today in Ottawa

February 25, 2012

snow, let it snow

I looked out the window around noon and it was just this inocuous light snow flitting in the air.  By 3 PM I lifted my gaze from the computer screen and it was practically a white out.  The city scape was gone.  I went out a bit later to take it all in.

 

Huddling together

 

church, trees and pedestrian

 

winter baby blues

 

everything keeps on going no matter what

 

and the advertisers know what you wish for

 

twins in white robes

 

winter abstract from the bus shelter

 

everything changes under the snow, the mundane becomes glorious

 

the knit bombers at work...

 

crossing the street at rush hour

 

Bank street

 

winter tree de light

 

perfect show if it was for tonight...

 

snow shadow

 

While the snow is still fresh is the time to capture the magic.  Tomorrow it will be slush and puddles and dirty wetness all around but right now it’s fairytailish.

February 21, 2012

Monday was a brilliant day in Ottawa, I went on a 7KM walk following the Rideau Canal and returning downtown via Bank Street.  No one was skating on the Canal, It’s just been too warm these days, warmth for which I am grateful.   The days have seriously lengthened, we’re getting close to the end of that tunnel called winter.  I left home at 4:05 which would have been darkness only a few weeks ago.

I went down Metcalfe, turned right when I hit the parliament building, then down to the Canal.  I’ve been feeling this need to walk, walk, walk, lately.  I don’t recall spending so much time indoors and not being physically active.  I followed the canal for a little over 3 KM as the sun was slowly sliding down the western end of the sky

 


 

There is a short window of time, when the sun hits the horizon, when the light is just amazing and brings the scenery to life quite dramatically.

On my way back I landed at Bridgehead coffee… if you come to Ottawa you MUST try their espresso.  I am a complete addict…

Saturday I played my first “real” show in Ottawa.  I was invited to play at the Winterlude for a half hour set at 7:30 PM.  I played in a bubble, that was a first too.  I was really looking forward to the experience and it was great. I mean, there is nothing like getting good sound, good support and play an actual show.  Here’s what it looked like :

the MC presenting me...

 

in blue

 

in purple

 

closer...

 

farther...

 

from the eyes of a child

 

Afterwards we went to celebrate a birthday at a pub down the street.  It was a pretty perfect night.  And the long week end went by, sunshine, music, good cheers and all.

These days I am working on putting together a tour for next summer.  I have dates in Vancouver and Winnipeg, I need to book Alberta, Saskatchewan and Northern Ontario.  I am planning to take the bike, the Go guitar and minimalist gear and present the Aventuriere Accidentelle show (accidental adventuress)  I never really got a chance to present this music and since my new album is nowhere near ready at this point I don’t want to just sit around and the time seemed right.

I am trying to book things in French communities but I will do whatever gig comes my way, in larger cities I can hire side players to play bigger shows and on the Canadian highways, it will likely be a solo act.

So if you think you could get 10 to 20 friends in your home, I could do a house concert.  I come to play in your home, we can share the music, the fun and a night with friends.  In return I would get a minimum donation per guest and accomodations for the night.

It could be the motorcycle club, the neighbors, the French community, you get the idea.   If you think you can get 10-20 people or more to come for a special evening let me know, I will be on the road between the end of May and end of July.
well that is it for now, hugs and talk to you soon.

 

traces in the snow

 

bicycles in the snow

 

sidewalks in the snow

 

plants under snow

 

Bank Street under snow

 

riding in the snow

 

another day, another bike, more snow

evening home in the snow

 

side street in the snow

 

view of the snow from my window

 

ice too, this is the iced tree

 

iced wild flowers

 

iced signs

 

icemerizing

 

b-ice-ycle

 

icy road

 

ice sculptor

 

ice horse

 

show in the ice, inside a bubble

 

good use of ice

 

ottawa in winter

 

these cover December, January and a little February.  Winter is a strange thing, awful but awesome in it’s magnitude of extremes.  I had forgotten winter.  The cold, I still can’t bear it, but there is indeed wonder in the frozen lattitudes.  A thousand shades of white to gray to blue poetry.

Hello, hello my friends

February 6, 2012

It’s been a long time. Life dictates. I apologize for the silence.

wanna ride?

I now have spent 6 months in Ottawa, I saw the end of summer, fall and now winter. A winter I had fully, completely, totally forgotten about. It was a bit of a roller coaster ride where I went from wonder to anger, and at times, getting the feeling of being so incredibly far away from anything remotely close to something I’d call home. At the same time it exposed some things in my own world that I was forced face or otherwise feel miserable for what seemed like eternity.

'Twas a cold winter night

I was confronted with the question : how to be at peace?

The last year was an exercise in frustrations.  I was turned around, turned back, denied and I tried to be graceful about it.  To accept, to see the blessings…  Sometimes I did well.  Some other times I just completely faltered.

During my travels, my Peace was pretty much a constant. A sliding scale of wonderment, excitement, meditative periods, challenges that strengthened me.  On a bike you are in the Now, in the Now you are at Peace. That “Nowness” made me infinitely happy. It made me feel I could die right there and all was right.

To witness the land unfold before one’s wheel, this impossibly beautiful earth with its sunsets, full moons, starry nights, flowers, scents, winds, blasting sun on the desert sands, impossible greens on the spring hills… That gave me peace, contentment, a sense of absolute, a sense of being a fiber in this rich fabric not more or less important than other fibers a sense of infinity.

 

gears

So how do you recapture infinity from the vantage point of an apartment window at the 11th floor of a building in downtown Ottawa?  Was I doomed to be living forever in regret, in the past, to long to be back on those roads and not finding my way to them?

“It’s all illusion.  It is what you make of it”

What I make of it.

Responsibility.

So, now what?   I’ve been practicing my guitar a lot. . It’s ground zero at times because I am pushing myself hard, challenging myself, my skill level.  I have been jumping into new material, new exercises and the stuff is humblingly tough.  But I am improving and that’s what matters.  In a manner of speaking I am learning more vocabulary, which will make me better at expressing through the music.

I’ve also had meetings with a couple of different music industry people, just to get a different perspective. But mainly, what I am starting to get is a sense of how I want to do this. My main thing has always been that I want to play, create, perform.

hot to cool

I am feeling an inspiration. I have a bit of a plan, but of late, when I have plans they get blown to smithereens so I don’t want to put too much intensity in them. I am planning to get a busking license, to play in the Ottawa Market. If there is a thing that this trip-adventure taught me about myself,  it is that I need to just do and be what I am.  Busking is in some ways the purest way of being a musician and being yourself.  I used to be terrified of the idea alone.  Now I think it is going to be essential to do that.

I would like to find myself  on a tour to Vancouver this summer, a solo motorcycle tour to perform my French album Aventuriere Accidentelle to the French communities across the country.  I’m imagining this with visual projections of images of travel and possibly a narrated track of the story.  So I wouldn’t have to talk too much to explain what is going on.

Another one of the inspirations I am starting to feel is to try and prepare to go overseas for a motorcycle-music tour. I’m dreaming of Europe, Norway, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Russia if that was ever possible. To go there and perform but also learn and discover new music. Gather all sorts of data, photos, adventures, wind and full moons… Mountains, new faces, humanity, eternity… Imagine what could come out of that… It’s possible. Anything is possible,

“It’s what you make of it.”

It is how far, how much, one is willing to dream up.

But even if none of that happens, I am right now on the right road.  I am finding the Now, from the 11th floor, without the bike, which is sleeping in for the winter.  It’s a constant process.  Reminding myself to be, to breathe.  To open my eyes.  Be amazed at all this crazy mosaic of a life in the 21st Century on planet earth.

In the mean time, Leo stays warm with Turkish hand made socks