Music is the gift which takes us to a deeper level of feeling. Sometimes, it offers us a real and tangible understanding that we all have the capacity to mine those feelings found deep in the crevasses of our soul. I can't imagine a life without music.
Beethoven said "music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life." How true! Not only does it have the capacity to weave our thoughts and hearts together when it is shared and appreciated, it may even be the essence of who we are as human beings. This is what I was thinking at I sat in awe of Blues singer Matt Anderson who displayed a level of unadulterated rawness during his performance at the Fredericton Playhouse last night. It was like he channeled the most vulnerable spot in his soul and invited us to be there with him. WOW.
I wish I could charter a plane and bring you all to Fredericton this weekend, because it truly feels like the place to be for a musical immersion. The East Coast Music Awards are in town this year, bringing with it over 200 acts ranging from Celtic to Rock to Folk to Classical, to Gospel to Country. It's overwhelming actually to even map out a plan to absorb as much of it as you can. But, I'm trying me best............. :)
Every pub and venue is rockin' with music all weekend long as the "warm up" to the awards show tomorrow night. Many of the acts are new.........just starting out and not known well even in these parts (their home stomping grounds) which makes for an opportunity to see the next bright star. Some acts have a Maritime following and while others have pushed the borders out of the way and are recognized and admired over a larger landscape.
It's all amazing. I want to see and feel and experience it all.............a bit greedy, I am!
February can be a month of tired hibernation especially when the snow keeps accumulating and the cold begins to seep under your skin. It's the time of year when people struggle the most to find balance and energy. I know for me, there are days in February that seem like they will never end. And yet, last night when I stepped outside of the Fredericton Playhouse in between the sets of two distinctively different yet highly entertaining artists, I felt a rush of life, and sense of being enthralled with the beauty of the season. Big fluffy snowflakes were falling from the night sky decorating all that they touched, muffling the traffic going by, silencing the harmonies in the air, offering a postcard picture of a vibrant downtown. As I watched the streetlights capture the sparkle of the snowflakes as they floated down to the ground, I felt like I had stepped into a grace note.........which I inhaled as deep as I could.
Then, I went inside and was carried away by the performance of Ashley McIsaac whose frenetic brilliance that sparks out of his fiddle took my breath away. As crazy and unpredictable our most famous Cape Breton fiddler can be, his talent cannot be expressed in mere words
Don't you wanna be here? This afternoon, I'm attending a songwriter's circle with 5 singer songwriters who will take turns leading the others in one of their compositions and sharing it with all of us. And from there? Who knows? :) I'm open to it all.
You know, I think February is THE perfect month for a music festival in Canada.....even if it's taking in the Blues.....especially if it includes some fast toe stompin' high steppin' Celtic energy!
ps.......here's a snippet of Ashley's talents.....it's a Youtube video from 1994 but I've chosen it because he's playing with the Rankin brothers, Jimmy (who's in town performing tonight) and John Morris who was tragically killed in a car accident a few years ago. Playing the guitar is Stuart Cameron, who's father is the late John Allan Cameron who was a mentor to all of these men and loved by many fans far and wide. John Allan passed away just before the ECMA awards last year and there was a big tribute for him....his legacy will carry on through his music. Stuart Cameron played with Ashley last night and sang an emotionally beautiful song about his father. I felt like I was watching (from the FRONT row no less) and listening to a song for the ages. If I manage to get my hands on it, I'll post it for you.