Greetings to You and Happy Reflections, New Beginnings, Continuations!
The past 12 months have been ~ well ~ most interesting.
You've been on my mind!
I must have started this letter 10 times, not sure how to connect with you in an engaging way, what to write.. it has been so long, I just have to write about something.
I shall reflect on 2020 in a positive way.
Beginning the year for me in January 2020 was a trip to Hamburg Germany to see my mother for her birthday and the anniversary of my Dad's passing ~ it also offered the opportunity to attend a vocalist workshop with Jazz musician Anita Wardell, working on all things scat. New learnings, new friends, new approaches to Jazz, another chance to step outside the comfort zone. So important for growth. It was fun!
News of a beginning pandemic emerged as I prepared to travel home end of January. Relieved to be on my way home, I noticed the plane was packed with people from all over the world. Fascinating. I had conversations with a medical student returning to Canada from Eastern Europe, where he is pursuing a highly regarded and highly affordable education over many years. The passenger to my right was on his way home to Canada after visiting family in the Middle East. 6 hours of being crammed into a plane can be agonizing, unless you make the best of it.
All this seems other worldy to me now...
Sadly, I missed my Jazz Matinee gig with the band at home, but performed one last Jazz Matinee gig end of February and also attended a Dylan tribute and a musical reunion gig with Rick Charbonneau & Friends, what a great show after such a long hiatus!
Then... lights went out and all live music was cancelled. At that point, it became increasingly clear that life would not return to 'normal' anytime soon.. if ever.
Following first initial confusion, concern and feelings of uncertainty; priorities shifted and opportunities began presenting themselves, coping mechanisms kicked in. Projects neglected for decades and solitary musical endeavours beckoned and so, most of summer was spent in nature, replenishing, reorganizing, planning, working, repairing, reflecting, fixing, thinking, changing, dreaming, living simply and away from population.
There was however some nice momentum ~ a wee wave of feedback for the 2018 Solitude album ~ such inspiring gestures, thank you. Many of us had more time this past year for musings, a blessing in disguise, opportunity for much needed change and discovering more meaningful living with less stress, more purpose and kindness.
My deep admiration and respect goes to nurses, doctors and health care workers everywhere and truck drivers, front line workers in stores, restaurants and coffee shops to name a few. These dedicated people work daily in difficult environments so we, the public, have food on the table and other essentials available to us. They continue to row the boat for us, simply asking us in return to be respectful, wear a mask, keep a distance and refrain from unnecessary gatherings. Common sense, that's ~ all. Not easy for some, but if it helps keep people out of IC units and lighten the load for health care staff, it is worth the effort for all of us in the long run.
Let's try nature walks, learning new skills, starting or finishing long neglected projects. Contacting people who live alone, making a meal for someone and safely make their day. Keeping in touch. I know it's easier said than done.
But here we are a year later, wiser and more patient hopefully, living simpler, slower, kinder and more meaningful and aware perhaps.
Much appreciation goes out to all of you who have listened to live music and have purchased albums by local musicians last year, your support and interest are so valued.
Years of live performances, hauling equipment and often driving the 50k home in snow storms at -20 C and colder, arriving at 3 - 4 am after napping in the car 2-3 times by the side of the road with the car running ~ have come to a stop. I must admit, it is kind of nice to have a break this winter and pursue other paths of musical and creative expression.
My eternal gratitude goes out to you brilliant musician friends who in the past have stepped out of the comfort zone and into a realm of original music and jazz standards. Together we have worked hard, put time, effort and sincere passion into live performances and recordings, created magic. Thank YOU.
I am looking forward to more live music work in the distant future, envisioning plans.
Miss teaching beginner guitar lessons and all the rewarding times, the joy in working & learning to play tunes together.
Meanwhile, this winter is reserved for solitary musical learning, experimenting, working, playing, getting outside back country skiing, snow shoeing, cooking, keeping busy, keeping it simple, keeping low key until further notice..
Wishing us all good health and happiness, further positive transformations and good vibrations for the coming year!
Please remember wearing a mask, to wash your hands often and take care of each other! Good talking to you :)
Happy New Year to YOU and Yours ~
Britta & family