Posts Tagged ‘toronto’

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Tinkering Away

December 1, 2013

km 064Well! The recording has been going somewhat painlessly. Imagine that!? This is our third go around together in the studio and I think we might finally be hitting our stride. We still have a few overdubs to go and then onto editing and mixing. Yeah!

I also realized that in the past year since he’s been with us, I’ve never officially introduced our newest addition to the band. We now have keys! It started out as, “Come out and jam with us!” one night and …. well, the jam session never ended. Gladly, I’d like to introduce our key master, Patrick. He went to town on all the different pianos available at the studio. He especially took a liking to the Petrof grand piano. Man, it sounded amazing. We’re even showcasing his vocal and songwriting chops in one of the songs.

We’re itching to get the new tunes out there but – patience. That’s what we keep telling ourselves. So I am off for a few days to visit my really cool aunt in the States, while they do the rest of the lead guitar overdubs this week. Then it’s acoustics and background vocals when I return. I’m hopeful to start some new writing again. Being away always seems to clear the cobwebs from my head. It’s like a new, clean canvas set on the easel just waiting to be splattered with some kind of new idea.

We’ll see!

Later!

NG

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Gearing up!

November 23, 2013

ImageToday is the day! Just finishing up my morning cup of coffee before riding over to the studio. We’ve picked one closer to home this time. We’re all pretty excited about the new tunes and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll have great energy vibrating around us this weekend.  I’m always a little jittery on the first day. Not sure why. Guess it’s just getting used to playing in a new space for the next 48 hours straight – well, almost. We will be going home to sleep. 🙂

Well, here we go.

Peace out and see you on the other side.

NG

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Turning the Paige

September 15, 2013
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Photograph by: Jason Cipparrone

Life always has a funny way of leading us down interesting and captivating paths. Sometimes we don’t even realize the road we are traveling on until we arrive at a destination and see that this was one of the stops we’ve been meaning to make all along. A serendipitous occasion.

For me it was indeed a pleasant surprise to attend a solo show with my favourite, Paige Cora of The Ruby Spirit. She has spread her angel wings across a new breadth of sound. The set enveloped me in a different way from previous Ruby shows. Sitting alone at the piano with sprinkled accompaniment from a cello, horn and trumpet; her voice softer than usual yet still packing the same strength of emotional impact, embraced you tenderly and swept you gingerly through the ride of freedom. That’s what it felt like to me. The nakedness of it made me, as an audience member, feel lighter – free-er. I was enchanted in a a new way. Just when you think Paige has shown you all her tricks, she appears in yet another new light. The illusory angel strikes again.

I hope she continues to explore this new side of her music for a while. It’s definitely given me some renewed inspiration and I finally realized why I had been tinkering with a new song idea for a while but didn’t quite know where the words were coming from. They were coming from a searching ache for getting to the core of who you really are.

I wonder if we’ll ever really know before we move onto the next plane?

NG

We Are One

Standing still on the boulevard

I was trying to keep myself from crying

Tried to run but didn’t get very far

There were too many minds dying

To know

Where are we going to and where did we come from

Keep dancing around your truth

but when it’s said and done

We are one

We are one

We are one

Cast aside but still running wild

I had to find my way back home

Crawl and hide but I’m still on your side

It’s in your nature to roam

Where are we going to and where did we come from

Keep dancing around your truth

but when it’s said and done

We are one

We are one

We are one

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Island Memories Continued

July 21, 2013

Here a few more entries from my trip last summer:

Friday, June 15, 2012

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The after shower sun dips in and out of the low-lying clouds. I wait at Uncle Nic’s Naturopathic office while he sees his patients. His friend AnaBela will be by soon to scoop me up and take me down to the centro comercial while he works today. She was nice enough to pick me up to meet up with him and his partner for lunch. It’s amazing how so at home I feel here. I still stumble a bit with the language but think I’m still doing better than most. The time here is really helping me recharge my battery. It’s only been two days but I’ve already immersed my way of thinking (for the most part) to the way it is here on the island. Home seems so far away and far back in time. I was able to hop online this morning to check e-mails and nothing major has happened. I’m already thinking I could get used to doing this every summer. Hmmm.

Just like back home, everyone is complaining about the economic crisis but all the bars and restaurants are still pretty full. People are reshuffling where they are putting their money, perhaps. Just wish they’d shuffle it into buying some Cd’s my way. Being here makes me wonder what life would be like to just move in another direction. What would I do? Would I get bored? Would I – or how would I re-invent myself? Hm. No one knows.

For now I’m enjoying the lazy schedule and am forcing myself to re-acquaint with the Portuguese printed word. (I’m trying to get through their version of Vogue magazine.) Perhaps it will give me some song inspiration? Inspiration. The illusive drug of my existence. So seldom. So fleeting.

NG

Monday, June 18, 2012

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Uncle Nic’s garden

These last few days have been tremendous. Uncle Nic has been taking me all over the island. I’ve been reacquainting myself with the memories of my childhood when I spent a few summers here. So much has changed but so much is still the same. I spent the evening at my grandmother’s house, (she is no longer with us) and it was a little emotional because the last time I was here, she was still alive. I was amazed to see how much of our family history Uncle Nic knows, remembers and has preserved. I was even lucky enough to have him give me a few of our family relics: my great-grandmother’s favourite bowls, I think originally made of porcelain? Not quite sure but you can see its age in the relenting crevices of its surface. Wonderful and amazing. Sometimes it makes me sad that I don’t have anyone to pass it on to but I’m hoping that a few of my cousins may want to pass on our history to their kids one day.

Aah. The weather has been lovely, as far as I’m concerned. There have been really no beach jaunts and even though most of the days so far, have been grey, I’ve been quite content with the peek-a-boo game the sun has been playing. It’s still reasonably warm with a beautiful breeze – just perfect. As we speak, I am sitting on the grass with Less, the German Shepherd, and Blacky (not sure of his name still- he’s the black lab – should really try to find out) by my side. The birds continue to sing and chant and I feel better than I have in ages. This is just what I needed.

Forty-eight hours from now, I will be on a plane back to the real world. But I’m not going to think about it! So, for now I’m going to lie back and read the book that I brought and for the next two days I am going to continue enjoying the in-between-patient lunches with Uncle Nic and the endless hours of story-telling at the day’s end. Add a splash of his fun friends and all the funny shenanigans they crack with each other and it will cap off the funnest most restful vacation ever.

NG

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

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“Blacky”

It’s late morning. Suitcase packed. Dressed and ready to go to the airport in a few hours. I just came in from enjoying a coffee while standing by the frog pond. With the reptiles conversing with song and birds chattering about, it’s tough to have to say good-bye for now. It’s been spitting rain all morning and even though it makes clothes end everything damp, I enjoyed being enchanted by mother nature. Less and Blacky are by my side and as I think how everything is perfect in the world, the sun peeks out and smiles down on me.

A beautiful end to a perfect week. And even with very little sleep I feel refreshed. Most nights were spent telling stories of the “old” days and funny anecdotes from Uncle Nic’s previous life experiences. But although refreshed, I find myself wishing I could stay just a few more days but real life is waiting for me on the other side of the ocean.

I hope I can get my songwriting juices going again I was hoping this trip would re-juice the creative flow. But even though I spent a few days on my own tinkering on Uncle Nic’s guitar, I felt nothing come to me.  I’m still not sure if I should be worried because it’s going to be almost a year since the last full song. I’ve written, “Red Light”. We’re now in the midst of mastering the recording of it.

Well, maybe once I get back to North American soil and have the chance to look back and ponder on this week in utopia, something will jump at me and give me the jolt of the inspiration I need. Guess only time will tell.

NG

Friday, June 22, 2012  –  The Return

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It’s funny how once you return to your real life, it almost feels like your time away didn’t really happen. Did I really experience all those wonderful trips and interactions? Or was it a dream? A figment of my imagination? I remember watching the city grow near as the plane continued its descent back into the city I had left behind only eight days earlier. Everything seems too flat, straight, boring. I’m a hopeless romantic and endless dreamer. Always have been. Because of that I get easily caught up in the romanticism of what’s out there. But I know once I get used to there, I will only wonder what’s back here. Human nature, I guess.

I am glad to reconnect with my amazing family of friends but I must admit, I was fighting pretty hard to hold back tears as I said good-bye to Uncle Nic. I actually think he might have been as well because he kept this hard smile on his face, always, like he was forcing himself not to get emotional. So sweet.

Once back here, I’d hope that I’d get a rush of songwriting ideas but … nothing. I’m going to try not to worry about it. We’ve gotten our EP mastered finally. Now we are onto working on the album art, which is exciting because we are slowly getting ourselves organized to do a photo shoot with some really cool ideas. We’re going for a very artistic approach. So we’ve got stuff on the go. It should keep us going until Fall when I’m hoping to have a final product to have available at shows. Perhaps in the interim of all this final “touch up” work, the creative juices will flow again and we can work towards our next recording.

Hmm…. the universe always seems to have a plan for me.

NG

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The Return

August 24, 2011

Wow! The summer has just slipped away from me! And now we’re slowing inching toward its end. Bummer. You always know that when the CNE sets up in town, it’s the beginning of the end. Sure it’s one of this cities’ greatest loves and creates the best memories of childhood but it also marks the end of warm weather as we know it and the ever impending entry of Fall which seems to turn too quickly into Winter.

I’ve been extremely negligent in writing the past few months. Since getting back from Hawaii, I’ve pretty much hit the ground running. From or to what, I’m not quite sure; as this EP seems to be the longest musical project in the history of putting out silly EPs. That’s what I feel like it is now. Silly. It’s taken far longer than it should have to get it out. Perhaps we were just too picky on getting things to sound just right. Good old ego getting in the way.
Whatever the case, I am hopeful that we will be releasing it in the next few weeks and getting some shows back on the road! Yeah!

In the meantime, I’ll post the rest of our Hawaii entries and keep you up to date on the Summer trip to Paradise.

Hope you enjoy!

NG

(Please see next blog entry.)

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Aloha – Day #1

July 2, 2011

Sunday, June 12th

Well, after 12 hours of travel, a mad dash through LAX and a celebrity sighting, we’ve arrived in Honolulu. The moment you get off the plane, the gentle moisture in the air welcomes you with a warm hug. We’re here. Hawaii. This is where Don Ho entertained thousands with his Tiny Bubbles song. Here is where Elvis filmed Blue Hawaii. In fact, we’re staying at the resort where it was filmed and where he loved to stay. The Hilton Hawaiian Village. Coming from a former hotel employee, I would say the property is absolutely beautiful but their housekeeping staff need some upgraded training on how to clean a room. But! We have a beautiful ocean view room with a comfortable amount of space to spread out.

We’ve been up now for almost twenty-four hours as we had a noon flight and Hawaii is six hours behind, so we’re both pretty spaced out. And even though it’s only 8pm Hawaii time, for us it’s really 2am. Sooo we are on the verge of passing out.

It’s been a smooth travel day with regards to two easy flights but almost missed our connection in L.A. when we lounged at the wrong terminal for too long and then found ourselves bolting through the airport to get to Terminal 7 when we were only at Terminal 2. With airport staff being nice enough to race us through security, all the while telling us, “You ain’t gonna make it.” I felt like we were in an episode of the Amazing Race. My travel buddy even yelled at the shuttle bus driver, “Drive! And don;t pick anyone else up!” When we told him we needed to get to Terminal 7 in 10 minutes, he gave us that typical American Are-you-kidding-me look.

As he stopped to let one person on at Terminal 3, my friend yelled, “Get on! Get on! We’ve gotta go!” The poor driver almost smashed into another bus as he was trying to burn it to the other side of the airport. Good times! I’ve never ran and climbed so many stairs and obstacle courses in my life! And just as they were calling for the last call to board, the ticket agent saw us running and yelled, “Come on! Hurry!” And…….. we made it, hearts barely in chests they were beating so hard. It seems these mad dashes through airports and train stations are becoming a recurring theme in my travels. All this and we walked right by Jessica Biel in LAX, as she was boarding a plane to…. Toronto. Good one.

Alright. Exhausted. Sleep now.

Nowhere Girl

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Day 307 – Sound Advice

February 19, 2011

There are moments in life when you get just the right guidance. The best in fact. Because it comes when you least expect it but are in need of it most. I got the advice I needed just in time for tonight’s show. There are still so many unfinished issues with our set but guess what? All we can do now is just play. And play from the place that drives you. Staying true to what you love will always shine through. And since there’s nothing left to do but that, that is just what I plan on doing.

I have done little or no singing or even too much talking this week in hopes of rejuvenating my vocal chords after this nasty flu, that still seems to be lingering a bit. But no matter. I have a big group of wonderful friends that have committed to supporting us tonight and I don’t plan on letting them down. Despite all the trials and tribulations, it’s when my beautiful friends come together to show their love that I realize I am the luckiest girl in the world….

Here goes nothing!

Nowhere Girl

NOWHERE GIRL

at The Cadillac Lounge

1298 Queen St W   Toronto, ON

9-10pm Nowhere Girl LIVE followed by

10:30pm The Mashmen!

$10 at the door