Friday, July 28, 2006

The Return

September is the 'Rentree' in Paris: everyone returns from their long summer holidays tanned and relaxed and ready to launch themselves into a new season. And I think perhaps it's a good time to get restarted recording the ups and downs of what's up and down with me.

For us..,the summer never seems to be the long holiday at the Beach that it appears to be for most of the French population... I've been working on a new show, re-recording tracks in my home studio, doing work on the house. However I did manage to get almost two weeks of that work done at our Barn in Burgundy (from whence comes the name of my company 'Big Empty Barn Productions'. See above...)

I feel like I'm racing to keep up with the plans for the fall and early spring. I'm presenting my one-man show 'Whiskey Bars', based around the songs of Kurt Weill, at the Ontario Theatre Conference. Then I'll be staying in Toronto for a while to begin work on an adaptation of Lisa Pasold's award winning book 'A Bad Year for Journalists'. I probably won't be back in Paris till the beginning of January. However, in mid-october I'll be doing a first concert of the jazz and pop standards that I've been working on for a while and then in February doing a recording of the same pieces.

So... I'm either glued to the computer (editing music and working on ideas for this adaptation), or I'm glued into a rehearsal space (trying to get the new show together), or I'm on the metro travelling around Paris to see or rehearse with musicians. Days speed by in a blur of different interior spaces. The musicians are proving a problem (don't they always...) and it's a typical problem... those that are good are busy... and those that aren't good... well, I don't want to work with them. It's finding the thin line of people who are great players and can communicate what they want, while listening to what I want... and are probably just at a stage in their careers where they have some time to devote to a new project. I'm sure if I had the budget of a big label I could just pay the most expensive players to turn up and work... but I don't.. so I have to pay people decent wages to turn up and do a great job... It's all a bit of a juggling match.

If I'm not in those interior spaces then I'm at the Gym trying to get rid of my Burgundy stomach... At the town nearest to our Barn there is a bakery that serves what I will swear is the best french bread I have ever tasted... they bake it fresh three times a day, so you can normally pick it up still warm, plus, there is a local butter that is simply ambrosia, plus there is a local dark organic honey that tastes like nothing I've ever eaten before... Put those all together and there goes my morning and there goes my waistline... However, every single pound was worth it and even if there is now a few hundred thousand sit-ups to do... well... damn it.. it was still worth it...