Last Thursday’s gig went well. The set list took us from 19th Century songs to original compositions written earlier this year. I do like a good dose of eclecticism but in concerts you have to make sure these disparate parts don’t ruin the whole. To my great delight the last minute changes to the set (dropping one song and re-ordering a few more) produced a flow that took us from quiet and tentative to (literally) table thumping and singing along.
We’re going to work at getting the trio out in front of an audience more often, so we can knock the remaining corners off the set. The situation with my dad changes by the day though, so making any sort of plan is hard.
A drum free trio with a three century spanning set is a refreshing challenge to work with. Next year I’m going to take part in something more radical.
Last night I rehearsed with the piano/guitar/bass trio and we played our way through tonight’s set list. For the first time in a while I found myself playing through a set with too many songs.
This promises to be an interesting set. Original songs that are due to appear on the slowly forming album are going to be played alongside covers. A quick tally revealed we’re playing country, jazz, folk, blues, soul rock (and roll) songs, all morphed through the sound of the trio. One song, Al Green’s ‘Take Me to the River’, is a favourite of mine but I’ve only ever played it with an eight piece soul band before. It’s a wonderful thing to hear a song so stripped back but still working.
The toughest thing for me last night was fixing a bass line which (it turns out) I’ve been playing wrongly for about six years. The notes are controlled more by muscle memory than conscious thought, so changing it was surprisingly hard. Whether I’ll play the old, wrong version or the new correct version tonight is still unsure.
This year I'm taking and publishing (at least) a picture a day. I imposed some rules to make this more interesting and to make me work harder.
1. I have to use my Nikon (not much of a restriction since I truly love this camera)
2. I can only use the 50mm prime lens. So no zooming and a field of view similar to that of the human eye).
3. After the shot is taken no cropping or Photoshopping (made easier by me not having a copy of Photoshop).
4. Must try not to take a crap picture.
Rule four gets broken every time I realise it's 11:45pm and I haven't taken a picture yet.
Recently though I've been getting more positive feedback and started to feel that iPhoto wasn't quite enough to do the job. I recently upgraded to the Apple Aperture software and now feel I can publish pictures that are closer to what I imagined them to be.
I sat at the end of his bed and asked if he wanted to know and he said yes. When I'm made sure he knw the truth it dawned on us both that my mum need to know to. My job was to deliver the news, which I did a few monutes later.
Some years ago a friend asked me to call the hsopital where her sick friend was, to find out how she was doing. She was nervous about calling so I volunteered. While my pal sat on the sofa having a cup of tea I worked through the hospital switchboard until I got to a nurse who, after an awful pause, told me my friend's friend had died in the night. I then had to go back to the front room and tell her.
Telling my parents that dad would be lucky to last three months was only easier because they were older and more prepared for the news. It wasn't a huge shock.
Now I'm in the strange world of visiting my dad, having conversations and keeping him up to date on the events in my life - but in the same day I might be talking to the funeral director or working on some other practical tasks. My dad is a practical man, I am just becoming one.