Seems there was a problem with the website that was preventing people from posting comments. Thanks to the dapper and beguiling Mr. Matrick for bringing it up and ruining all of your excuses for avoiding contact with me.

So the girls are north these days. Liza had to go to Alaska for some PR and dropped Syd off in Calgary along the way. Apparently the sun rises at 10:30am in Anchorage these days and sets around 1:00pm. I was going to say that I can see an up side to that but I can’t think of a punchline. Seriously, two and a half hours of sun? Where do you get your vitamin D? Anyway, Liza’s there until tonight then it’s back to Calgary. After that, I’ll have one more week of holiday recuperation on my own before they return to the tropics and raise the volume in my world about thirty decibels.

In other news, I am now a recorded artist. Thanks to the microphones and the mixer Hunkie Todd sent to me last month (although you could have gone with a mixer about $100 cheaper there, T-Bone), I’ve started recording some piano music for my dear old Grammie. Before you sigh about what a wonderful grandson I am, she’s been asking for this for nigh on ten years now.

So I’ve recorded two songs and have about a dozen or so more queued up. It was kind of fun playing with the software and volume levels and mixing. Then I actually clicked record and sat down to play… For those of you who are graduates of the School of Forced Music Lessons, let your minds wander back to the festival circuit. You remember. When parents from your area would gather their prodigies-in-their-minds and they would play for judges who probably thought they were clever ducking jury duty to sit and listen to some “beautiful music”.

I played many a festival. And it was nerve-racking, certainly, but this is worse. See, at a festival, you prance up to the piano, play your piece, and sit down. If you played well, more power to you. If you played badly, c’est la vie, you got to sit down at the end anyway and plot your strategy for contracting malaria the week before next year’s festival. When recording for your grandmother, however, there is no reprieve when you make a mistake. You can’t say, “Oh well, nothing I can do about it now. May as well go out with a bang”, and segue Beethoven’s Fur Elise into Elton John’s The Bitch is Back. When I make a mistake, I have to start over.

And let me tell you, grandmothers don’t like simple three-chord songs that ZZ Top could bang out on a banjo and a harmonica. They like songs by people who have been dead several centuries and have names that are pronounced in such a way as to make fools of people that try to sound them out phonetically. Songs that are eight minutes long and that start deceptively simple but end with a flourish and a variation on the theme in B harmonic minor. And I swear, if I can’t get the end of Chopin’s Nocturne down in the next hour, Grandma’s CD is going to be filled with piano renditions of Ricky Martin’s greatest hits.

In which case, I need only to record one song and save it at different tempos.