Thursday, December 25, 2014

Joyeux Noël

December sees the arrival of my birthday, Christmas, the winter solstice and New Year's Eve. It is a month with a unique soundscape: hymns and carols and there is an abundance of sentimentality— genuine and faux. It produces the Reflective Effect. You see the Reflective Effect in year-end lists and the Christmas letters of friends. I am not un-afflicted.

Two years ago, I announced my intent to stop travelling. Coming after a lifetime of loving travel, many friends asked: Why? I searched for answers and came up with some, but fundamentally, if I had not stopped travelling, I would not have started writing so rigorously. And reflecting on this phase of a life-long involvement with composition, has me wanting to say two things:

  1. Looking back: I have two inspiring male mentor angels: Dwight and Warren. Without them, none of the writing that is satisfying me more than anything I have done would exist. Dwight pushed me for years to write my story—years! And more than that: To do it for performance and for me to perform. I thought he was absolutely nuts—sweet and loving, but nuts. But he was right. And when Knock Knock was born, Warren picked up the whip.

    Warren saw the story Dwight pulled out of me as a play, as a movie. Now, Uncle Gus' Monkey (I LOVE that name) is on a journey that teaches and thrills me (us).

    These men are my Gods. Honestly! I walk the seawall as my way of connecting with God. I listen to Gregorian chants and the most beautiful choral hymns ever written, and give thanks for my blessings—my skills my friends and, particularly, my two wonderful mentors.
  2. Looking forward: 2015 stands to be an auspicious year. I will:
          - Hear from McLelland/Stewart if my book is to be reprinted.
          - Enjoy the workshop, rehearsal and performances of Trudeau, the Felons & Me.
          - Enjoy designing and building the costumes, wigs and sets for the play.
          - We will hear if our screenplay, Uncle Gus' Monkey, scores with Brad's company.
          - I plan to write and submit a script to The Arts Club in response to the invitation
            I have received. (Put another way, I plan to climb Mount Everest.)

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