Porteus Pieboy was born with the rhythm coursing through his spidery veins, with legs and arms a jumping and hands a twitching to some secret tune all his own. His parents, both tone deaf, had no idea what they had given birth to and tried everything in their power to discourage their whooping and hollering son from turning their home into a musical madhouse Tins, pots and pans, cutlery, broomsticks and the fire poker all became instruments of syncopation of the short and the not so short, of the suspended and the prolonged, and of the tempo, rubato, rallentando, andante and adagio. Of the whole musical gamut at the ripe old age of seven.
Poor young Porteus, wrong family, wrong time and definitely the wrong place in the ever so quiet village of Weeping Willows some sixty miles from Rude Awakening, the nearest town of note in the Catskills hinterland.
School days though for master Porteus Pieboy were filled with joy, so happy was he to be away from the heaviness of his home. He thrived of course, joined the school band, wrote many a memorable tune both marching and celebratory, loved and lost, and left early, setting sail for Lafayette and his first band Uncle Tom's Tunemasters. And what a sensation they were with their unique melange of jazz, zydeco and arcadian hop most popular amongst the mulattos, the Chinese and other assorted seafarers who jumped ship with regular monotony, then skipped town surfacing sometime later in the darkened streets of NYC, Boston, Chicago and all points north.
Today, the not so young Mr Pieboy thinks nothing about thumping the catgut strings of his purple heart and cocobolo laminated double bass into the wee hours of the morn. Where can be seen prancing around some poorly lit stage like a prize fighter jabbing and feigning, slipping and sliding this way and that, bathed in sweat electrified and dangerous, mesmerising his captive audience lost in the marvel of his own theatrics.
Some say it is not since the days of Chester Burnett have they been such power and menace - others that he is the manifestation f both Mr Burnett and Mr Dixon, this friendly rivals of their day who changed the face of the southside of the windy city. Or perhaps we should just follow the Pieboy's lead and let the music speak for itself.
Porteus is an original sculpture by Susan Bowers created from many layers of vintage and antique textiles over clay and wire. Click here to see Porteus in all his glory.