The last day of camp is always a bittersweet. While you’re excited to go home, you have developed a new routine, made new friends, spread your belongings all over a new space and have a new favourite book store and café.
I want to name some names to thank the generous, skilled, thoughtful people who came to play music and chat with the new girl in town: Andrew MacKelvie (alto sax), Shauna DeGruchy (trombone), Steven Naylor (piano/multi-instruments), Anne Davison (voice/cello/songwriter), Geordie Haley (guitar) and Norm Adams (cello) who not only played a lovely session with me but organised this whole residency, the work space, my host family (Susan Hunter and John Siemens), checked in daily to make sure I was alive, well and had what I needed, had me over for dinner with his family and friends, and took me out to do balancing activities like walking in the park, eating pizza, etc. I got to have long inspiring conversations with Megan Thibault (piano), Jérôme Blais (composer), all the good people at the weekly meeting of the Creative Music Workshop led by Ross Burns and with multiple others at shows and by email when meeting in person was not possible in this limited time frame. Probably I’ve missed someone.
Tonight I get to play a set using the work I’ve been doing, on a variety show of other groups. It will be an improvised set based on a structure of elements I’ve enjoyed working with this week. The set-up is viola (DPA mic) and voice (SM58) both going into a 2-channel loop/reverse/octave pedal (Electro-harmonix 22500), analog reverb/delay (EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master), and out. There will be some free playing and some constructing of a piece/song using concepts and sounds that have become thematic this week. I’ll likely use some text – one of a bunch of mini-poems/phrases that have come up this week – which I’ll pick before going up.
Yesterday’s fears feel more like anticipation today. In adjusting my focus back out to include the rest of the world, things take a balanced place. We each do the work we can and apply it outwardly in the best way we know how. Maybe I can make something that carves out a moment of presence or beauty for someone, or at the very least, practices personal awareness so I can be more available for a vivid life.