IMG_1274.JPG This summer I had the extraordinary opportunity to travel to Colmar, France to take Theremin lessons from two of the finest Theremin players in the world, Thierry Frenkel and Carolina Eyck.  The academy drew players, twenty in all, from all over Europe and North America.  Over five days I took private lessons from Carolina and participated in workshops about advanced theremin playing, improvisation and instrument maintenance.  I had the privilege to sit in on  practices of Thierry’s theremin ensemble comprised of players from all over Europe.  After long days of classes I got to socialize with new friends at a cafe in the Colmar town square in the shadow of a medieval church.  I can hardly wait to attend another academy. What a life altering experience!

As many of you are aware as of late I’ve taken up playing the Theremin.  Why you ask?

Well first off I’ve always been drawn to the odd,  the eccentric and the magic of little known instruments and artist.

The theremin  is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer). It is named after the Westernized name of its Russian inventor, Léon Theremin (Термéн), who patented the device in 1928.

You play it by interacting with the magnetic fields produced by the antennae, the vertical one controls pitch, the horizontal volume.  Some say it’s as hard to play as a violin.  I’m enjoying the challenge and finding playing fulfilling rewarding and fun!

Here’s a demo reel I created to show me playing.  Look for more updates for when and where I’ll be playing the Theremin.  Also I’ve incorporated it into my One Man Band act which is playing around town at various musical venues!

 

I’m super excited to announce my new project  HAMM: ONE MAN BAND is playing the Katsahlano Street Festival this Saturday, July 9th, 4:15 at the Fourth and Trafalgar Stage!

Looking forward to seeing everyone and stayed tuned for more about my new act!

Over the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of working on a multimedia project with my old friend Bruce Wilson called Sunday Morning. It’s a book, an album of music, a podcast and a website! A little overwhelming I know!  What I’ve contributed is music and production for the album that accompanies the book.  I had the pleasure of working with some of my favourite Vancouver musicians: Coco Culbertson (The Gay and Choir Practice) on bass,  Justin Leigh (Pluto) and Pete Bourne (Copyright, Destroyer) on drums, Kevin Rose (The Wongs, Tankhog) and Rolf Heatherington (Pluto) on guitar and many other great players.  We recorded at Afterlife Studios and did overdubs and mixed at my Studio Little Red Sound.  Here’s the first song to come out: Come The Rain. The video was done by the very talented Mr. R.D. Cane.  Stay tune for more…

I’m super stoked to be recording, producing and engineering bands at Little Red Sounds with my pal Felix Fung. Recently I got to record Viewmaster a new Vancouver band featuring John Johnston of Slow Learners fame. We recorded six songs and here’s a taste of what we did. Enjoy!

 

 

It’s been one year since my last post. That’s a whole year of business that hasn’t been documented. Well my dear reader it’s time for me to catch you up with what’s been going on with my life. I’ve been playing and recording music, recording other people’s music and generally having fun. Stay tuned for that and what’s coming up!

Well it’s the New Year. I have so many plans and things to accomplish. Music cues to write, an album to finish and one to start.
On New Years Eve I started feeling feverish and lethargic. I was coming down with something. We were only two weeks into winter and I was getting my second debilitating illness. I already had the flu even though I got a flu shot.
So here’s the problem: We make all these plans for a new year and it’s only really the beginning of Winter: the fallow season. It’s a time to lay low to go to sleep early. Heck it’s dark at 4:30 why would you want to do anything else? But no we tell ourselves and each other this is the time to make new plans and to dig into them. I have always thought “Well there’s nothing going on, this is a good time to accomplish all the things I didn’t get around to during Spring, Summer and Fall. Fall is usually the most productive time of year for me. I’m like a squirrel gathering nuts or a bear getting fat preparing for hibernation. Busy, Busy, Busy! And then the flurry of activity that surrounds the Christmas season. Hell we’re just ramping up for an incredibly productive winter! Heck we can go skiing, fly south to where the weather supports our ambitions of productivity so we can play in the sun and the surf just like we do here in the North.
I was driving the bus out in farm county on the outskirts of Coquitlam a few weeks ago and was talking to a woman in her early sixties. She had moved out there to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I told her that once I had tried to retire at the age of forty and now I had to work to pay that off. She said one of the tricks she had learned in life is to listen to your body and your energy levels. Not just on a day to day basis but for different times in your life. Just because you have low energy doesn’t mean that higher energy times aren’t ahead. It’s just that right now these are low energy times. I’ve been told this over and over again. Part of the flow of life is acknowledging and accepting that we are part of nature that we flow with the seasons. Is my body telling me it’s time to slow down? Is that why i got sick? I read somewhere that you are susceptible to illness when your immune system is weak and your amuse system is weak because there are a lot of week and sick cells in your body that are harming you. If a virus comes along and is able to overwhelm your amuse system its because you need that virus to come in and clean out all of your existing sickness. It kills what is already ailing you. Getting sick is in a way the ultimate cleanse. Your body and immune system recuperate. You get better and stronger. Or it kills you off completely. That’s not happening right now, I count my blessings.
So this year I accept that winter is a time of death and renewal. That I will get better and that my energy and productivity will return as the Crocuses bloom and Spring arrives in a few months. Until then, I’m planning a trip to Southern California!