Cookeilidh in Christ Church Cathedral

“Christ Child’s Lullaby” (Taladh Chriosda)

Such a gorgeous, iconic location!

Click here to watch!

Advertisements

Rainy ride

Bundle up and

Get something warm and

Get your keys and

Stand and wait sip your drink and look out traffic

Pull your hood close and

Wave your pass and

Wait in shelters

Bleary burn stained glass

Look for the white white roof of the

Crosstown connection.

#MondayMotivation

This will be a blog on the move.

I practice music every morning, and did so this morning for a short period but we planner to head out to my parents and that means time to travel. Traveling makes me think because, well, most of the time you are stuck with that.

In some situations you can play music on ferries or busses, and I have, but to me writing works better. It’s like you are already doing something so anything you add is a bonus. And you’re stuck there for a while so don’t worry about being too keen.

What I want is to perform more, which was recently inspired by the story of Ed Sheeran. Now I have performed lots already, but I want to do more especially with my keyboard which is fast becoming my second primary instrument. I learned guitar as a early bass teacher told me I should learn a chord instrument and my mom’s nylon string was around so I started learning, accelerated when I told the church choir I had started and then the guitarist quit, putting me alone in front of a congregation (along with singers). They were a forgiving audience 😏 but it did help to get me ability to play and change chords fast happening.

Even with all that though, and being a bassist, I could never really get into crazy levels of playing, or taking it seriously. I wanted to because I knew I should but it was like a less comfortable bass to me so soloing and really fine playing has never really happened.

Playing keys really didn’t become a thing until almost a year ago now (I had one around for multitrack attempts, a la Depeche Mode) but never actually tried to play a song solo and sing. Naturally I knew C major. Not altogether hard to find, that one.

More recently I have fallen into a once a day pattern of putting something out there. I’m still on the bus as we speak and between parent’s and work I imagine this will be today’s.

Kind of fits with the sleepless one before. What would you like to try? Take some time when you are next stuck in traffic of any kind. Note apps are just amazing for this.

“You dream of something and it’s a thought. You write it down and take action on it and it’s real” Anthony Robbins

Today’s music will be this one I just rediscovered of Scott Walker of the Walker Brothers. I think last time was Scott as well but I thought I would add his hit.

Click here!

Cheers!

Tom

☺️

The arts – unmasked

Early Salish Carver

Did read the recent Twitter run about Geoffrey Owens? He was that guy from the Cosby Show that someone photographed working at a Trader Joe’s.

Or what about those local bands that have yet to go huge and end up on Jimmy Kimmel?

Like that relative you have you is still writing the same novel?

Isn’t talent meant for just those you see in mainstream media?

Ok…by now you might pretty much realize where I’m going here…the answer is no. ☺️

We’re all Geoffrey in a way. I work as a cleaner and I’ve worked behind multiple counters as well. For a year I did go full time thanks to some funding, but that didn’t stick as rules changed (I swear, and yeah, it sucked).

While being a bassist and writer I have been lucky in one way though, and that’s that I consistently have interacted with other creative people and seen what they have been doing, getting a taste of what’s out there, even if it’s just here on Vancouver Island.

From Native artists like Roy Vickers and Alano Elzerza to the Black Angus band to the Eighty Sticky Fingers show in Colwood BC that represents local artists and potters I have consistently been surprised by what’s out there and of course with the very medium you’re reading this from, I have uncovered more.

And it isnt… here’s the thing…”not as good as it’s not famous or whatever”. It doesn’t work that way. It’s like espresso. Someone tamping a perfect shot produces a better drink than…brace yourself…the machine that does it fast at your local Seattle giant chain. The latter just has gone that direction with it. It’s like when I was young and I (embarrassing..) asked a local jazz horn player why he didn’t put out an album like Kenny G.

I don’t have the hair..

Alano Edzerza of North Vancouver.

And that’s not to run down Ariana Grande or Ed Sheeran… they’re excellent at what they do too…truth is the arts is just that…it’s a craft and these are the craftspersons. The very doing of it is part of the joy and beauty as is the fact that it is not easy, that it is not necessarily lucrative involving a Hollywood tycoon with a cigar.

Victoria Jazz Festival

So I suppose the take away from the Geoffrey situation is to see what’s going on in your own home town. Got some extra white on your walls? Make them pop with local art where not only will you have some nice color but you might have a story of actual interaction with it’s creator. That’s one of the best parts. When we do a Cookeilidh gig we end up answering questions about things like Woody’s Irish flutes that are handmade from African blackwood which is incredibly dense and are cut precisely from an old original.

While we are discussing local music, I can only wrap it up with this example. This is the late George Essihos who I did take a lesson with once and his bassist who was pretty much the most influential teacher I probably had. Don’s pretty good too.

πŸ˜‰

Listen here … https://youtu.be/2u4AEvgFDcc

And yeah, see what’s happening in your local arts community. From stage to film, visual arts to music and beyond I can strongly say you will be richer for it.

😊

Tom

My morning pages aren’t neat

Ok here we go. Well, yeah…it’s supposed to be stream of consciousness writing and this is a little different as it’s like stream of consciousness texting which might be a bit unfair as I have predictive text happening for me too. I don’t know. I’m listening to Harold Budd as it was available and I was trying to get going immediately since that’s the idea behind these in the first place. You’re not supposed to do anything else first…ok I looked for the image too..but that’s why the title happened. Every morning page looks like the person has their writing set up so neatly that they have a desk devoted just to morning pages. I’m sorry but not only is that bs but also shouldn’t it be more like you wake up and go…while in bed still. You’re supposed to be half asleep or something…like the magic of the whole thing blah blah…I had a sip of old Ice drink. Should be ok it’s still carbonated. I worry about everything going badly with food. Maybe that’s why I went grey early and balding. I’ve stressed about food safe since a poptart did it. Anyways let’s not go there. It’s just…no. eyes are still blurry…hard part about smartphone morning pages is you have to sort of do it by time…nothing is telling me right now how much into 3 pages I am. Oh, and you’re supposed to have them private. Oops. I’m not too worried. Anyways I’m just writing and not really about what I write that much. What’s hilarious is that this is a longer day and I woke up an hour and a half earlier. Yay. Had the pretzles line from Seinfeld which I was going to use as the first title…I don’t know what…maybe because I was going to get a drink. I like the morning page versus meditation question. I keep meaning to do meditation these days but never get the time or whatever to do that. Ok what now. I don’t know. Dylan Moran style there. I’m supposed to just to keep typing like it’s a run on sentence or a talktive person. I think beer. Where is that from. Then TwaDogs. They are a distillery that we the band are connected to. I like some of there craft beer but never been a whisky person. My mouth just cringes if a mouth can before I drink that stuff. Ok. I think I’m going to stop now.

Kind of short on reflection.

Want to find more stuff by the poet Red Lane. Just discovered him recently, as well as Mary Oliver.

I mentioned Harold Budd whose music is perfect for any writing and also he worked with the Cocteau Twins.

Harold Budd – The Pearl

Cheers,

Tom

πŸ™‚

5 ways to pass time in Transit / Morning Transit

Off we go

See what I did there? If not that’s probably ok 😏

But seriously, stay tuned for my upcoming 5 things to make use of time in transit when there’s no wifi. I’ll put that down there after the first bit.

Kind of miss my other headphones. I’m using more normal earbuds but they’re not wireless, oh… nevermind. Just realized I could flip the phone the other way. Still gets a bit in the way when holding to type in landscape.

…what? Don’t look at me like that. It’s all about details. …what?

Ok enough of that. Today is mowing the parent’s lawn which is also in Saanichton so it’s on the 72 bus like I did on Monday. If you go two back you can go on that Fab journey. Yesterday was rehearsal which was fun and I got to try out my new bass which will be debuting on this weekend at the Victoria Highland Games. Here’s one of me back in the day with my old Peavey Fretless…one sec, I have that photo around here somewhere…

There we go! Now you can find out more about my band/music on the music part of my site or simply go to cookeilidh.com which I know is a bit old school for some so here’s a link to our Instagram too. I’d do our other stuff too but there’s a lot and that could take a whiiiiiile lol.

It’s actually kind of interesting being on the 72 as it’s the one bus in Victoria that connects to both the airport and the ferry, so like the 75 that goes to our famous Butchart Gardens…ok, one sec…lol

There we go! And trust me, that barely does them justice. Look them up too when you get a chance! Anyways the 72 and 75 are the two (feels like a Monty Python bit here) rides where you run into lots of folks from other countries, some with suitcases and some with backpacks. I’ve done it too which brings me finally too…

Five ways to pass time in Transit (no wifi)

Wi-Fi’s an easy out but imagine your in, like, the BC interior or somewhere with nada. Maybe it’s diff now…anyways…

1) Writing.. Not only this now but I have worked on entire stories and characters on the bus.

2) Scheduling with note pad app. Already doing something so it’s such a bonus.

3) PDFs. Predownload and read any classic. Presently doing Boefius and the Consolation of Philosophy

4)classic car games. I spy and so on. You can do it to yourself. See anything blue? Red?

5) Reach out! Take off the headphones and let the world happen. Not forcing it but you might get in a conversation with the most interesting people. Just like the discussions on liminality, it’s in these nuetral places in life where you could make a life changing connection.

Laters!

Tom

Just in Transit

Been playing with one idea instead of using writing prompts. I’m halfway to the family doctor’s in Saanichton which is about 30 min by bus from downtown Victoria where I call home. I mean, I can still go subject driven which is what I sort have done normally but I thought I’d throw caution to the wind more and do like a morning page. I mean it would be edited as morning pages tend to be just anything and I don’t know how much I want to go there publicly but it could be kind of fun. I like the idea of it just simply for the honesty of it. Like how I am probably going to be late or how I just did a stomach calming breath out and it was…well… accidentally spitty, and I’m sharing a seat. I remember once coughing out coffee to my total embarrassment which I then used for a story.

But yeah, I think what I like about the idea is that you guys get to go a bit voyuerist and for me I don’t feel like I’m conjuring the same kind of stuff.

Thoughts? Anyways.. stops coming up..

Cheers,

Tom

Right here and now

Bit of a different situation this morning has me here actually doing morning writing which hasn’t happened in a year or so.

It was the same thing that spurred on the first filmed script I ever did. It’s basically how I am. I don’t really relax that much when I know there’s still things I could do or I want to do.

After things happened a year ago I moved heavily towards music. In truth both things are always and have always been there. I just swung the creative pendulum hard. It is sort of fair as my band is literally the longest running job I’ve ever had and there has been other musical successes along the way (which helps me end the long running question of “I don’t know, am I meant to do this” amongst other reasons. Trust me this has been heavily considered, both from without and from within.)

Presently, along with trying to push my work with Cookeilidh to a new level I have the goal of compiling a cd of my own recordings. I have been writing and trying these newer songs out on Soundcloud/Instagram. My principle inspiration came from the story behind the music of Low Roar, who reputedly wrote a song a day for ages. With everything else that’s pretty out of my range but I have held to at least one new one per week since last year, some of which still haven’t been on social media for different reasons. Others aren’t born yet, and are still in note form.

I’d like to get back to writing again, perhaps in a new partnership process but this is exactly the thing. My way of working was very specific back then and now it’s finding a new way. Velios was part of that exploration process, despite it’s flaws. I dont have the glacial patience for writing novels like I used to. I wrote a book back in my late 20s (not published) and it was such an albatross its just put away. It’s the time it takes, and when I say that, I mean the loss of time if you’ve spent months or years only to find it’s a dud. In film or music you can sniff out a dud in under a day. Films start with the pitch process, music with the first take. Let it sit and look again. Very easy in fiction to make it more complex that a show which has to be a simple episodic product. Or maybe I’m wrote. Just can’t imagine pitching to myself.

We have company over which is why I’m not in our living room, in bed having coffee, which brings me to my rambles as the city of Victoria undoubtably wakes up outside the curtains.

Was thinking I could get back into those blog a day things you find as they were fun. I mean, i dont exactly wake up and immediately snap my headphones on every day so it’s not impossible. That and morning pages which this post virtually is now. Not in the purest sense of course as morning pages are much less filtered and…ok…one thing I find annoying is that I was told morning pages have to absolutely the first thing you do. That first thing tyranny drives me crazy. What doesn’t vie for that morning pole position anyways?

Seems like a good spot to finish.

Can’t drink my coffee when I want to also stretch my legs into the cooler parts of the blanket.

πŸ˜€

Tom