It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything. It’s been busy in the music department, and getting ready for the coffee bar has been another thing I added to my list of how to make my life teeter on the unmanageable.
Recently, I had the honour and pleasure to be invited to play with the Orchestre Symphonique Régional Abitibi-Témiscamingue to perform at the Féstival des Guitares du Monde in Rouyn-Noranda. I have played with this symphony for five years now, and treasure each performance, but this one was different. This time it was with Richard Desjardins.
If you’re an anglophone (as I am), you may have not heard of this artist before. He is like the Québecois Leonard Cohen (although actually Mr. Cohen was Québecois rest his gorgeous soul), with a soupçon of Tom Waits and a smattering of Bob Dylan. Profound. Heartful. Funny. Soulful. Hypnotizing. Important. It doesn’t matter if you are not French-speaking. Look him up anyway.
There are times when there is a feeling of oneness in a room during a live music performance. It doesn’t happen all the time. When every musician is fully invested in every moment with each other, and the audience is right there with us. It is—divinity. It is essentially why we play music. That feeling. That oneness.
What is that? I know what it is. It’s love. It’s not romantic love, it’s not a friendship love. It’s a love that transcends, that makes us KNOW that we are all connected.
I love Québec. La Belle Province. I love being there, I love knowing the people, I love how they embrace the poignant moments of life. This isn’t a comparison to Ontario, by the way. It’s an appreciation.
When we go there we stay with Jacques and Isabelle. Jacques Marchand is the chef d’orchestre and his wife Isabelle is concertmaster. They are most of the reason I keep going there. Seeing them and spending time with them is a joy. Watching the way they love and respect each other so deeply inspires me. And plus, they’re just really fun people to be around and make music with.
As I emerge from a dark emotional time in my life for various reasons, this past weekend with OSR has lifted my spirit to heights that allows me to continue to work in music, to continue my vision for One Sky, and to express my gratitude for these big things, but also the little things, and the minutiae of daily life.
I am grateful.
p.s. I wish I could translate this into French eloquently, but sadly I can’t.