This is the infamous Super Bowl Sunday, and I for one could not care less about that.  In fact, if it wasn’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t have known that today is the day.   That’s how little I follow sports.

I know what I said a couple of weeks ago about how ‘the hiatus is over’ and all that, but life seems to have gone into overdrive since then, and I haven’t had two minutes to rub together to write anything new.

Two weekends ago, I went to Waldport, Oregon to spend the weekend with a childhood friend whose job is about to end, which will force him to move away from that pretty little town.  (Photos to come, as soon as I get the chance to go through them.)

IrishBand has a friend who’s creating an animated video for one of our songs, and it’s tremendous!  It should be done within a couple of weeks, and then I’ll be able to share it here.  It’s been quite a process, and very exciting to watch it all come together.  We needed to create an ‘intro’ section for it (you’ll see what I mean) that featured the sound of the band setting up their instruments and tuning up and whatnot.  Since two of the band members are busy in school, we weren’t able to schedule a rehearsal, so I set up the instruments (drums, bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and cello played up high to simulate a violin) in my living room and recorded them using one microphone to simulate a camera person walking in and recording us that way.  (Photos to come, once I have a chance to go through them.)

I spent last weekend in Seattle to see a pipe organ concert at my brother’s church and to celebrate BabyNiece’s first birthday.  It was really fun, and super cute, and a bit stressful all at the same time.  (Photos to come, as soon as I get the chance to go through them.)  I drove back late Saturday night so that I could attend the Oregon Symphony the next afternoon.  They were featuring Jean-Philippe Collard performing Ravel’s beautiful Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, which I love and didn’t want to miss.  (Extra-special thanks to Kelly V. for making it possible for me and my companion to go!)  Hmm. . .’companion’ makes it sound like I’m gay, which I’m not.  For the record, my companion was a girl.


I couldn’t find a video of Collard playing the Left Hand, but here’s one of  him playing a similar piece by Ravel, for solo piano.

It was an incredible and beautiful show.  The orchestra started with a piece by Thomas Adés called “Powder Her Face”, which was very colorful and enchanting.  Next up was the Ravel concerto, followed by Gustav Holst’s “Egdon Heath” and one of the lesser-known Mozart symphonies, number thirty four.   The Ravel was the only piece either of us (and I daresay the majority of the audience, as well) was familiar with.  I love the way the conductor, Carlos, Kalmar, chooses music for his programs.  This is the second one I’ve seen so far this season, and he likes to blend the familiar with the unfamiliar in an intriguing way.

Speaking of the Oregon Symphony, next season promises to be world-class.  Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Hillary Hahn, Emmanuel Ax, Lang Lang. . .and that’s not even close to a complete list.  We are in for a treat multiple treats!

I had the opportunity to play with two nationally-known songwriters this week, in the same venue, on different days.  The first was Tony Furtado (a friend with whom I play fairly regularly) and the second was Dan Bern, who I had just met earlier in the day, when I helped my friend John by engineering and sort of co-hosting a podcast for KZME Radio called Hello Cruel World.  This was the second time I’ve had the opportunity to do that, the first being a couple weeks prior, when we interviewed an excellent new songwriter from Seattle named Tamara Power-Drutis.  Anyway, we were talking with Dan about the times we’ve seen him in concert.  John mentioned to Dan that I play accordion and multiple other things, and Dan asked if I know his music.  “Yes, I do,” I answered.  He asked, “Do you want to come play at the show tonight?”  “Absolutely!”

This picture was taken during the song God Said No.

So yeah, between the multiple out-of-town trips, the stellar gigs, the birthday parties and the nights out, it’s been quite a fun couple of weeks.  Now I’m off to meet a friend for dinner, and tomorrow I’ll be mixing some more songs for IrishBand.

I’m off of blogging hiatus, but we’ll see how long it takes before I have time to write again.  I don’t imagine it’ll be this long.