Today is the last day of a few days off – no particular reason for time off – just something to break up February and offer the chance of getting some things done around the house. To that end, I have failed miserably and I don’t know why but I just couldn’t face starting a project: perhaps, because there are so many things that need attention and I feel overwhelmed. I then play games with myself all day that I will start emptying a closet in a minute, then after a snack and before you know it, yes, I have been on the computer looking at items I will literally never buy or getting lured down a rabbit-hole of dire political forecasts.
I hate to be such a cliché but there it is.
Fortunately, there were a few things that I did achieve for my artistic soul which has been living on crumbs for some time now. The first night of my time off, I was presented with a surprise birthday ticket by a good friend to hear the lovely Leyla McCalla who was singing and playing the cello with just two bandmates: a violist, Free Feral (obviously, the coolest name ever) and McCalla’s own husband Daniel Tremblay, on guitar and banjo. I find that just lately I am really drawn to this kind of intelligent, thoughtful, fusion-world music sound: that mournful, soaring cello seemed to cut right through me at one point, causing my eyes to brim over and the viola providing a controlled, haunting sweetness to buoy the whole effect along. I cannot even tell you how wonderful it was, sipping some Pinot Grigio, feeling myself loosen and sharing the experience of a concert like that.
I stole glances around the room at one point and noted that everyone there was transfixed: no checking phones furtively here or looking around. Just listening. The music itself is Louisiana Creole-Cajun-Haitian influenced/flavoured which I read about later but could feel at once as soon as she began to perform. This is a woman with important, poetically slanted lyrics too, quite amazing and I was stunned that someone so talented was also so self-deprecating on stage and clearly quite shy.
The next morning I could honestly, still feel the music in my body.