Category Archives: General Happening

accompanying Margaret

Six years ago I was asked to play at a benefit for Japan following the earthquake and tsunami and later asked if I would accompany Margaret Atwood reading a poem. I’ve been to a zillion open stages and many poets have asked me to accompany them. I don’t think it works well, I don’t like poetry readings in general if I miss one word or phrase I’ve lost the whole thread. So I said sure I’d be glad to.
 
We walked down the dark aisle out of sight of the audience, up to waiting chairs before being announced. She pulled out a small pocket mirror and checked make up or did her lipstick, I forget which. It was a unique moment. Later on stage it was easy to play with her. She’s a pro. I was pleased with myself for not bugging her about The Blind Assassin, Alias Grace or The Robber Bride. I had questions I really wanted to ask but so many other people kept gushing around her I thought better for confidence she not know the piano player also is a crazy fan.
 
Jian Ghomeshi was there. I don’t think he liked me and I never liked him either. Had an imaginary electric buzzer in my hand waiting but he never shook it. Adrienne Clarkson wore a very cool delicately made batique jacket or dress, very folk art. Michael Ondaatje was there too. He liked my film for the song Separated, made me feel like I had made the right job choice in life.

star wars

Student: I’m going to see Star Wars tomorrow, #8 return of the Jedi, I haven’t seen this but I know everything about Star Wars.
 
Teacher: You know Akira Kurosawa?
 
Student: What is that?
 
Teacher: That is the guy whose film Star Wars is based on.
 
Student: Star Wars isn’t based on another film.
 
Teacher: Yes it is, its called The Hidden Fortress. It was made in the 1950s, black and white.
 
Student: I think you mean the light sabre fights because those are based on something from Japan.
 
Teacher: Yes like that movie.
 
Student: I don’t think you’re right.
 
Teacher: Google.
 
Student: I’ve been watching it since I was 8, I think I would know.
 
Teacher: What do you think of the music in Star Wars like when they are in a bar and there is a band playing.
 
Student: I think it is realistic.
 
Teacher: Based on what?
 
Student: Based on what music in the future would sound like.
 
Teacher: But we’ve never been to the future.
 
Student: Yes I know but I still think that is what it would sound like.
 
Teacher: What else do you know about the future?
 
Student: That we all die.
 
Teacher: Now we agree on something.
 
Student: What is that?
Teacher: We all die.
 
Student: Right, but first I’ll make a band and we’ll tour the world and I’ll make a lot of money and buy a house and help my parents.
 
Teacher: That shouldn’t be a problem.
 
Student: I’ve been working on this dream a long time.
 
Teacher: Good luck.
 
Student: Don’t need it.
 
Teacher: Why is that?
 
Student: I don’t believe in luck.
 
Teacher: What do you believe in?
Student: My dreams I believe in those.
Teacher: And if they don’t work out?
Student: Maybe I’ll be a teacher like you.

sometimes

Sometimes I’m totally distracted by someone in the audience.

Sometimes it’s tempting to do certain flourishes that audiences like even if I don’t.

Sometimes I thought it was great but the recording reveals it wasn’t.

Sometimes I tell the same intro as if I never told it before.

Sometimes I thought the performance wasn’t very good but the recording in fact was.

Sometimes I’m impressed with what happened despite no confirmation elsewhere.

Sometimes I don’t make a set list.

Sometimes I wish people were in the room when I’m getting somewhere unique while practicing.

Sometimes I think it is all in my head but no, that’s impossible.