m also learning to sculpt digitally so I can stay current in this creative and ever evolving industry.

White dragon model by Paul Brooke used for Puppet Poem Piano Part 1.

Which direction do you want to take your artistry?

In the future, if I make it to retirement and get my youngest though college, I’ll still be creating stuff but I’m not sure what. I will follow my muses wherever they might lead me.


Paul Brooke;s finger make a face from clay for Puppet Poem Piano Part 1.

Learn more and /or hire Paul please visit his website.

All photos courtesy of Paul Brooke.

Puppet Poem Piano Part 1 concludes, here are the other two interviews.

Part 2 Scott Bywater Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Part 3 Ricky Nye – Cincinnati, Ohio