Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Now We Are Three

It looks as if a new tradition is in the offing. Not content to let her dear husband Brian and I keep the omnivorous glories of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Deli to ourselves Judy joined us this evening for a round of samusas and chicken tandoori before we three headed off to Buddhism class. Judy was every bit as pleased by the fare as Brian and I had been the week before (see Spongy Corners Nov 28). So we’ve promised to return again. The owner – an Iranian-Canadian who gave up his thriving medical practice years ago for a more modest lifestyle – could not be happier.

The deli has also earned rave reviews from the street people who normally congregate outside Alex Goolden Hall across the street - some of their number waiting patiently for the owner to retreat to a room at the back of the deli before quickly sampling the wares for themselves and steadfastly refusing to disturb the proprietor’s peace by anything so crass as the paying of the bill. Short of scratching his head and staring vacantly down the street long after their departure the owner seems resigned to this arrangement with his transient neighbours.

Our dinner and class capped off a day in stark contrast to yesterday’s hectic schedule. Today: shopping for shoes and a leisurely read of Louis MacNiece and S.E. Venart (a new Canadian poet and very good). Yesterday: eight hours spent in two recording studios laying down guitar tracks and trying to pull my singing voice up out of my socks. Whenever I step into one of these low-lit, high ceiling facilities I’m reminded of those wonderful photos of the Beatles recording at Abbey Road studios back in the 60s and 70s. I remember thinking how glorious it all must be. Today, experiencing recording studios first hand, I’m mostly struck by how much hard work goes into recording music, a process that has its joyful moments, but is also painstaking and too often held hostage to technology.

In my case that process will be aided immeasurably by the addition of Jerry Adolph, a drummer we’re bringing in from Vancouver this weekend to record on six tracks. Jerry has a reputation for getting his parts done in short order, with a recording history that reads like the credit roll at the end of a Cecil B DeMille movie: Chilliwack, Roberta Flack, Melissa Manchester, George Fox, Booker T Jones, Jim Byrnes, Shari Ulrich, Valdi, Spirit of the West, Taj Mahal, the list goes on and on.

Other players who have promised to participate include slide guitar phenom Ken Hamm and pianist Karel Roessingh. Could I be more pleased? Don’t think so.

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