Monday, October 17, 2005


It's cold! Thank god. I've been waiting for the fall to arrive since I had my first tantalising touch of cool at the end of August in Edmonton (where I now notice the weather is going down to -1 this week) and I've been dying for it arrive ever since... and now there are storms and rain and cold forcast for later this week so finally we can break out fall sweaters... There's no real winter in Paris, just months of cool, grey wet weather, but for a taste of cold I'll head down to Burgundy where it drops to -12 regularly. And since I haven't yet insulated the living room I'm often treated to the odd sensation of a cool snowfall sneaking through the roof tiles and falling on my back while the front of me is facing the roaring fire..

I have my head deep in music for both the Brel show coming up in three weeks and for the Standards that I'm working on for early december. The Brel is coming along now, everyone is over the mid rehearsal panic attack ("Ahhhhh! It'll never be ready on time!!!" "How can anyone move and sing at the same time!!!" Ahhhh!") and now we're drifting into getting things into place. The songs are only growing on me... apart from the ever maudlin 'Fanette'.... For the jazz material I'm redeveloping all my calluses after years of being away from the Guitar. It's a great pleasure to be away from working with playback on the tour this summer. It was a necessity from all the travel, but it has nothing to do with real music.

Trying not to read too much of the news right now... which actually means that I'm fixated on the damn news: Deadly pandemics, rogue nuclear arsenals, terrorists under every rock and behind every tree.... at least Canada and France pushed the Cultural Diversity resolution through the UN... perhaps it'll bear fruit in a few years with a little less Jennifer Aniston in the world... and a few more local heroes

Monday, October 10, 2005

Mid October in Paris. Gorgeous late warm days.

We're into the final weeks of rehearsals with the Brel and to be honest we're struggling a bit with some of the choreography that Tracy's giving us: it's not that it's particularly hard, just that the levels of dance training are pretty varied in the cast and Tracy gives very detailed moves. A lot of word painting with gestures and subtle shifts of moves for every verse of a song. I think it will all come together, however we need to run the pieces over and over and over and there's not a lot of rehearsal time left where the whole company is there....

I'm more and more impressed with the solos that I'm singing.... OK, with most of them.... as usual the songs like Amsterdam ( a Tom Waits like text of the bawdy, drinking, dying, whoring Sailors in Amsterdam) or Next (a young soldier losing his virginity in an Army Whorehouse - "it is his voice that I will forever hear, Next! Next! It is a voice of whiskey and of corpses. It is the voice of nations, it is the thick voice of blood"), those songs I find amazing... the songs like Fanette (boy loves pretty girl on beach... girl falls in love with someone else... boy can't get over it) I honestly find pretty dull... I'm sure they will start to grow on me, but at the moment I'm kind of wading through them...

I just came back from some time at the house in Burgundy. The quince tree was ripe so now a box of incredibly fragrant quinces are sitting in the living room and perfuming the whole house. Bizarre and delicious fruits...