Saturday, 9 February 2013

And promises to keep

As several people pointed out to me by email after the last post, the show wasn't the only thing that kept me busy in January (all photos, except the last one, are from the installation).


When my world fell apart, I had several people want me to come and volunteer with their organizations to keep me occupied. At the time, physically and mentally, I wasn't capable of making commitments like that, but, I was told, whenever you're ready, we'd love to have you.

So when I returned from Ontario and Quebec, I was ready to pick up two parts of my life -- one new, and one very, very old -- and I'm exceedingly grateful that I was welcomed with open arms.

That being said, they kept me extra-ordinarily busy in January as well.


The new adventure was being a volunteer during the High Performance Rodeo, an annual theatre (mostly, with some music and visual arts events) festival that I've attended in the past and thoroughly enjoyed. I was an usher for a couple of shows, surveyed paying customers before others, and saw more theatre and dance in a month than I have in the last two years. Working with the wonderful staff of One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre and the other volunteers was a lot of fun: I hope to do it again next year.


The other pleasurable occupation was returning to my roots by being requalified to do a live music show at CJSW, the University of Calgary radio station where I got my start in broadcasting forty years ago. The station has expanded over the years, and moved upstairs to cushy new digs awhile back, but some things, like the attitude of the people who walk through the door, hasn't changed a bit.

I never remember doing a two-hour music show as "hard work," but then, that was before we had real call letters, and a licence from the CRTC: now, there are rules about Canadian content, and the station guidelines of playing music from the playlist, scheduled ads and promos, and reading PSAs when you're told to, not just when you think of it.


The new equipment was also a challenge: back in the old days, we dropped the needle on vinyl records and played promos on something like an old eight-track machine (remember those?). Now, ads and promos are on iTunes, and music comes off of CDs and iPods. That being said, vinyl is still out there, and at least I didn't need to be taught how to cue them up again.

As you might be able to tell from the photograph below, I had a great time (here, I'm looking to see how much time is left on the CD that's playing), working on a (mostly) folk show, listening to and playing new artists, pulling tunes I love from musician-friends, and just generally having fun. While I'm not prepared to commit to having a regular music show, I will be around more, doing what I love -- interviewing authors and working on some longer-form documentaries.

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