Monthly Archives: October 2017

Mensch Award

The air in the study room is dense from microwaved meat. Now might be a good time to try playing the trumpet. Just cover your ears man, enjoy your food. Soon I’ll have my winter hat on. Soon the dead cat buried last summer will just be bones and fur. Soon we’ll join her. No time to exercise but I believe if Sherlock Holmes was here he would see it differently. Probably he would circle “no time” and add a question mark. Must be vigilant about keeping him away. The war to change society continues receiving lip service but it’s only as real as other apparent wars. Vegetarian Omnivore, Liberal Conservative, Apple PC, Heaven Hell, Coke Pepsi. Sherlock Holmes correctly circles apparent with a question mark. When I lived in the country took 90 minutes to get there from Toronto. A zillion people told me they would like to see it. Jumped on that curiosity and invited them over right then right now. Then they would say they had “no time” but maybe later. All but one time that is.

“Hi I wasn’t sure if I would get you or an answering machine. Heard you moved outside the city.”

“Ya it’s 45 minutes passed Hamilton.”

“What is it exactly that you bought?”

“It’s an old blacksmith shop.”

“So your making horse shoes?”

“Not exactly (both laugh) I have a studio set up. You want to come over? I could put you to work engineering.”

“Like right now?”


The Juno committee never acknowledged Gord Downie’s technique for pressing record and play, on my Tascam MXR 16. But me, Sherlock and now you know he should have been nominated in two categories. Best Impromptu and The 1995 Mensch Hall of Fame.


A friend who studied states of consciousness said “It’s amazing when you play piano that your attention is divided.”

“What’s the big deal about that?” I didn’t understand.

He clarified “You do more than one thing at once so your mind is in more than one place simultaneously.”

So what about people driving a car I thought? I think about this a lot. You can drive and not think about it and you can play music on auto pilot too. I admire the opposite very much. Driving and thinking about what you’re doing, playing music and being present for each note


at least trying to.



Been wondering if there is a literature out there about music altering power, stories in history, then or now, where musical works did something to power structures like governments or other. Like the stories people sent me last month about Leadbelly getting out of jail after writing music about the governor. Like Stevie Wonder writing MLK birthday song and eventually a holiday was established. Like Pussy Riot waking up Russia about it’s totalitarianism run amok. Are there writers or thinkers associated with this? Christopher Smalls maybe? Others?