Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Balls in the Air

It always seems to happen no matter what my best intentions are. I get freakin' too much going at once!

Here we are, just three or so weeks in Vancouver - almost the end of July - and I'm wondering where the summer went. One day, it was the end of school, and we were on a plane out west and then, here we are about to move into our house, which, back in June, seemed to be MILES away!

On top of taking care of the move and the kids schedule, I'm trying to squeeze getting two feet on the ground with respect to Hatched Productions!

I've already got a bunch of folks I've begrudgingly had to put off getting back to. I've been trying to touch base with some composers in town to pick brains about the industry here as well as possibly collaborate with. There are some potential leads that have come in through some contacts I have made and there's this agent/agency that's looking like a perfect fit!

All this happening at the same time! Don't want to complain about the raining=pouring thing, but I also hope I can be mindful of all the balls in the air and keep them up there!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dreams and ... Songs in my Head

"Weird" is the only word I can think of...

Maybe it's just a "Freaky Friday" post.

Weird in that I've been having really vivid dreams the past few weeks.

It's not that I have them every night or never had them before, but they seem to be happening more frequently that they used to.

I don't remember them all, but I do wake up remembering that I had a dream ... and usually I remember the fact that a LOT happened. The little gears in my mind were stuck in high during the wee hours of the night.

Last night, I seem to recall snippets of a situation where I was under the impression I was still a teenager in Ottawa (although none of the landmarks were from any city I've been in) and I was riding a bike along the Sea Wall (which is actually in Vancouver) to get to a large pool to swim laps (haven't swum laps for exercise for a LONG time).

A lot more happened in this dream, but I can't remember what... The only thing that I can connect in these dreams is that they're all different and they have nothing to do with what I've been doing / thinking about the past few weeks: kids and moving in...

The other odd thing I'm finding is that I am waking up with songs in my head - not necessarily good ones either! This morning, I woke up with the theme song to the "Big Comfy Couch". I was tempted to whack my head against the wall until the song was out of my head...

I'm thinking the song thing might be a symptom of not having a studio to work in. I've been "composing" music in my head without any way of trying it out ... might be that kind of "frustration" that's causing my mind to play cruel tricks on me.

I attribute it mostly to Tony and Dave over at the Home Made Hit Show. They're running a song challenge "contest" of sorts. You've gotta write a song that incorporates "Summer" in it by August 10th. I came up with a pretty cool idea that I'd like to get down and I've been putting it all together in my head - getting things ready for when we move in and I get my studio back together. I THINK I may have enough time to lay down some tracks and record it... We'll see.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What a Difference...

WOW, what can I say?

I'm being a bit of a broken record here, but geeze, I think this town is working out just fine.


Can't complain about the weather either! It's been sunny and warm for the past two weeks and that doesn't seem to be changing in the future...

I'm really talking about the climate of people / business here. I've been here three weeks and I've connected up with a bunch of local composers and potentially landed 3 music-related gigs!

I signed in and looked through the GCFC's site a couple weeks ago after updating all my contact info there. I did a quick 'n dirty search on composers residing in the lower mainland. I looked over a few sites and picked a dozen who looked as though they'd been doing well for themselves and sent out emails to each of them.

Within a week, I'd say I'd gotten 10 responses to my request to have a coffee / chat about the industry. I did the same thing back east two years ago, and didn't have nearly the success.

I've met one of the composers so far and he even invited me to come to an orchestral recording session at the CBC studios here. Not to mention, he referred me to some other local cats I might want to get in touch with...

On top of that, we're finally in to our new place ... well sort of. We've got the painters there right now and the floors are going to be done next week. We move in on the 26th...

BUT, I do have to say, it's nice to actually be able to freely go in and out of our new place!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Canada's 141st

Almost two years ago, we moved back to Canada from Seattle.

I started a post back then (that's still in draft form) that I was trying to compose as an analysis between the two countries based upon my personal observations...

I kept on adding and deleting things from it, but never got to post it... I touched on everything from milk in bags (that's how they sell milk in Ontario) to health care to where you can get your wine and beer in either country.

I was reminded of this attempted post this past week as I've been contrasting life on the west coast against life in Toronto.

Here are a few things I've noticed over the past couple of days:
  • The people in front-line service are very friendly and chatty here! I've encountered employees at the drug store, grocery store, restaurants, you name it who go WAY beyond the cursory "How are you today"s...

    Case in point - I almost had to drag the kids out of the local grocers after the cashier noticed we were buying Mini Wheats with Indiana Jones "prizes" in it. A movie critique ensued complete with opinions on why Harrison Ford should have hung up his whip after the 3rd Jones movie...

  • There are way less blondes here. We went to a number of playgrounds and a pretty popular pool and when looking around, I couldn't help but notice that blonde hair was indeed the minority.

  • My tattoo is not the novelty and subject of odd looks and stares that it used to be out east. I'd say that the number of dad's AND mom's around that have "ink done" approaches about a third or half of the peeps I saw. And I'm talking about middle to upper-middle class neighbourhoods here.

  • People actually stay in the city on the weekends and holidays! Catherine and I went out a couple of times in Toronto to the lakefront and were floored by the absence of people on a beautiful day in the Beaches. We tried taking the kids down to a few of the beaches in Vancouver yesterday (that would be a Monday afternoon) and we could not, for the life of us, find a spot to ditch the car and get out to walk.

  • A drive along surface streets is actually enjoyable. I drove the kids from the Science Center to UBC yesterday - which is a pretty long way. The streets are well labeled, the main roads are wide, cars stop for pedestrians and drivers actually know how to merge. Things seem to move at a more relaxed pace, but they also seem to move more efficiently for some reason.
I'm sure I'll find more "comparisons" in the near future, but just some of the interesting observations I've come across in the odd brain fart I've had...