Two shows and the more factor.

July 23, 2012

Shows Friday and Saturday, gee, almost like a real musician.


We rehearsed every day last week. I had not been satisfied with my performance on the first show. It was sufficient, but I want awesome. I always want more… my curse, my engine, I always want more. More speed, more roads, more adventures, more love, more music, more connections, more mysteries, more answers…


On Thursday night Davidian came off of a gig around 10 or 11 PM. I had asked Melonai if she wanted to play with us on the Friday night show to sing harmonies and play percussions. She accepted. She was the one to propose a rehearsal at this somewhat late hour.

We played until the wee hours, and the “more” factor happened. I was now starting to reap the rewards of practice. We started to stretch the songs, find room to breathe, include improvisations and new sections. For me it is always vital. I get bored fast doing the same little formats over and over, so I write these epic songs, with complex parts, polyphonic and polyrhytmic bits where I sometimes have to sing completely against the tempos… that all works when you play-perform a lot. Then it’s fun, challenging, exciting.

When one has done what I have done for the last few months, which was dealing with a break up, moving, finishing artwork and tearing down the art studio, selling belongings, being on the street here and there, then travel 2000 km, the finessing of  descending chord progressions with a vocal counterpoint did not have a chance to take place.

When you are not ready, the feeling towards a performance can be more akin to terror than enjoyment or artfulness, especially if you witness yourself letting yourself down, making mistakes and falling apart. This is the place where self doubt can consume you alive.

So these last 2 weeks were a boot camp of sorts for finger calluses thickening, lyric remembering, head space creation, confidence building and it was also the time and place to develop musical affinity with Davidian, with whom I had played a few years ago but in a very different setting, in order to be able to deliver something of substance to the audiences coming to see us.

That rehearsal opened the doors of my musical mind.


Friday night came. The show was at Danielle Burke and Nadia Gaudet’s house in Winnipeg. We only had to go a short distance, so we all piled up in the car and drove over. It was the nicest home on the block, shining in the sun.


Nadia and Danielle’s house


After setting up the gear we were treated to dinner, a delicious vegetarian dish on rice fettuccine.


Nadia cooking, notice the pianist arms and hands, graceful, beautiful


the set up


The house started to fill, I retreated in a room and relaxed then grabbed the guitar and warmed up.


After a short introduction we got going. I decided to linger on the intro, get the fingers working, the nerves to shed their nervosity and took time to get the three of us connected.

The show went incredibly well. The audience and us agreed to skip the mid-show break. We took them on the odyssey. We soared and glided. We finished and were greeted with thunderous applause.

the audience


the audience to the right


Some of the comments were : “we were in a trance” “we loved it” “so original” and on and on.  Mission accomplished.  I’m so grateful.

I have been so far away from the music. I started to doubt it was still an option, it was still something I could pull off.  Sometimes playing open microphones and only short disconnected performances can do much more harm than good.  You lose yourself.  You can’t exist.  You just try to fit the bill and come out of it whole.

We stayed a bit, chatted with many people.  They are all fulfilled, happy.  The job was well done.


Saturday, July 21

3 PM we’re back in the car. We roll out of Winnipeg under an ever brilliant sun. Serge, the organizer had told us : “Get to the Petro Can, I’ll meet you there, it’s a bit complicated..”


waiting in St Laurent

We drove along the 6 and at some point Davidian said : “I think this is it.”


“Petro Can”


And there it was, tall and proud on the prairie, a very well attended Petro Canada gas station. We got drinks and sat outside at a picnic table waiting for Serge to get here.  I learned later that this is kind of the Central in St Laurent, there is a restaurant, a small store and everyone stops here.


When he arrived, we followed him to his home, where the concert was to take place. Down an unpaved road, the dust rises and covers everything. Within short moments we were there. We unpacked the van and got to meet Patricia and Joanne. We set up the gear, had dinner, then had a bit of down time to tune into our minds and prepare the performance.


following down the dusty road

Show time.

I love to play guitar. I always wished I could play like Hendrix or Jimi Page… I never quite succeeded to duplicate those players but I can play like me and I truly I love to play my guitar, it matters a huge deal to me that I play well and when I can’t play well, I am not very happy. Well this time I was happy.


I coaxed, banged, gently plucked, strummed the little Go guitar for all it’s worth. This guitar is amazing. It can be as big as a Les Paul plugged in a Marshall or as gentle as a mandolin and she gives everything she has. I can play the rock songs or the subtle forest grooves and it’s all there. She won’t go out of tune easily, she’ll take the heat and the cold on the back of the bike, she’s been dropped a couple of times, but she’s all there, all the time.


the two of us in action

I looked out at the audience and there is everything from people with their eyes closed tripping out, to people hooked onto my every words. Davidian is on fire. He is improvising like a mad electric guitar player on the flute, clarinet, soprano sax, his body sways, he is lost in his playing, following the mountainous roads some of these songs take without missing a step… I had told him the night before that I had noticed how he took more chances in rehearsal and how on the show he would be much more “polite” than in the rehearsal. Well for this show he’s laying it all down without holding anything back. At times I thought of Coltrane, Jethro Tull, Harmonium and Jean Pierre Rampal it was amazing.


Davidian on alto

Again the comments were very positive. I was exhausted. I had left every ounce of energy I had on the floor of that living room. Played and sang my heart out. Opened up musically like I had not done since the shows with Forrest in California. I was thinking how unbelievable it would be to have a trio of Forrest, Davidian and myself. We would set the stage on fire…


After the show we sat outside, the stars are shining above, the wind is creating the sound of a river through the leaves above us. There is a light show of thundershowers in the distance, we sit all around a camp fire. Telling jokes, talking of stars and constellations. I’m so tired, I can barely say anything or move but I feel very content.


During the show I had a thought among others. My life lately has been colored with this painful thread of my broken heart. At times still is so unbearable, I can’t explain. I get this feeling of being completely lost on the surface of the earth. An extreme loneliness, a huge sense of failure, all my fears of unworthiness realized. It hurts so much, my nerves fray all over my body, shooting pain goes from my solar plexus all over my body. It just floors me and my life seems meaningless. I don’t know how long that will last. But during the show there were moments where I could breathe freely, flow into the river of the melodies, singing, playing. I could be me. There is a reason for my being here.

I keep forgetting.  I had forgotten that.  That freedom.   A blessed gift of just being, of conducting these energies, coming from God knows where, and letting them exist for that micro instant and then disappear into the universe after they connect with the audience.  The blessed gift of music.  Of creation.  Of not hanging onto anything, the space of time between the time the toes leave the springboard to the time the tip of the fingers touch the water.
In the morning we headed out to the Pogo Cafe as there was no power. No power, no water, no cooking… so Serge, Patricia, Davidian and myself piled up into a van and drove to the local golf club where the restaurant was. It was kind of funny as we waited an inordinate amount of time for our breakfast, everyone was getting cranky because they were hungry, then the power went out, we almost left, the power came back…  and after another long wait got our food served.


Joanne, Patricia, Serge and Davidian


We cleaned our plates and Serge took us to Winnipeg Lake. As we drove by the shores I was noticing a lot of mud and messy stuff lying around… I said “this reminds me of the Gulf Coast, Louisiana… Katrina” Well, the place had been flooded… many lost their homes, cabins. Serge explained it kind of killed the spirit of the village. So much loss. The flood had been caused by sending too much water from the Saskatchewan river. Human error. There was a wave that defied all the man made walls and sand bags and that took with it the lives and dreams of the people.

this was wild. look at this guy and his rifle.. who does he look like?…. at the park’s entrance. We laughed it for a good moment.

But right now, the lake looks incredible. Huge, like an ocean, waves come in… the sand is golden and shines in the sun of a thousand sparkles. Davidian rolled up his pants and went in the water. I was standing on the beach… I am wearing jeans… did not bring bathing suit… the water looks so good… Patricia went calf deep and she was resplendent in the sun. I finally took my shoes off… walked it ankle deep, calf deep, knee deep… Then I could not hold back anymore. I plunged in, fully clothed, into the green, warm waters, into the waves, into this natural wonder. It was so good, I was laughing and then everyone jumped in, fully clothed, all laughing.


Patricia beautiful free soul…


Davidian and Serge


Yours truly




Oh life. You lay those wondrous gifts right in our hands. Simple gifts. And it is all up to us.

I looked up and a quintet of pelicans are flying in perfect formation, so graceful, it was breath taking. I watched them fly in unison, wings spread out, white against that blue sky. I thought of K. That he could be here and see this… I had that wish months ago. I had imagined that he was going to be here with me and would have shared moments like this. But no. It is not to be.  I stand in the water, wearing the belt he gave me, I forgot to take it off before plunging in and now I worry that I will have messed it up and that I would lose another thing that connects us still… what a fool…


Oh that these sudden burst of memories could stop coming and jag this wound over and over. That things could heal.

Oh life, what is it you are trying to teach me that I obviously am not learning?


We drove back to Winnipeg, cleansed by lake water, pure air and the flight of pelicans. I made new friends, felt the grail of music and threw myself with abandon into the green water. Two more shows this week. I hope to give all I got again.  That is how I can exist, just more, give more, feel it all, be more….


drenched and happy


12 Responses to “Two shows and the more factor.”

  1. Patricia B Says:

    wow…what a journey! I am glad we cross path.
    Such a powerful encouter :)))

  2. Danielle, merci de ta générosité artistique. J’ai beaucoup apprécié le spectacle samedi, surtout la chanson de l’araignée. Et que dire de Davidian autre que je suis content qu’il a rempli ma maison de son énergie. Vous avez joué dans le coin où se trouvait, il y a plusieurs années, le piano avec lequel j’ai grandi. Le coin vibre encore pendant que j’écris ces mots.

    Je parlais justement à Patricia et je lui disais que je me sentais propre spirituellement après tout le temps que j’ai passé au lac cette fin de semaine. Je suis ravi de savoir que l’esprit doux de notre cher lac Manitoba a pu te toucher aussi.


    • Bonjour Serge, je te retourne le compliment : merci de ta générosité, merci de nous avoir si bien reçus. Quelle belle histoire que celle du piano… wow.

      On va certainement essayer de repasser avant que je prenne la route à nouveau pour faire le plein d’énergie au lac…

      Merci encore pour tout.

  3. Flip Says:

    Bring Davidian back to LA with you… I am sure Forrest won’t mind.
    Did you post your latest performance on YouTube?
    We talk about you at the Klatch

    • we’re talking about it! If I could get good paying shows he’s on! No Youtube stuff yet, I filmed something but have not seen it yet. I miss you all. If the Gods are with me, i’ll visit in August… cross your fingers

  4. David Walker Says:

    This is more like it Danielle, re-united with your muse.

  5. Erikakw Says:

    I like all the pictures, I like you! I am going to visit Galiano Island this weekend. Where are you now, I have to take time to read this post, but right now I have to go study at the library for 2nd to last exam. I have passed five bend tests and have 8 more to go, geez now I am a welder and there is a Humming bird on my door at 3091 Chatham St, on the edge of a ledge. I received an invitation from, look her up…for the BC Sculptors Society this weekend, I imagine David Walker and others will be there. Unfortunately I will not attend but hope to see her work soon. Working hard at all things and its going well maybe you will come back here before you head south…..

    yours e

    • girl I’m so glad to hear from you and I’m so proud of your achievements. You will shine on those exams, Yes I am so, so, so proud of you. You are a welder!!!! how cool is that!!! You are carving your path, brave and fragile, true warrior. follow your knowingness. I love you so much.

  6. Charlotte Says:

    I am so thinking about California lately! I am very happy for you that you have re found your musical inspiration and some like minded souls to play with! Hugs and Kisses! : )

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