It was truly expected, given the long, vast & troubled story of the last four years, that the moments leading up to June 25th echoed the writing of "I Found Your Faces of Montreal". For several weeks, I had been searching for the right venue to both host my friends & family and to mirror the mood that I had envisaged for this album's first showcase. On a chance evening drive to a comedy club in the western Quebec countryside is where Paris-mate Stu & Helen fell into a conversation about multiculturalism & artistic possibilities, centered around The Loyola Chapel. This once Catholic stone church with high arched ceilings had been handed over to the University and it's up-keep & personality was being groomed daily by Helen. A few afternoons later, we sat on the side-door steps and charted out the initial ideas for the release party.
Over the coming weeks, I had the pleasure of rehearsing through the night in this ancient space, becoming familiar with her lights, shadows, acoustics & rustic smells. Like the strongest thread of "I Found Your Faces of Montreal", this first and most special show was pulled forward with the hands of my friends & family.
Truest thanks to Mar for sitting at the center of the chapel & listening for the right mix balance, Roshini for sacrificing 24 hours on a bus to only spend 24 hours in Montreal which most were filled with frantic preparations, Davy for stitching together & projecting the places that we've visited, My dear Toronto friends who made the trip to this city, The many friends that helped move pews & kept the energy flowing, Matei for preserving these moments through photographs, Helen & her crew for their support and extremely gratifying atmosphere, The passersby that walked in & enjoyed these moments, All the souls, both in body & spirit, that couldn't be at the Chapel, your support and love took a seat among us in the intimate cluster of pews.
The night surpassed all of my desires & my fingers felt nimble on the guitar and piano. I had the opportunity to speak with each of you after the performance about your reactions & feelings. I sensed your deep kinship with the music, visuals, atmosphere & their encircling stories. The success of the evening was revealed in those telling moments, when you felt how much you all are intertwined with this 8-song personal diary.
Your incredible generosity through the evening led to a total possible donation of 110$ towards charity. As many of you know, I have been a volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross and I have taken part in various relief efforts. Half of the donation has been given to the Canadian Red Cross to continue to support the victims of the Quebec flooding which began during the spring-thaw. My sister has spearheaded a few programs on behalf of the Lung Association aimed at enhancing our air quality & health. Breath is one of the basic & simple elements of life which is also directly linked to our emotions. The remaining half of the donation has been given to the New Brunswick Lung Association to help contribute to clean air initiatives.
I remember feeling awkward when answering that almost generic question when you meet new people: "So, what do you do?". Standard responses include listing the top line of your resume. Momentum gathered from the immense journey of "I Found Your Faces of Montreal" & this very special evening showcase with you all has solidified that my pool of words to draw from should always begin with musician, artist & to wherever that leads.
The Very Best,