Blog post #1 … This is not a resolution …

Last year around this time I decided that I needed to start documenting our journey … I spend a lot of time clarifying for people just what it is that we do and how it is that we do it.  There are a lot of interested people asking a lot of interesting questions … I think that people can’t quite wrap their head’s around the idea that we actually live in our RV or that we both have no fixed address AND that we call both Lanark County & PEI home.

So, let me break it down for anyone who is interested … we pretty much live in our van down by the river and when we aren’t doing that we are probably in one of our parent’s basements either literally or metaphorically. We have a cabin on PEI’s North shore and once we get the holes closed in and a heat source installed we will be spending quite a bit more time there.  But it has no water or septic so living there would require some creativity.

Both Maureen and I gave up our apartments and the costs that go along with them so that we could spend that money, instead, on a home on wheels … one that would allow us to both experience and play music wherever we want (and wherever we can afford to drive 😉 )  Our RV is not just a fancy van that we take out for fun on weekends, it is our home … and we love it.

I do mention, wherever we can afford to drive because it is not a cheap vehicle to run or maintain so we are not really saving money by living in it so much as making ourselves portable.  We still spend all kinds of time in our respective home bases of Perth, ON/Pembroke, ON and Darnley, PEI and our parents are ready with their to do lists when we show up to do laundry or to camp out for the winter.  It’s kind of perfect actually because they are at a point in their lives where maintenance tasks are becoming a little more difficult for them to do on their own and we are very happy to be present and lend a hand of support wherever we can (getting inside from the cold, Canadian winter doesn’t hurt either 😉 ).

This blog will be an ongoing narrative on our efforts and experiences living as musicians.  What most people don’t know is that that means finding creative ways to manage all the other parts of our lives … a way to keep the road clear for practicing, performing and writing without having to spend all our best energy on secondary tasks.  Fixing things when they are broke, building things when we need them, recycling things other people won’t use anymore … it means truly understanding and participating in the business of music even though that’s not the funnest part.

I purposely didn’t publish my first post of this blog on New Year’s Day … I didn’t want this journey to be imbued with all the hype that goes with resolutions.  This is NOT a resolution it is just part of our journey.  We are not sure where we will end up we just know that we need to experience, compose and perform music and currently we need to do it while living (mostly) in a big, white RV.  The rest we will have to take day by day.

My plan is to publish a post weekly.  What I would really like to do is to publish a short video with each post to encapsulate what we have been up to but that has already stalled my first publish date by a couple weeks sooooo, maybe not … maybe there will just be intermittent videos as we are able.  What I do know is that we will find whatever formula works best and we will use it.

This month was all about starting to pull together all the song pieces that have been floating around in my head for our new album … it’s exciting, it’s daunting … it’s all the stuff.  On this album we are going to push our boundaries even further than we have so far.  There will be a shift in instrumentation and in musical style and we will be composing with an entirely different toolset – I am stoked!

This month has also been all about installing a wood stove in the cabin on the shore (PEI’s North shore) so that we can have a nice private place to write, practice and compose.

This video is made up of brief clips taken with our phones … often as an afterthought.  I have some ideas about how I will roll out next week’s installment differently … I guess time will tell 🙂

Throughout the course of each day we find ourselves confronted with all kinds of creative problems which require even more creative solutions.  I started jotting them down a little while ago because they are interesting to me …. I thought they may be for you to.

Interesting/Frustrating Things I learned this month:

  • If you want to transfer a wordpress site using the built in WP export/import function then you need to choose to export ‘all content’ otherwise you will be unable to bring along all the file and image attachments.  If you choose to break down your export into pages and posts these will not come along with their associated files.
  • If you have a Presonus audio interface you would like to hook up to an ipad for recording or looping then you need to be sure to update to the latest firmware version.  Note: when you view your firmware version in your VSL software you can click the ‘Firmware Version’ text to force an update – there is no indication on the screen that you can do this you just have to guess or spend a long time back and forth in the support ticket room.  Also, apparently Firmware version 1.18 is actually version 1.3 … that’s right, it is actually version 1.3.  The digits 1.18 are apparently binary for 1.3 hexadecimal.  Of course, when I mentioned to the support person that binary is made up of 1’s and 0’s  which would rule out 1.18 as any kind of binary number my ticket got mysteriously closed. Thank goodness for the awesome folks at Long and McQuade (everywhere).  They confirmed for us that this is a known issue and that, even though we were a day past our warranty deadline, they would send it back to Presonus for repair AND give us a loaner to use in the interim.  I LOVE Long and McQuade!