Consciousness is a bitch…
…and hard to maintain. Not the kind that keeps you upright and talking. Fortunately that is usually pretty automatic. I mean the kind that requires you to be aware and non-delusional every waking moment. The kind that makes you perhaps change a habit that’s not serving your life or the world particularly well. Self delusion and being unintentionally insensitive to those around us seems to be our default. And overriding that is work and requires vigilance. Damn.
The payoff is a highly enjoyable life, and on a global scale would change the course of the world. The former I have enough glimpses of to at least be conscious of the importance of consciousness. The latter, I regret to admit… I am not optimistic. Donald Trump is running for president of the United States for god’s sake. WTF? Greed trumps everything (pun intended) and craps on our precious beautiful little planet every day in unfathomable ways. Even my usual pollyanna nature finds it all beyond disheartening.
So this all leaves me with a recurring image of playing my little heart out in the string quartette on the Titanic, hanging on to my passion and faith in the power of music to ease the fear, panic and pain in our hearts till my last breath, or the ship goes down – whichever comes first. But until that day, I’m enjoying the hell out of the boat ride! I scramble to fit everything I want to do into this one little life; I am regularly verclempt by how much I love my tribe ...and my “job”. Despite knowing full well I’m whistling my way to doom along with everyone else, I still annoyingly nag my friends to not needlessly leave their cars or taps running. And I find great inspiration in the relentless efforts of countless people on the frontlines trying to save us from ourselves.
Along with all that, this chapter seems to be filled with the contrasting spectrum of great adventures and rich musical experiences on one end, and seemingly relentless loss and illness of friends, loved ones, heroes and acquaintances on the other. Everyday there's is more such news. It all makes life, friendship, family and human connection all the more precious.
Okay - enough. Now I will fill you with the trivial details of my aforementioned semi-conscious life in case you care to partake in any of it.Most notably, the album Barney, Tom and I have been chipping away at for the past year is in our eager hands and we marvel at how much we enjoyed the process and now the outcome. Daughter Julia Graff ‘s shepherding of the recording right on through from the engineering, mixing, photography and the album artwork along with invaluable contributions from her partner James Perrella is a key factor I have to mention, not as maternal boasting, (I can assure you, I can claim no credit) but because its just so damn cool. Her fearlessness, work ethic and passion to learn is inspiring. I want to be like her when I grow up!
The website she designed for us is at http://www.bentalltaylorulrich.com
The album will be available on the Borealis website http://borealisrecords.com as of February 12th, but if you’re in Vancouver, come to the CD release concert at the Cultch in Vancouver and you can pick it up there! Or if you see me on the street, I have a box in the car. I'm one step away from walking the streets with a sandwich board.
The High Bar Gang will be finishing up its new "Cheantin' and Hurtin'" album in February, out on True North in the Spring , and I’m planning to have Shari album written and ready to record by the summer.
If you’re not within direct nagging distance, please do look after yourselves and each other.
Happy trails to you!