Gillian Welch, an American singer/songwriter that plays southern folksy music that is filled with a strange kind of sunny nostalgia, is playing The National tonight, a good venue in Montreal. Over the last few years, my immersion in the local music scene has waned and I was unfortunately unaware that she was to play a show. Sold out, I was unable to get last minute tickets. That’s a shame. This is good stuff.
Check it out:
In response to this tragedy(!), I went ahead and bought tickets to another folksy act that is coming in December. Timber Timbre, a Canadian band from Ontario, also plays the kind of moody and traditional music that tugs at your heart strings by tickling your subconscious. Here’s one of my favorite songs:
The video itself is unrelated to the original song. The music is not Native American, but as I watched the beautiful photos stream by, I felt a sense of nostalgia for the time I spent as a youth canoeing and hiking through Québec. Younger, I attended a camp named Kanawana that is the second oldest in Canada(must be about 115 years old), and a lot of the traditions followed there were inspired by old aboriginal customs. I don’t know how accurate they were, or if they were a purely westernized recreation of the assumed customs of the local tribes, but it felt magical nonetheless, and as a young boy I was deeply moved by those moments and would assume a sort of metaphysical self, a romantic whose sensibilities spread as do roots through the essence of life. It seemed that I became one with nature.
Occasionally, I am gripped by that same overwhelming storm of emotion. Often it is brought on by a piece of art, a movie, a book, or the taste or smell of something that triggers neuronal fireworks that suddenly brings forth a moving memory I had forgotten. Those moments are destabilizing, wonderful and terrifying. A momentary drug-like bliss that flattens the tame ups and downs of our daily lives. I think religion and ideology weave stories that seek to initiate those emotions and then associate them with their own specific cause. As an agnostic, I find it hard to relate that sublime feeling to man made and controlled institutions.
It gets dark early in Montreal at this time of the year. Today’s sunset was at 4:26, and so it is already dark here. One of the nice things about this is that as northerners we get to spend some forced time hibernating, reading, watching movies and cooking. I think this has a positive impact on our lives. We’re a reflective, moderate people.
I finished work late last night and didn’t sleep very well. I’m about to watch a movie, but thought I’d leave you with a song that reflects the seasonal mood of the moment.