Road trip #3 - Destination: doubt management

It’s been four years since I messed up the American National Anthem. It wasn’t the rough performance that shook me the most. It was the international attention that it generated… I felt small, worthless and was so very ashamed of myself.

I talk about it more on this road trip: 

I have since realized that difficult experiences, like that one, have the biggest potential to change my life for the better. This is why I recognize the importance of being in uncomfortable situations from time to time. The discomfort that I feel is proof that something inside me is evolving.

What was the last time that you felt uncomfortable or that you had come to a personal turning point? What did you learn?

Road trip #2 - Destination: sunsets

There is nothing more beautiful than the sunsets in Saskatchewan. When I take time to stop and admire them, I remember that my roots grow into the sky just as much as they do into the earth.

It was my mom that taught me this love for sunsets. 

Road trip #1! Destination: Johnny Cash

Have you ever read a poem and it felt like it had been written just for you?...this is the feeling I got when I read Daniel Beaumont's lyrics to Johnny Cash. I'll tell you more about it in this video:

Do you like collaboration? What would you get out of it?

I prioritize collaboration because it has truly changed my life. I talked about this more in depth HERE

New Years Resolution: listen to more vinyl

Do you make New Years Resolutions? I don't either! 

Normally, I don’t bother with them, but this year I decided to make one: listen to music more often. I’m not talking about passive music listening – the kind I do anyway while on a road trip in the car or the music I’ll play as background motivation while I work furiously on my computer. My resolution is inspired by a new record player I received for Christmas. I’m giving myself the challenge…no, the luxury to listen to music actively where I eliminate all other distractions and invest all my attention to the album in question. I turn my phone off, brew a good cup of coffee, press play and go! It makes me so happy! 

I’m a bit shy to admit that most of my vinyl collection (I only have about 10 in total) are hand-me-downs from my 96-year old grand-mother. One of them is a recording of Sts Donatien & Rogatien’s church choir – from Prud’homme, SK, recorded in 1961…I know, my collection has a long way to go!

Harmonium and Emmy Lou Harris have been on rotation for the past couple weeks, but my ears are begging for other things to listen to.

So, do you have any suggestions? What are the “must haves” of any vinyl collection? 

Hocus Pocus

Several years ago, I was billeted with a woman in Granby, QC, with whom I stayed for a couple weeks. I developed a beautiful kinship with this woman of strength who I found to be very creative; a photographer and a mom who is very proud of her two girls. We have since lost touch, but there are bits of our conversations that have stayed with me. She told me that, in order to succeed in life and in my projects, I will need two things:

1) A clear vision of what I want: one that is so clear that all my actions and projects are developed around it, even if that happens without me noticing. When the vision isn’t focused, I have more choices to make, my decisions are more difficult and there may be more detours, which in the end, fills me with doubt.

2) A little bit of magic.

I understood the vision/work part right away. This is the part that I have a bit more control and influence over. I’ve often called upon mentors to guide me in my artistic and professional development, but I remain an independent self-managed artist that does everything: I compose the music, I pay the wages, I apply for funding, draft the business and marketing plans, I cross the T’s and dot the I’s and lick the stamps. I’m used to seeing the steps - the work needed to get me to point B from point A. And I work really hard.

I had a bit of a harder time understanding the magic. It was like I was just waiting for it happen, waiting for something to fall from the sky. As if some important person would suddenly just appear in my life to show me exactly which path to take. I was naive (I still am at times!).

But I’m starting to understand: magic is something that happens over a period of time. For example, if it wasn’t for Les rencontres qui chantent- an artist residency organized by L’Alliance nationale de l’industrie musicale in which I participated in back in 2010, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet Marc Pérusse. Our paths crossed again a few more times and, eventually, he produced my new record.

I see now that it is sometimes impossible to know how point A will bring me to point B or C. There is a domino effect within that process that is totally out of my control. The only work I need to do is to trust it.

Important people don’t just fall from the sky, but they are always around. Some are nearer than others. When I ask the right questions, when I invite them to collaborate, and when I listen carefully, I am inviting the magic in -- to come play in my backyard.