By the time I was 11 or 12 yrs old I was alone at home. The older siblings had moved to Los Angeles or Toronto. Sometimes my parents would go out of town and I would be completely alone which meant one thing – I could prepare the piano.
Paper on top of the strings or sometimes thread between them. Then it became a synthesizer and/or a loose snare drum and still a piano! Nevertheless when my mother heard it she put me on notice, clearly I was trying to destroy the piano. I would have to wait until they were out of town to resume the experiment. My mother heads up a distinguished list of people who hold me responsible for any indigestion suffered by Kenny G.
Undoubtedly that list contains the elderly woman in Hamilton, who owned the grand piano I was playing in at a benefit for an animal rights group in 1999, who suddenly stopped the concert exclaiming “That’s enough. Stop that right now. That’s my piano.”
She restated her demand and some audience members began to boo her. The particular moment when she lost her shit corresponded to me leaning into the piano and plucking the strings aggressively and (I think) very musically, good thing I hadn’t yet revealed my mallets. Wayne Cass, who I had invited to improvise with me, started laughing which challenged my composure. I tried to accommodate her, I am after all my mother’s son, I understood how she felt. From the stage I spoke into a microphone and assured her I studied at an accredited university (these very techniques Madame) and would be pleased to stop the concert. In my best Mel Lastman voice Noooooo problem, goodnight Hamilton!
Playing the Pearl Company last January/ February was a pleasure (SEE REVIEW) . It takes unique people to believe in the work of artists even if they might make art that isn’t necessarily easy to understand. Gary and Barbara turned an old warehouse into a theatre space, a concert space and a romantic space for themselves floating in and around many other Pearl Company activities.
CFMU and OPRIG are helping out. Isn’t college radio/ community radio and environmental groups the best thing that Harper hasn’t yet shot his tyrannical lasers at? No doubt he will; his mandate – destroy all things good or inspiring. Laser on the Wheat Board! Laser on the United Nations! Laser on First Nations! Laser on Status of Women! Lasers on Parliament! Lasers on The Charter of Rights! Lasers on CBC! Lasers on Health Care (it’s coming)! What a fabulous time for Canadian sales of vomit medication. LISTEN to the advertisement on CFMU.