Monthly Archives: August 2017


In the dream I re-entered the house where all the activity was for the tour and didn’t see anyone when suddenly a 250 lb tiger approached me. At first I thought it was a joke, two people inside a huge animal costume until it jumped in the air and the thud of its weight and the way it’s eyes seemed to be breathing I realized it was real and unamused. Unlikely I can spar with a killing expert plus when I was eleven I never finished my Judo training with Tug Wilson. I whispered Grant’s name a little urgently.
He was in the next room on the phone confirming a show for Jerry Jerry at the opera house in Ashcroft, British Columbia. The place that was run by a charming guy named Martin who in a previous life was with the Hare Krishnas in Los Angeles trying to turn people on who he approached in airports. I played there the year before and stayed up a long while fascinated by Martin’s life stories. BC always the centre of magical touring. No surprise there was a tiger in my booking agent’s kitchen. A few years earlier the first time we played the Sunshine Coast, when we disembarked from the ferry we encountered large handwritten signs put up on telephone poles by Jamie, the promoter. These signs were brief encouragements every 3 or 4 kilometres “Welcome Bob”, “This way Bob”, “Almost there, Bob”.
Grant entered oblivious about the tiger. Wanted to know if I would play Victoria. I pointed at the tiger and he looked annoyed at me.
“Are you going to play Steamers or what?” I changed the subject.
“What do you think of comments?” He rolled his eyes like it didn’t mean anything. “But they missed the point”. He paused a long time and then smiled,
“About being jaded and the subway?”
“Yes” I said.
“Ok look, I don’t like trying to explain this because most people can’t follow it plus you’re not even paying me for this information but here’s the thing – people are like machines on auto pilot and if you try to change them you’re just like them. To get angry or upset when someone is jumping up and down angry and upset with you, that’s pointless. They just want to hear their own voice bragging about what kind of guy they are. As if it was something other than a mechanical experience – so don’t be the same, now where’s the tiger?” I looked around didn’t see it.
“How did you do that? Where is it?”
“We’re good for Steamers?”
“Yes sure but where’s the tiger?”
“I dunno it was your tiger not mine.”


Subway, Toronto, rush hour, for a moment there’s one empty seat. Man with cane approaches but millennial takes it first and keeps her eyes down convenient way to not acknowledge old man. Now she’s ready with headphones to play time killing games between stations.
More than one person, over the years, remarks that they hope I don’t get jaded by the bullshit in the music industry. They fear I’m innocent. Hardly. Appearing naive isn’t necessarily being naive. Could be just a way to make rigid power structures feel awkward. There was a character in The World According To Garp who thought more change gets done in the world through embarrassment than trying to win anyone’s respect.
With a loud voice someone in front of millennial offers to hold the old guy’s grocery bag and she hears it and looks up and sees other people viewing her. Then she gets up and offers him the seat.

Rejection letter

Rejection letter came today, so it goes.

Project Title (maximum 15 words)

10 String Quartets and An Accordion Walk Into a Bar

TOTAL AMOUNT you are requesting from the OAC


Tell us about your (or your group’s) overall artistic work, history and achievements. What is important to you in your work (cultural influences, your identity, geography, community, language, etc.) and why? If you identify with one or more of OAC’s priority groups, or if your ad hoc group/collective or organization is mandated to serve one or more of OAC’s priority groups, you may choose to refer to this here. (Maximum 300 words)

My overall artistic work is lengthy the details better understood by reviewing my Wikipedia [] but pertaining to here and now my capacity to realize classical compositions has not yet been achieved with real people only with sampled instruments. I’ve won Junos, Geminis and Lifetime achievement awards but the greater reward would be realizing the work and this body of compositions feels like a novel I’ve spent a lifetime trying to finish and publish. What’s important to me in my work is authenticity and blending modern with old – dissonant with melodic and the age old question why is something considered beautiful that someone else considers ugly?

What are you planning to do, and what do you want to achieve with this project? (Maximum 425 words)

I want to rehearse and record these 10 pieces with the 4 members of the MSQ and later invite film colleagues to create cinematic interpretations before organizing a national tour. Through this we would achieve making a powerful performance of sight and sound that inspires awe as well as musical appreciation. In theory each piece ranges between 3 to 9 minutes – the durations might change in rehearsal.

HOW will this project contribute to your development? (maximum 200 words)

These pieces are done with a computer utilizing samples but ultimately that’s artificial. Many hopeful composers are impeded from realizing their goals due to economic realities and nothing can facilitate achieving the real target like real people, real rehearsal and real performance.