Cookeilidh in Christ Church Cathedral

“Christ Child’s Lullaby” (Taladh Chriosda)

Such a gorgeous, iconic location!

Click here to watch!

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How to build your creative castle

You can hear Potter’s Theme in the mist as we circle your castle rising above the morning’s fog, it’s spires set against perhaps some fading last star.

Ok, so where do you get started?

It’s about the 1%. No, not that one percent, this has nothing to do with money.

No obligation and no salesman will visit.

This means if you improve something just one percent a day, what is the difference after a year? It’s not just 365% because not only does it stack on top of the numbers but also you will have days that you lunge forward.

It’s a little like going to the gym. Just showing up is half the success. Anything above that is a bonus. Same here. This is why the castle idea. What is a castle really? I have a really pretty one featured there but take a boring one.

It’s a bunch of walls. What are walls made of? Stones. Lots of stones. Some are not that big. One stone after another stone after another stone. The workmen didn’t go…ugh, these stones are boring and it won’t work anyways. They just kept adding stones. Eventually everyone complimented them in their pretty castle.

Same here. People will see your creation and marvel at it, but only you will know the stone after stone that put it there. Plus, like a castle, there is something nice about the fact it took so long. You have built it up over years and it won’t fail you. It’s sturdy and even you are a little impressed by the whole thing.

So when you see your endeavor before you and it looks so impossible just think, today…I will put down what stone I can find. Tomorrow may be a bigger stone or smaller, but I’ll find one then too.

🏰

For today’s music, I just got into this guy and so I had to share some of it. This is Scott Walker who was apparently a huge inspiration to David Bowie.

For the first track from this album click here!

Enjoy!

Tom

🙂

What to do when you’re tired

I like to put in about 4 hours each morning but last night probably had less sleep than that. So what to do?

Practicing technical stuff seems a bit pointless as I’ll be practicing mistakes. And yeah, I’ve definitely had that experience of being too awake to sleep and too tired to spell the word “the”. It can make you feel really forlorn and frustrated so what do you do now?

Step back. Explore.

This is actually a time that really works wonders. Don’t beat yourself up with a) trying to sleep when that won’t kick in and b) get upset that you’re performance isn’t up to your ace level when of course it couldn’t be.

For me this morning it was playing through songs I hadn’t heard, working on an original idea I meant to do and then just finally going for a walk. I mentioned walks before and one of my favorite things is to get totally lost (I bring my device with data if it’s bad lol) and listen to music. Treat it like an artists date.

And that’s the gag here. You don’t have to be in “Fine Arts” to enjoy this. Explore your world in something you haven’t done for a while. You’ll get a second wind soon enough so enjoy this off the beaten track crazy moment. Be like a kid that’s stayed up too late and it all feels different and exciting. Take photos, go through old boxes, check out the books and niknaks at a Thrift store. Go up that trail you always drive past and wondered what’s over there.

Be over there today.

😉

Today’s music is a really cool Jazz standard by Chet Baker called Alone Together.

Click here!

Hometown

72 northbound is

Mixed blue skies, luggage tags, deep

Accents of distance, like my

Dad’s blue measuring tape, now

stepping lightly through boyhood and

straddling

The world climbing bright with

Soft flickering sun

And left

The mountains down

From the remaining ghosts of trains

And ravens over Lochside.

Was just talking to a neighbour about this…The Pogson family first moved to Saanichton in 1987, so even though I wasn’t technically born in Victoria General this is home. Added bonus, my mom was and that’s where she met dad who was a Hydro man like his father. I think that’s a bit of why. He didn’t want people to think they were getting special treatment and some new work came up in Cranbrook, BC. Also they had a baby named Tom there.

😉

Cheers,

That Aforementioned baby.

😁

Morning Page

Books piled next to my coffee and water that I want to get through. It must be a thing to do with our age, because I do remember a lady complaining that her husband used to grab books from the library and never read them. I get some like that. I like to have that option. It is hard to see this as a pure morning page because well a it’s on here of course, but also the rule is that you are supposed to do nothing else before you get going. Frankly not even the coffee. It is sort of fair as I don’t smoke anymore so nothing is dragging me outside. Listening to my study mix which is basically low Roar and Harold Budd. Need more music. Always looking for that. Used to be Cocteau Twins all the time. Enya is the queen of fantasy writing. But yeah already saw Twitter and groaned when I saw the new addition of new shootings. Twitter is my newspaper because it is wide open and both sides can speak. It’s just depressing how everyone is used to shootings and it’s like everyone knows how to reach afterwards like it’s the same old thing. This was at 8 am. It’s that time now here. I can only guess this angry kid didn’t want to wait all day but that’s ridiculous. I know I shouldn’t think about this. I don’t have kids but I remember being a kid in Stellys High in 1992 and back. I remember being in home room as the sun crept over the farm field nearby and my desk. I remember the problems too. It wasn’t easy for me as well, and I mean I was a really picked on one. Now we know that that isn’t why always but some stuff can be but I just think of that horror crossing that memory and I can’t believe everyone should accept it as just a part of reality.

Got to change that subject. That’s another old guy thing. I think we make some sense. We’ve learned a thing or two and want to help inact change, even if it’s just some influence of someone hearing it once. We want to make a difference before our time is up to. That’s all midlife really is. Your mortality is suddenly staring at you so you live it up. That must be me now or close or whatever. I didn’t have a blog post idea this morning so that’s why frankly I just went for the morning page idea but one I have is for exercise and weight loss. I don’t have a specific diet that I can unload but I have learned a bunch of things as I lost about that 40 lbs in two years. So it’s not like super fast but it’s sort of overall health. I’m not rich. I just got paid and only about 60 of that is actually mine. I do believe that income dictates health. When you’re poor you eat to keep going or feel not hungry. It makes me throw my hands up you know. In a love-relationship you make yourself happy by knowing the other person is happy, or that’s how it should work. Imagine if we applied that idea to everyone around the world. Imagine if we were all about how can we make sure that everyone is doing ok and has enough. When you go this way people act like it’s hippyish but Freddie Mercury said that in Heaven for Everyone and it’s to me less about just being “nice” then it is actually good business. If everyone is well fed, well clothed and can calmly make informed choices then it’s good for everyone. I abhor the stuff about how War is good for science. We would get there eventually and we wouldn’t have things like…oh I don’t know…Hiroshima or the underground secret weapon of the Somme that the British used only once on the Germans as described by Tony Robinson in Time Team. That latter and less known weapon was so horrible that the Englishmen had tears when they saw it used as they didn’t want that. Aww crap how do I get off this one lol

Had a dream when I woke up. They always seem about water. Had so many about almost going the brink of waterfalls that I wrote the song Precipice. So many like this are still in mind long after I wake up and then I’m trying to think how I would have handled them differently. Like with Niagara I was like “Ok, where is the point of no return, just so I know.”. Now I live on Vancouver Island so my chance of the tragedy of being swept over Horseshoe Falls today is pretty low. There’s angel Falls too but from what I’ve seen you would have really to put in the effort for that to happen. Wish I wasn’t afraid of heights because wouldn’t it be great to hangglide in a place like Angel Falls or somewhere like that. Or fly an ultralight. Or Zipline lol.

Should start practice now before all the heady excitement of banking.

Cheers

Tom

Victoria’s Hidden Gems – Fairfield

If I tell you about a place with long beaches of little sunset coves, interesting local history, people watching, shopping and great food you might immediately be thinking I’m describing somewhere in the Mediterranean, maybe near the high end living of Monaco.

But no, in this first installment of Victoria’s Hidden Gems, we start in my neck of the woods… Fairfield.

With a history that goes back to literally the first landing by Victoria’s founder James Douglas, where the sounds of our early streetcar trams echo, the just-out-of-town pleasures of our community are just minutes away from your cruise line or hotel lobby. The title of Fairfield itself covers quite a large area, from the vibrant fun of Cook St Village to the Observation tower where this photo gazes down to the soft sandy beach cove of Gonzales Bay. This sames waterfront curves all the way around to Beacon Hill Park and eventually the downtown Victoria harbor, creating some amazing walks perfect for sunset romantic strolls past turn of the century homes. Along this same waterfront, near Clover Point when you near the corner of Dallas and Cook St, you are actually near an old military post used by Canadian forces during World War One, with it’s only evidence being the slightly wide fields and the round concrete stairway that can take you down to the beach facing the Salish Sea and the distant snow-covered peaks of the Olympic Peninsula.

For food we have absolutely got you covered as well, with lots of great little pubs like The Ross Bay situated across from the austere Ross Bay Cemetery which is the resting place of James Douglas himself along with other famous names like artist Emily Carr, there is the Oxford Arms in Cook St Village, a variety of small Cook St restaurants serving everything from Italian to Ethiopian food and speaking of Cook St Village, it should be almost be called Coffee Street Village as you can get the dark brew in about 10 places in 3 blocks. No lack of places here to sip and watch the world go by, all a two block stroll through the leafy sidewalks to Beacon Hill and especially it’s bandshell where you can hear world class talent or in summer weekends take in one of our “Free B Film Festival” movies in the park.

I’ve really only cracked the surface of things to do in Fairfield too. It’s amazing for hiking as you’re at our Island’s southernmost point so it’s easy to navigate your way about and if you check out online sites like Harbourliving.ca you can see what activities are happening right now, including live music and the Moss Street market which takes place all summer and is definitely not one to miss, or the Moss Street Paint-In just down the street from the Victoria Art Gallery and around the corner from the beautiful Craigdarroch Castle which was the home to a wealthy Scottish Coal Baron and a place to not miss especially around Christmas where it is decked out in all it’s festive colors and music travels through every curve in it’s oak panelled interior.

If you stop by Cook Street grab a coffee and send me a wave. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

😉

Tom

On this other writing

It’s the sort of thing I wanted to do with my first comedy pilot. I can’t bring you right in of course, that’s physically impossible. But it’s also part of my goal, to change your perception to mine, even if for three to four minutes.

Songwriting.

Now of course, not all songwriting has to be deep and cerebral. Kurt Weill championed the writing of silly songs and the “just fun”. Hey, we gotta eat too, right?

I’ve been writing since I simply could. Even before that, considering it certainly kicked off before I played my first note on that purple Series A bass I had at the age of nineteen. Guitar would still wait a year.

Actually doing it scared me at first, like it was only done by geniuses who were born under a music school piano or something. Between people I jammed with in those early days and music I was learning it seemed more and more reachable. Then came my first role model.

This guy.

Martin Lee Gore of Depeche Mode was the first person to not only pave my first road, but also to show what could be so great about it.

He brought in the idea of taking every subject without filter, layering the modern and creatively limitless atop the traditional, and the storyteller’s approach to sounds versus the idea of endless rock solos. From the first album I got ( a friend’s tape of Some Great Reward ) I was hooked. My first multitrack cassette machine was soon going to arrive.

And I sucked. It wasn’t good at all. It’s one of the reasons I don’t believe that there’s such a thing as bad art. First because any attempt beyond our day to day is beautiful like an early cave painting, but also I will beat anyone to the finish for the just bad.

But you go through this and soon I became a Socan member after getting on the radio a few times.

Since then it’s just always been there, though just recently it has got a resurgence to when I first heard Martin’s work (not to steal his thunder)

This guy.

Ryan Karazija of Low Roar. I discovered this music in the way many probably have, by simply surfing in and seeing the intriguing album cover for the self titled debut (a deer with birds flying out of it’s mouth. It reminded me of the Canadian artist Hayden). I was doing morning pages and other writing and just wanted music to work to, like my use of Harold Budd and Cocteau Twins that had been my go to for just years. That album of Ryan’s was instantly a favorite and it sparked the idea of trying to actually move forward again. So from the beginning of this year I started working on my first song “She lives There”, and while it’s becoming clear that I need to upgrade my recording equipment before I put out a first EP, I still would love to do that and until then I want to hone my sound and songs in preparation.

Songs for me come from anywhere and have come in on literally any instrument. I’ll hear something or learn about something and go “ooh that’s good”.

An example of this was Moonwatcher which is now on my SoundCloud page, which came from studying my girlfriend’s First Nations culture in a dissertation by her late Aunt, Allis Pakki Chipps-Sawyer called Standing on The Edge of Yesterday

In it she mentions the traditional Moonwatchers who would literally stay up all night and observe the moon and there findings would make decisions easier for Elders in the day. Just the name sparkled before me, but I knew it would be too much like Moonshadow if I went and did it acoustic, so I tried for an almost dance feel.

Precipice on the other hand had to be written as I kept having a waking nightmare of being swept over Niagara falls, on a loop so I never actually fell (clearly a stress thing). The cascading arpeggio at the start came first and then the first half fell in place. I resisted the dramatic “chorus” at first but it grew on me. Is it a hit? Probably not, but I love both songs for what every song I have ever done. It is a capture of me exactly at that moment, in both the words and how those words reverb.

Have a listen to Precipice

https://youtu.be/hKC82a_d8JE

Cheers,

Tom

😊

Tip jar is out! 😉 Find me on Patreon

Had fun this morning setting up my page which includes a video clip about what I’m attempting. Yeah it’s one of those long shots but it was still fun to set up and it’s also cool setting goals like how I want to develop my home studio towards my first solo music release.

Even if you can’t spend (or if you can and want to be that level of amazing 😊) please visit the page and check it out!

http://www.patreon.com/tompogson