3 gigs are better than none.

I thought I’d write a blog, since the sound on my computer is mysteriously not working and that pretty much rules out any Youtube adventures.

We played some music tonight for a “Rock Eucharist” at a church here in Toronto where they feature the music of artists who aren’t necessarily in the “Christian” genre. We got invited to play because of our reputation for playing the beautiful music of Bruce Cockburn. Tonight’s Eucharist featured his songs entirely.

I am eager to play again at Church of the Redeemer because of it’s full and complimentary sound. Even with only one house speaker we were able to create a lush and dynamic sound in the room.

Next week we are intending to get back to the drawing board and begin focusing our efforts on some new material. I personally feel like we have, not only new tunes to work on but older tunes to revisit and possibly rearrange.

The other two shows this week were also great, the first was opening for Winnipeg’s; The Duhks. It was a great honor to share the stage with such an accomplished band. It was one of the best show I’ve seen in a long time. The Duhks energy, spirit, and groove uplift their audiences to great heights. I wish they would play Toronto more often.

Our Sage West gig was a great and intimate experience as well, where as the featured act for the night, we explored a lot of older material that we haven’t played for some time. We also played some of the Cockburn material we’ve been working on. We hope to return to Sage West soon, the food and the vibe there are fantastic.

over and out,

H

As long as there are birds and NOT fighter jets flying overhead!

The last few days in TO have been disorienting to say the least. The EX is happening, and these fighter planes have been flying over the city polluting our ears with unbelievably intense sounds that don’t belong in the world.

It makes me think for a moment about people who hear these sounds but then get a bomb dropped on them.

It makes me think about the visceral power of sound, and its impact upon us.

It makes me think about my love for birds and how I long for a time when their beauty would freely grace the sky; when the artificial birds that wage war and are fueled by war no longer have free passage above, clouding our perceptions and deafening our ears.

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We can learn from the beauty of a bird in flight…….. whether it’s a red tailed hawk soaring high above, gliding over currents of air, a chickadee making more calculated swoops towards a feeder singing its familiar song, a symphony of northern gannets turning into projectiles and diving head first into the ocean from heights of 50 feet. These are the pieces of nature which belong in the air, not pieces of steel powered by millions of tons of former life.

I long for the sounds of birds singing, filling the air with engaging, improvised music, and doing it with such ease. I’m in awe. The sound of the planes reminds me of how far removed we’ve become from this natural wonder. Somehow humans have managed to take the beauty of birds and flight and turn it into a weapon of destruction. What a strange choice to make. I would much rather let the song of a bird permeate my consciousness and imagine its ease of flight as I sit down to write a song, or play or improvise.

Knowing that birds still roam the sky gives me great comfort; seeing a red tailed hawk flying over the 401 scares me, because it makes me realize this bird has lost its home. It is searching, juxtaposed with a self destructive culture that no longer has the eyes or ears to recognize its existence. Maybe its home was swallowed up by an obese sub division, feeding on the greed of a few. Bulldozers tore down the trees where it used to perch; the rivers its ancestors knew have long since been diverted, dammed up, or built over. Maybe somewhere in the depths of memory it still knows that a river flows beneath the road and it hears the call of this river, the sound of flowing water muffled by concrete, pavement, consumerism and greed.

I think we all do, and birds can help us to remember. If we watch and listen they can tell us a lot. Those damn planes are making it really hard though and they are just an over exaggerated example of the constant chatter that takes so much away.

I can only hope to be a lucky enough to channel some of this beauty and to find a trace of memory when I write a song.

Take a minute to watch a bird and clear your head.

Michael.