June 10, 2016 § Leave a comment
Thanks so much to everyone who came to my shows in Bergen, Toronto and Montreal! There was a lot of travelling involved (that’s the downside of living in a small city: I rarely have direct flights, so travelling to Bergen involved 10 hours of travel one way, flying to Toronto 15 hours…), but it was so worth it!
My arrival in Toronto came with the very bad surprise of not getting my suitcase, which is full of gear and without which I cannot perform; there were about 100 of us in the same case, so it was really chaotic (the next day I learnt this was due to a ground personnel strike in Paris Charles de Gaulle airport).
Instead of sleeping soundly, I kept turning in my bed wondering what I would do if we didn’t get the suitcase in time, or at all. There is only one Paris-Toronto flight per day, arriving at 4 pm, and when a delayed suitcase arrives, it still has to go through customs, which can take hours, AND the airline has a 12-hour window for delivery, which meant that we definitely needed to find someone sensitive to our problem so that the process could be specially speeded up for my show!
Luckily for me, Jay Pollard, the person behind Invocation, who had invited me to play at Ratio, has excellent communication skills, and on the day of the show, we headed back to the airport and found someone who took pity on us and agreed to help us. Within an hour and a half, my suitcase was once again in my hands, and I swear I felt like kissing it!
We headed to Ratio for a brief soundcheck and I loved the intimate and cozy atmosphere of the space, and the warm welcome I was given – not to mention the great opening sets by Justin Small of Do Make Say Think and by Picastro, and the amazing audience who attended :-)))
I also loved playing Mutek , a special show for me as it was my 200th show (please don’t think me crazy/self-centered for counting my shows: I do 99% of my booking on my own and it’s so much work that yes, I love seeing a number like that confirming that if sometimes I feel tired, well I’ve got a good reason to! ;))) I think it’s also the first time I get to play a big festival twice, and it was interesting for me to reflect on how much my music has changed since my 2007 appearance! Resident Advisor has some very kind things to say about my concert, and here are some photos by Trung Dung Nguyen (thank you Trung!) – funny thing is that I’m so lost in the music when I play that I didn’t even notice those screens around me!
I also gave a long interview for the Underground Sounds radio programme on CKUT 90.3FM, in which we talked about a lot of things, including directions for my next album. It’ll be broadcast on 13 June at 8 pm CST (listen to it live here or stream and download it in the archive section afterwards ).
Last but not least, I had a day and a half off after Mutek, and headed to the Mont Royal area for my first North American birdwatching session on the East Coast. I was rewarded with 12 new-to-me North American species, including Downy and Hairy woodpeckers in the woods (with cartoon-style baby Hairy woodpecker sticking his head out of the nesthole begging for food!), but saw most species in the enchanting setting of the Mont Royal cemetery, which has a strangely Italian atmosphere, at least on a sunny day. I won’t mention them all here, but I can say I definitely fell in love with the stunning Indigo bunting and the even more amazing Eastern bluebird, and have fallen in love with the song of the Black-capped Chickadee!
I also got lucky with the mammals: in Toronto I saw black squirrels, in the woods in Mont-Royal I got to hand-feed a particularly cheeky and greedy grey squirrel, and in the cemetery I saw several groundhogs and a racoon! I know that some of these species are becoming more and more common in urban environments, but I was definitely very excited to see them!
I must be riding a great animal-watching wave right now as once back here in San Sebastian, on my first little walk to breathe some fresh air, I saw… a dolphin! First time I’ve spotted one here, and I can’t help but interpret it as a great sign for the summer that’s about to come! :-)))