I enjoy when life kisses you with an unexpected surprise. I returned from Ottawa on Mother’s Day to a slew of emails I intend on catching up on (trust me I will!); in amongst these emails was a notification from Reverbnation indicating my music currently holds the #2 spot on the Ottawa Folk/Alt-Country charts.
It reminds of a past where I never had the courage to extend himself in any capacity, much less in a way that could subject me to a lot of criticism. I was a dreamer for sure, but I could never bring myself to fully share. Our value is never, or should never be based on something outside of ourselves, like accolades or awards – yet there is something to be said for the feeling you derive from discovering that you can face your fears; that its ok to celebrate surprising yourself from time to time.
Here’s to surprising even ourselves!
Check out the profile below at www.reverbnation.com for an inside look & thank you to those who are tuning in as I go along.
In this day & age, written communication is often lost on us; with just the flick of our fingers we can text our friend in India, log online on our friends iPhone over a coffee date so they can show us the pic of that friend of a friend, of a friend… I know I’m not that old but I recall when I was a teenager & my cousin Shannon from Edmonton & I would write letters to each other; pages & pages, school pics & stickers – & I would be waiting for those moments mom would come home with the pile of mail & I would anticipate getting that reply letter. It was similar in my later teens when my Uncle Sterling would send me letters & gift packages containing wonderful movies & magazines one could only find in the big city. After all – I grew up in Northern Manitoba; & there was not a lot going on up here, or so it always felt in teenage angst. That’s why these letters from cousin Shannon & Uncle Sterling meant so much; it felt like an honour someone would take that special time to communicate something to you – & I always loved being able to sit down & respond in a thought out manner.
Fast forward to this strange & full-circle time of being back home in Flin Flon to work this year; yes times have changed & I now have that iPhone to stay in better contact with the outside world as it is – but I still have a great appreciation for the few cards, letters, gift packages & photos loved ones have very thoughtfully sent to me in this time.
Most recently – I came home from work to find this little golden package awaiting me; my name written with such character & creativity. Glancing over to the return address I read R.A.B. Perch / A. Peck of Ottawa, Ontario. Of course I recognized the name immediately, thanks to Facebook where someone with a horrible memory for names like me can be reminded of people’s full or alias names each time they log online. The R in R.A.B. stands for Robert, this I knew; & although Robert is not necessarily someone I have spent a great deal of time with in the physical sense – I have certainly become more acquainted with him via the social networking of Facebook. Truth be told – I met Robert years ago, back in the days I frequented The Lookout bar on Wednesdays for Karaoke night; & we’re talking 7-8 years ago. We’d both spend social nights there & of course I found Robert to be a sweet & polite guy – but I never would have known that we’d become acquainted enough over Facebook in the years to come that he’d be inspired to send me this care package up North. Inside this golden parcel was a sweetly written card & a ‘mixed’ cd of music by an artist he felt inclined to share with me; a fine singer by the name of Sarah Jaffe. of which he stated “I know how important music is to you, and I wanted to share some of my discoveries with you. I hope you enjoy my selections and that one or two inspire you.”
I just have to say – THANK YOU ROBERT A.B. PERCH for being the kind & thoughtful man you are; this package came at just the right time for me; as did this beautiful music for which I have been listening to all through my weekend. Indeed I am inspired & more so, touched because of your gesture. It reminds me that people can surprise you with their consideration in life; & that thoughtful little things like a hand written letter can brighten your day more than the quickest of texts. You are a gentleman & it is certainly not lost on me.
Five Easy Pieces are gearing up for a May 18th show @ the Saint George Ukrainian Orthodox Church (83 Church St), in which they’ll be opening for Vancouver-based indie band Abramson Singers. Tickets are available at Orange Toad on Main St ($15).
Abramson Singers have a beautiful sound; I spent hours just checking them out on youtube. Listen ‘How To Love A Drowning Man’ below & fall in love yourself.
Check out the poster below for details; for further information on Abramson Singers please go to www.leahabramson.com .
I remember meeting my friend CHARLOTTE ROSS like it was yesterday; although in actuality it was in grade four at the age of 9. For many of us – these early childhood friendships either wither and fade, or they can sustain a lifetime; Charlotte is one of those rare friends whom time and distance won’t ever change. I pent last night with Char, along with DOUG & ANN. ANN is actually Charlotte’s mom, so in many ways I grew up with Ann as a second mom. I have countless stories; wouldn’t know where to begin in terms of sharing them.
I admire for her strength of character, and her passion for life. She was in a lot of ways my sister, my protecter growing up. She has lived in Australia for over 10 years and I remain connected to her.
Thank you for Charlotte in my life. Flin Flon has no shortage of blessings and experiences; that I was able to be here for this particular trip of hers means a lot (I’m not always able to be in Flin Flon during her trips home to Canada). We have been afforded more time together on this trip than we have in a while.
Below are a few photos I took of her, and additional pics from old vintage CiRCUS & CREEM magazines that Doug pulled out of his personal vaults. To top it all off, Doug, Ann & I pulled out the instruments for the first time in their new digs (they no longer live in the little log cabin, and have instead traded it for what will be their retirement home) , breaking their new home’s musical cherry so to speak (here I go again with the sexual metaphors!). It was great to share in music for Charlotte; next weekend we’ll do it all over again when we gather for another sleepover party which will possibly include the other two easy pieces (Chad & Derek) for a musical extravaganza!
There is a light at the end of the tunnel as DARREN HOLMES & I begin to wrap up a lot of the recordings for our project ‘TiNY ARMY: THE D. HOLMES SESSiONS’. Just only a few weeks ago he & I celebrated one year anniversary of this inspired collaboration; as those who have been following can attest, its been a steady process.
I’m most thankful to D for the countless hours he continues to put into these special recordings of ours. It’s a labour of our mutual love for music, expression & the various talents of the ‘tiny army’ of folks who are involved, in whatever capacity; be it as songwriters, singers, musicians, creative go-to’s – the contributions are amazing & I could’t be more thrilled to see what we have been able to accomplish in a years time. A lot of fond memories, a lot of coffee. :-)
While we are nearing the end of a particular chapter in this work, next up we finesse what we have & begin thinking about what we do with this collection, how we go about introducing the world to it & in what fashion. It will continue to involve our creativity & commitment, but this is something we are inspired to see through, so while I can’t confirm when ‘TiNY ARMY‘ will see the light of day, I do know its coming. Stay tuned…. & thank you all for your continued support.
Had some back-to-back gigs this past week here in Flin Flon; it was a busy Christmas holiday & a lot of fun creatively. First, FIVE EASY PiECES (minus one easy piece, our friend CHAD PABiANEK, who was sick with a flu) played in front of a crowd of folks @ NORVA CENTRE, the Northern Visual Arts Centre. Christmas cheer was the goal of the night – & the event was called ‘HOME FOR THE HOLiDAYS: A NiGHT OF MUSIC w/ DOUG & ANN & FRiENDS. Several folks got up to sing.
Next up, the following morning, I accompanied DOUG & ANN to THE ORANGE TOAD again, to their monthly Saturday gig. From about 2-4 we played a couple of sets of originals & covers, which again was a lot of fun. BIG thanks to the folks who helped set us up & for DOUG & ANN for giving me the opportunity to join them.
A few weeks back or so, FiVE EASY PiECES got up in front of a crowd of about 40 people or so, to sing @ JOHNNY’S SOCiAL CLUB. In fact, we were the first musical act to play in front of a crowd at this joint, & the night was certainly a lot of fun in terms of getting to sing & perform. Thanks to the folks who organized this & invited us to play; chances are good that we’ll get to play this venue at least once more in the next couple of months.
VERY BiG THANKS to ORANGE TOAD & the girls who worked so hard last night; I can say that all of us in FiVE EASY PiECES appreciated the fun & the chance to play this venue. Growing up here we did not have an ORANGE TOAD; but its a very special place to have now.
FiVE EASY PiECES assembled rather organically within the past 4 months, & getting to play for people is just an added bonus. I had a great time, with my musical friends & also getting to see so many people out.
I inevitably took an array of photos last night to cement my memory; so below I have selected some to share.
So I’m learning to play the autoharp, thanks to Doug for introducing it to me at our weekly jam/rehearsals. I can’t explain why, but I’ve always loved the sweet sound of this instrument; back to my days of listening to THE CARTER FAMiLY & MOTHER MAYBELLE play so so beautifully. Last night FiVE EASY PiECES got together & worked out several new (& old ) tunes to add to our repertoire, including ‘Wildwood Flower’, allowing me the perfect opportunity to get the hang of the autoharp while singing the classic tune. Check out some images from last nights music fest.