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Back in the Saddle 

I've only ridden a horse once in my life so don't really know what getting back in the saddle feels like, but Back on the Blog sounds less dramatic.

I haven't been completely idle. I write and play music almost daily, work on starting a podcast this fall and dabble in cartooning - more about that in future posts. Since my last blog post in May, I've filled two handwritten journals with thoughts and ideas. Keeping a handwritten journal is cathartic if nothing else and a better accounting of my life than…

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Finding Your Rhythm 

    Photo by Lee Pigott on Unsplash

Rhythm is an essential part of music - finding the groove, laying down a beat. We all have an innate sense of rhythm - just watch a child when music starts playing or the audience at a big concert. Rhythm can be sensed within or with a group of others. I've never participated in a drum circle but I suspect it would be a fun way to explore group rhythm. I have been in a group of musicians as well as an improv troupe where we've found the groove of a song or a scene - it…

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Practicing Performance 

 

I spilled a lot of words on this blog earlier this year and then suddenly in June, the carafe appeared empty. Other muses called my name -  music performance and improv training. I've spent a lot of time the last few months working on my live show and playing a series of live music gigs. Still lots of work to do to make my live show more engaging but slowly making progress.

It took me a long time to realize performance is radically different from practicing. It's like the difference between having a…

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Contemplating Just Love 

 

I been trying to adopt the mantra of "just love". I think it reduces the human experience to its purest and most simple level. Just love myself, just love my situation, just love those around me... just love. So simple but so difficult.

Why is that?

Saturday Song - Peace Within 

This has always been one of the favourite songs I have written. It was inspired midway through the reign of Mike Harris as Premier of Ontario when I realized the common sense revolution didn't have a lot of common sense. It was just a front for the rich to get richer and an opportunity for politicians to destroy the social and educational services that made Ontario such a caring and compassionate place for people from all socio-economic backgrounds.

Now seemed like an appropriate time to bring it back.

 

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Saturday Song - Seeds of Love 

An original song recorded in my childhood home that we are vacating after 55 years of continuous occupancy.  It is difficult to leave but we take with us a lifetime of memories.

 

Why Do We Love Music? 

Why do we love music? Why can music move us to tears or arouse us to a state of euphoria? 

According to scientists, listening to music stimulates the same areas of the brain that are stimulated by good food or sex - the same areas involved with reward, emotion and arousal. We tend to consider our biological responses to external stimuli in terms of conveying an evolutionary advantage. 

So why would we respond to a series of sounds in the same way we might respond to nourishment or engaging in the act…

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Saturday Cover - Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow) 

John Prine was the first singer/songwriter who caught my attention when I was just starting out as a musician. I had the opportunity to see him play live at War Memorial Hall at the University of Guelph in the late seventies. He is one of the great lyric writing storytellers of our generation and continues to write and record great music releasing his latest album Tree of Forgiveness just last week.

Here's my rendition of Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow) from his Bruised Orange album released in 1978.

 

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