Yesterday was a great day in terms of getting the chance to pop over to my buddy SHANE NORRiS’ place and for the first time jam with yet another very talented musician living in Ottawa.
From what I understand SHANE does not necessarily play live, but his interest in music is rooted in years of practice. Just entering his warm and homey apartment, I was giddy at the sight of the many instruments he began to bring out and share with me like two kids after school. He seemed eager to share all of his ‘toys’ with me – almost like a variety of the coolest G.I. Joe’s (or Barbie’s) in the whole neighborhood. SHANE has not one, but two beautiful guitars, a mandolin, a fiddle and a banjo as well – and had I any ability to play these instruments SHANE would most certainly have let me – but alas, all I could do was stare, wide-eyed at his beautiful instruments. I’ve known SHANE for years, but never to this capacity that I understood his love for music. As well I was able to quickly determine, by the sounds of the music coming from his record player and the quick fingers he displayed on his banjo – that he is VERY talented. Passionate.
I should also mention that I met him years ago when I was a barista working at a coffee shop – but since then we’ve become more familiar outside of that setting. This was the first time I’d gotten the chance to really sit down and talk to him – and I must say I’m fairly intrigued by his character; strong, intelligent as well as gracious and kind. His lovely and equally kind female friend KATRiNA was also present – adding to the pop-a-squat nature of our jam session, and she was also kind enough to snap several very beautiful shots of our time to commemorate the moment. Thanks for that KATRiNA! Needless to say it was easy to kick back for a spell and enjoy the time.
Stories and toys aside – my mission when heading over to SHANE’S was to take him up on his offer to jam together, not necessarlily for any particular reason per se, although I did have a song in mind that I wanted his take on, in terms of fleshing it out and helping me to perhaps draw more. And draw more we did -
My friend CLAUDE MARQUiS (of THE PEPTiDES) generously provided me with a couple of his original tunes to, at the very least, play around with and attempt to try on for my own size. To say that I’m honored is in truth an understatement – as beyond having on-line fans request numerous country songs for me to play – I’d never had an actual song-writer allow me to interpret their song, much less invite me to do so. Especially a song like SAiLOR SONG from THE PEPTiDES 2006 i’M A SPY album. SAiLOR SONG is a very beautiful, introspective song – and because of its unique composition, I consider it to be very much a ‘singer’s song’ in the truest sense of the word. Meaning, for me – I have a style of singing that I’m very accustomed to, and although I have yet the words to define what I mean by that exactly – what I know is that SAiLOR SONG has provided me with a bigger vocal challenge than I’ve ever experienced, and I mean this in the best possible sense. I’m looking for a challenge, and in this way I am very much enjoying the work being put into it. Singing it myself I have visions of ribbons flowing gently in the wind… this may sound funny but this is the best way I can articulate how it feels to sing it – I sing like the ribbon blowing in the breeze because it feels like a natural essence of the song.
Anyways – I can sing SAiLOR SONG in an a Capella version that has at least allowed me a platform to begin getting comfortable with my own stylization – however I wanted to share this with SHANE as an opportunity to see what another musician could tease out of it with me, or see within its potential – without the pressure to necessarily do anything with it (i.e., record it/play it live etc). Of course, SHANE and I exchanged many songs through out the day – him taking turns at busting into his original stuff, and myself likewise – but then turning our attention to SAiLOR SONG. The first really encouraging thing was when the lovely KATRiNA, who also fueled the enthusiasm with her glee – indicated that she really thought SAiLOR SONG was a very fitting and complementary song for my particular style of singing. Funny but it really did encourage me to stick with it and wear it like a comfortable pair of jeans – as opposed to a itchy, ill-fitting angora sweater.
All in all – the day was very well-spent. I left that cozy apartment well fed and slightly high on the given results. SHANE and I will continue connect and with any luck, we can bring something special to SAiLOR SONG. I’m certainly up for the challenge.