Solitary Refinement – Hotel Room Practising
All traveling musicians have to practice in hotel rooms.
Back to the Blog
I have never stopped thinking, albeit a tiny thread of a thought, about my blog…. my life has been so, well…. life-y! in the past year… tours with classical and folk musicians, first art show in 5 years, selling house, moving to apartment, waiting for rezoning a church, couch surfing, touring, looking after elderly father and family, teaching, moving into my church, premiering new concerti…
I’ve been in my new place for 6 weeks and I am happy. My church is the place I’ve always wanted… it’s like I am living in a concert hall with a really good backstage…and my bed is in the same room as the grand piano. This must be why I live alone, who else could tolerate such weirdness!? I am still doing all the things I’ve ever done, including playing concerts, helping my fantastic, iconic, frail-former-superhero father, touring, recording (today, finishing my THREE disc with Lesllie Newman and Guy Few at Maureen Forrester Recital Hall in Waterloo). Yet it’s better now…I have a studio home smack in the downtown core of a small town, steps from the postoffice, surrounded by kindly neighbours and the wafting fragrances of different types of farms. I’m on the highway a lot to be in different big cities, which is exactly how I like it.
And between unpacking boxes and practising, I am grabbing some time to learn about the phenomenal tools available to musicians and artists these days, following a 9 week free course by the incredibly experienced and dedicated Ariel Hyatt of Cyper PR and learning something mind-glowingly relevant every day, sometimes twice per day.
So life is still very life-y, but I am enjoying all of it… here is the back of my former church/new studio.
Family Day 2015
I visited my Dad on Family Day.
I left Toronto with a truck full of groceries from the Korean supermarket next to my Toronto apartment and drove north in record cold temperatures (not really that cold) and the blazing sun that slowly morphed into a magenta and golden sunset as I neared Parry Sound.
After getting a few more supplies, I arrived at Dad’s house after dark, a gazillion stars vibrating in the northern sky, snow crunching loud under my four wheel drive tires.
Packed the groceries into the house and hugged my Dad and Janice, then headed to the basement to practise. I know that Dad never minds hearing me play, and I blast unreservedly through scales and music, still feeling the rush of the happiness that I had from playing the Colgrass house concert the previous night.
Family Day dawned even brighter and colder. Dad now struggles with daily tasks because of Parkinson’s, but he NEVER gives up, even though it exhausts him. Janice said that he is always alive, always interested, always wanting to work even though he is 89 years old and tired as hell.
I get to wake up in the last house that Dad will build with his own strong hands. I put my stuff onto tables that he has built for me though maybe now he doesn’t quite remember doing the work. I get to see him continue to deal with life on his own terms. It is not easy, but the house is real and beautiful, just like my Dad. I always say I am sorry that I have to go back to the city, sometimes just for one rehearsal or one student, but Dad always says, “it’s all important” and he means it.
Thanks, Dad. For all that you have done and continue to do. You inspire me.
Who Do You Think You Are? (Programming and Presenting Classical Concerts in Many Settings) – small thoughts
Then Cecilia and I played our response… a small program of ice and fire.
Thank you, Ulla and Michael, for giving us this gift of life and music combined. Thank you for wanting to know who I think I am and reflecting my response back to me. And Cecilia’s. And honestly, thank you for buying my CD.