January 2000 Musings:
Snow in Virginia
Wow, January has been quite the month. It started out with one last session in the studio with Dana Robinson and engineer Greg Steele to master Leaving Fort Knox, completing the recording process! Now I’m getting rolling on the cover graphics. I’m very psyched about this album. It’ll take me awhile longer to get all the pieces together, so thanks for your patience – I’ll keep you posted.
Other than a couple of snowed out concerts, my January mid-Atlantic tour was delightful. The first several concerts were with Bob Franke. We shared the stage alternating songs at each concert, and it was great fun seeing where the music would go each night – none of the concerts were the same. A song that one of us had sung in an earlier concert might lead the other to a whole new place on a different night in a different room with a new audience. I loved watching to see which of us would take the energy into a yet darker place, which would lift it up again – and what song or poem would bring that ray of light back in. Each concert was an adventure.
In the midst of concerts, I had the privilege of sitting in on Bob’s songwriting workshop in New Haven. My assignment was to write a song about my favorite movie of the past six months. So I spent the next 48 hours or more – because it didn’t stop with the next day’s followup workshop session – submerged in the haunting imagery of The Red Violin. I don’t think I could have been the best of company on our drive together into New York for our Peoples’ Voice gig that night, but you’d have to ask Bob about that. I did manage to complete my assignment, the song was just beginning to take shape when I sang pieces of it in Sunday’s workshop, and even by that night it had come together enough to share the work in progress in our concert at Godfrey Daniels. The song has undergone some changes since then, and I think it may finally be done now. Ah, the creative process, it’s like magic. I don’t claim to understand it, but I do love it.
I spent several days snowed in by the blizzard in northern Virginia. It was a great place to be snowed in, with friends to hang out and play music with, and those beautiful rolling Virginia fields to walk in – or rather traipse through the sometimes knee-high snow in, with the wind blowing blustery cold in our faces.
Pittsburgh was an unexpected pleasure, the stately buildings, the beautiful homes. And the full room of folks gathered for my house concert there was among the warmest audiences I have encountered anywhere. Yet another city I had to tear myself away from.
And now winter seems to have finally arrived even up here in New England. I returned from my tour to find close to a foot of snow in my dooryard. Good thing I shoveled as soon as I got home, as another 5 inches fell overnight. There’ll be good sledding in the orchard!
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