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October 20, 2004

Forgot to mention Monday

Monday: analysis of sound quality in West Kings County High School music room.

hours:8.5 kms: 260

Not much to say here. I did stuff. And things. Need sleep...


Hours: 19 kms: 750

If you visit the Charlottetown mall Bluenotes store, I installed the sound system. Yay me.

Needless to say, the install took longer than I would have liked. On the upside, I got to drive across the confederation bridge for the first time.

October 18, 2004

Weekend gig wrap up

I may get around to writing real entries later, but I had little sleep over the weekend, and I'm out of town again tomorrow for work, so I just want to write down the skeleton of the weekend's events.

Friday: Celtic Colours Day 8

hours: 18 kms:630
This day was the setup for the World's Biggest Square Dance at the Baddeck Arena. A few hijinks here that probably are best told in person and not written down in a public forum. Ate a great meal at Mother Webb's on the way to Moncton.

Saturday: George Canyon at the Moncton Colesium
hours: 19 kms: 230
I was really afraid that this show would be a nightmare, since I had been on the road, unable to pack my own lighting kit, and much of the gear was rapidly turned around from other shows and so on. It turned out that the only thing we forgot was 1 spare PAR lamp, and the local crew was excellent, so the setup went well and the show was great.

Sunday: George Canyon at Riverfront in New Glasgow
hours:18 kms: 160

This was a matinee fundraiser for a local fire department, I think. We basically drove from the Moncton colesium right to the New Glasgow show and started unloading. I counted the distance for the drive from Moncton in yesterdays total, so today's is just the return trip to Halifax. Again, a good bunch of local loaders - this time students from a new sound technology course at a local high school, I think. Oddly enough, one of them had attended YC Newfoundland last week, which I missed to do the Celtic Colours run. The show went well and I grabbed a couple of hours sleep between soundcheck and the show backstage on the KF850 speaker covers.

When I finally got back to Halifax it was great to find that some friends wanted to hang out. The made me really feel like they were glad that I was back. Thanks, guys - you know who you are.

Must run to fold laundry and get to bed. I have an early drive to PEI tomorrow.

October 15, 2004

Celtic Colours: Day 7

hours: 12 km: 140

Ok, I've officially filled my annual quota of bagpipe music. And also, it kind of bugs me when I walk to a stage to adjust a mic for a musician to introduce songs, and they push the mic away because they don't want their instrument amplified, or don't think they need it for talking. First of all, I'm a professional. The mic is off while you're playing your bagpipe. Don't worry about it. Second, you do need the mic. I'm the one in the back of the room who can tell if the back row can hear you or not.

Ok, enough griping. It was still a nice show, and the venue was really interesting. The show was called the Piper's Ceilidh, and it featured several pipers with various accompaniment. The venue was Malagawatch Church at the Nova Scotia Highland Village. The church was recently moved from across the Bras D'Or lake. That was quite a feat, and made international news. I had the pleasure of working with Decklin again (I forget his last name). He stage managed the opening gala as well as the show at the Savoy, and he's a great guy to work with.

October 14, 2004

Celtic Colours: Day 6

hours:13 kms: 380

Well, I was a little late for my load-in time, but I did make the drive through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. I have to say, I was very impressed by the scenery along the Cabot Trail, and I hope I get a chance to see it again soon.

The show tonight was in Strathespy place, which is a nice theatre. I didn't realize that the show would be taped by CBC. Dave Rankin is the house audio tech, so between CBC's Pat Martin and Dave, they had most of the patch and stage wiring figured out by the time I was set up. I was just doing monitors, which was a nice change. I think the show went really well. It was another interesting lineup, with Troy MacGillivery and a scottish girl named Anna, Dochas, Chris Norman and Slainte Math.

October 13, 2004

Celtic Colours: Day 5

hours: 13 kms: 185

Today was pianos du jour at the Boardmore playhouse at the University College of Cape Breton, in Sydney. It was a really nice venue, if a little challenging to cover evenly with a portable sound system. The house lighting tech did a really good job setting up the lights for me, and the music was really good. I took some pictures that I hope are nice, but I'm not going to take time to post them tonight, because I want to go to sleep.

I'm planning to get up a little earlier tomorrow morning so that I can drive the Cabot Trail and take the scenic route to Mabou.

Celtic Colours: Day 4

hours: 12 kms: 60

Today: Giant's Ceilidh at the Englishtown Community Hall. Another sold out show, this time for 160+ in a quaint little community hall, not far from the hotel. The short drive made the day a little less tiring, and again the dinner provided by the local volunteers was superb.

I have to say this festival is extremely well organized. For example, yesterday, to attempt to repair a broken piece of equipment belonging to the venue, I needed hydrogen peroxide and a syringe. I only had to mention it to the stage manager, and half an hour later I had it, even though we were in a rural community and most stores are closed on Sundays. Today, I asked if I could get a copy of the festival compilation CD to play before the show, and a driver came over from the festival office with one for me.

Everywhere I go things are running smoothly, with lots of volunteer support and so far no problem that couldn't be solved quickly and with very little fuss.

I have been telling people that this isn't my type of music, but I have to say that Daniel Lapp is my type of music. This show reminded me why it's so cool to see live music. I guess I've been getting a little jaded lately, but I had forgotten how neat it is to see some talented people do something interesting, energetic and unique. Who would think that a guitar, fiddle, flute and accordion ensemble could improvise something really cool - but they can, and I saw it tonight.

October 11, 2004

Celtic Colours: Day 3

hours: 12.5 kms: 200

Today was "Celtic Winners" at the Savoy in Glace Bay. Some great musicians again, including a few we saw at the Gala opening.

ABI has three small systems up here for the week, and Julien Roberge is operating one of the other two. We're sharing a hotel room, and today he did monitors and I did lighting. It was nice to travel together today, and also nice to use a house system instead of loading a whole PA in and out. Two other good bits of the day were getting a little more familiar with HogPC and learning how to clean the heating elements of a Neutron XS (the house moving light console and hazer, respectively).

The downsides were that the hazer still didn't work after I cleaned the heating element, and I didn't really have time to put in all of my own programming, so I had to use stuff that was already in the console. Of course, the stuff already in the board was a hodge-podge, but I found some things I liked, and some other things that were passable and did the best I could.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take any pictures.

Tomorrow (technically today) I'm back in Sydney at the UCCB Boardmore playhouse for an entirely piano show. Should be interesting. I'm told the room is different as well, so I'm wondering how I'll set up the PA. In a way, I like busy weeks like this, because you learn a lot, and the variety of rooms and performers challenges you to stretch and hone your skills.

Celtic Colours: Day 2

hours: 14. kms: 140

So, thiswas the first day of the festival proper. I did a show called "The Boston States" at the Breton Education Centre in New Waterford. The theme was artists with a connection to Boston, and it basically consisted of half a dozen players (piano, guitar or fiddle) each with two 10 minute sets. They usually had one of the other players with them. There was definitely a lot of history and talent there, and the show was sold out. On the down side, it went 45 minutes late, so with an hour drive to the hotel, it was a late night to bed.

October 09, 2004

Celtic Colours: Day 1

kms: 6 hours: 18

So, the opening Gala is over. For some reason I felt tense again today, but as we got to doors at 6:30 and I pulled together all the bits I had programmed throughout the day, I realized that I had enough. I think the show went very well. I was even a little bit surprised at how much I enjoyed most of the music.

It's 3:30 am so I won't take the time to post a picture now. Maybe I'll add an updated tomorrow. In any case, I think that most of the pictures I took are rather dark.

I'm looking forward to a load-in time of 1pm tomorrow...

Update: I've added two pictures.

October 08, 2004

Celtic Colours: Day 0

kms: 6. hours: 15.5

It's never as quick or as trouble-free as you would like, but at least today we had a whole setup day, decent meals, and no pressure of a show this evening.

I still don't really know what the show will really be like, but we start sound checks and rehearsals tomorrow at 10am.

The picture is of dimmer world backstage. That's 400 amps of goodness, right there. I only have 96k and 16 movers, but it'll look nice. Yep, this is what I do for a living.

October 06, 2004

Celtic Colours: Day -1

kms: 470. hours: 13

It's finally started. All of the planning and packing trucks and sorting gear in the shop had me really stressed out. Now that we're in Sydney, I'm already feeling much better. I did the long drive from Halifax this evening, and we start setting up for the Opening Gala at Centre 200 tomorrow morning at 8 am.

Let me just say that I love cruise control. I drove a rental van from Halifax to Sydney, and cruise control made the drive much less tedious.

Oh, and Days Inn in Sydney has wireless net access. Makes me happy.

October 04, 2004

Sleeping In

It's the first time I've done this in a while, honest! Last night I set my alarm clock, but forgot to turn it on. Perhaps it was subconsciously intentional, because I was supposed to have a consultation with an oral surgeon this morning about having my last two wisdom teeth removed. The teeth are safe for another six weeks, but the downside is that I missed a morning of work for no good reason at the beginning of what promises to be a very busy week. Ugh.

October 02, 2004

Happy Birthday to me!

It was my birthday recently, and to my great surprise I had four phone calls to wish me a happy birthday! Two of them were from outside of this continent and only one was my parents. Thanks to everybody who remembered.