Category Archives: Concert

between the notes

Photo © T.Nikic, 2013.

1

silence

noun si·lence \ˈsī-lən(t)s\
  1. 1:  forbearance from speech or noise :  muteness —often used interjectionally

  2. 2:  absence of sound or noise :  stillness in the silence of the night

  3. 3:  absence of mention: a :  oblivion, obscurity b :  secrecy weapons research was conducted in silence

(SOURCE)

*********

Sometimes it’s the silence between the notes

Which makes the song.

The pause, which allows the note before

And the note after it

To be heard and understood.

We write songs in our daily lives

Often without knowing it.

We pause before replying,

We walk away,

We breathe.

It’s what determines the song’s melody.

If I had to tell you

What my last song was about

I’d say it was about fears

And that it’s important we face them.

It’s about wounds and scars,

Covered up and bound with

Band-Aids and bandages

Which, at some point,

Need to be ripped off.

It’s about being present,

In the moment,

Without definition, expectation or direction,

Where one exists as they are.

It’s about staying in the moment

And trusting that that space will evolve,

Grow,

Change,

Grant life, beauty.

It’s about meeting another’s gaze,

Without looking away,

Not being scared of that sacred space.

It’s about SOULfood

Where freedom exists

And there are no limits

Placed on humanity

Or creativity

Or BEing.

When one song ends,

The silence before the first note of the next

Will surely be of influence.

And when the new song starts

Listen carefully,

Because it just might be the song

Which becomes the oyster shell

For your heart.

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The Dwayne Morgan Experience…

Monday, August 15th, 2011.

I woke up feeling great! My day started with a Green Goodness smoothie and the gym. After a great workout I was off to work! I had a good day at work actually although I was feeling a little tired towards the end of it. It was raining some that day but when I got home and looked out of my window, I saw an actual, beautiful rainbow in the clouds!

arainbowintheclouds ♥

After dinner, I started getting ready to head out to an evening of poetry with Dwayne Morgan. I had known about the event for a few weeks and although I had the intention of getting an advance ticket ($5 cheaper than at the door fee), I had to play it by ear as I was on-call and my being able to go was solely dependent on my pager not going off. Although I was tired, I decided to take a chance and go – I had wanted to attend a spoken word event for a while.

I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have to wait for the streetcar like I usually do! It was especially great as it had started to rain. The connecting bus was waiting as I got off the streetcar – I got to Lula Lounge in no time really!

As I walked in, I was greeted with smiles. I greeted the ‘door woman’ with a hello and she asked if I had an advanced ticket. I said no and she said “Well I have one here for you. Someone was not able to attend so here you go!”. I paid her, thanked her and thought how amazing it was that that happened! A sign of that which was meant to be maybe?

A waitress asked me where I would like to sit and I explained to her that I was riding solo tonight (didn’t tell her how often I do that) and that it didn’t matter to me…I got a table in the front, next to the booth where Kim Davis, T. Ana Cole and Dwayne Morgan’s backup singers sat. 🙂

I ordered a green tea and sat there thinking, how happy I was to be there. Sitting at the table to my left was a man and a woman who could have been on a date or just old friends but I couldn’t help overhearing them discuss different concerts which took place in Toronto that they missed. When they mentioned Sade and Janet Jackson, I almost told them about my blog on both but decided against it – they were having a private conversation and I wasn’t there to promote my own work but enjoy someone else’s.

Miss T. Ana Cole 15/08/2011

T. Ana Cole started the show festivities with her performance. I had not heard of her before, but I sure won’t forget her name now! What a beautiful woman with a lovely voice! She ended her set with a song called “Rainbow”!  (See link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbcDfzgKEUc  )

Kim Davis opening for Mr Brian McKnight 13/02/2011 in Toronto

Next was Kim Davis who I’ve had the pleasure of hearing live when she opened for Brian Macknight in Toronto. She took a seat and with the backing of keys, blessed those of us in attendance with her powerful and incredible voice. She was glowing as she gushed “I’m getting married in a few weeks!” prior to singing Alicia Keys cover “No One”. (See links:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwaOh6NERS0  &  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkaO6-5aDOc )

Mr Morgan performing at his 18th Anniversary show 15/08/2011

Mr Morgan took the stage after his band and back-up singers were in place. Wearing some kick-a** red kicks, he recited poems which made the crowd laugh, think, remember, feel and smile. It was such an enjoyable experience for me – I felt uplifted and somehow “in my element”. It truly was a great show and a wonderful evening. I encourage everyone to support your local Toronto talent for this city sure has a lot! (See links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QTRDOfVfNo  &  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avwTCK4X62M )

The show ended and I made my way to the exit, stopping only to shake hands with Mr Morgan and thank him. After taking a picture together, I bid him good-night and went out in search of a taxi. Of course, since luck was on my side that evening, I hired one within a few minutes. The taxi driver must have thought I was either high or drunk as I wore a huge smile on my face during the entire drive.

I went to sleep that night thinking how beautiful the moon looked outside of my bedroom window as the moonlight kissed my face, feeling nothing but joy in my heart.

***

The following day I awoke feeling happy and uplifted and those feelings held strong throughout my entire day. Lying in my bed that night, not being able to get to sleep right away got me thinking about this “high” that I was feeling. I thought, just like everything else, this too shall pass so I better enjoy each moment and my now.

I reached for my phone and looked at the date – it read “Tues, Aug 16” and then it hit me – yesterday, Monday August 15th, was my second “Me, Myself & I” anniversary!

It has been two years since I’ve chosen to become, and have been, a single woman. Two years since I moved out on my own. Two years since I started learning myself and began my soul-searching journey. Two years of being happy and getting back to T. Two years of learning how to love myself again. In the last two years I’ve traveled on this personal journey which included “Me, Myself & I”, and not even realizing it, I celebrated and marked it with an evening of soulfood – MY soulfood – realness, truth, self-love, art and music.

I’m so grateful for my life and everyone who has walked through, left or stayed in it.

Peace and love to all of you.

T


The Janet Jackson Experience….

Janet Jackson on stage at The Sony Centre in Toronto, March 2011

March 2011

I had decided I would attend the Janet Jackson concert when I learned that she was going to perform in Toronto. I bought a ticket for the Sunday performance (there were two dates booked here) of her intimate, 39-(I think)-city tour and she was only performing her biggest hits i.e. THROWBACKS! I have a great appreciation and love for ‘old’-skul music so, although I was not close to the stage, I was VERY excited.

After figuring out how to get to the correct section of the auditorium, I did not pay too much attention to people around me, as I had reached my seat just as the opening act (Mindless Behaviour) was performing. The time between the opening act and before Ms Jackson graced the stage I spent figuring out how my camera works (I’m not the most camera savvy person).

As soon as Ms Jackson stepped on stage, even though I was very far from it, I felt her beautiful energy transcend across the entire auditorium. It was absolutely incredible. I sang along with the crowd and sincerely had a GREAT TIME.

Perhaps this is a good place to mention that I did attend the show alone because no one who I had asked, wanted to go. I fully encourage solo outings – they ARE fun! Perhaps I’m not the most normal person in the world but then again, who is?! 😉 In any case, I’m encouraging you to consider it. 🙂

The concert ended and I reflected how much I loved the trip down memory lane which Ms Jackson took me on. I am certain that everyone who was there that evening felt the same way too.

As I was putting on my coat and getting ready to leave, I was greeted with an “Excuse me” by a man who was sitting a row or two behind me. He told me that he noticed that I was able to zoom in with my camera and obtain some really good close-up shots and he was wondering if I would share them with him. I said yes and gave him my email address. At first I thought he just wanted better pictures than what he was able to take with his own camera but when I received an email from him a day or two later, he explained that he wanted to use my videos to put together his own video of the concert as a gift to his sister, who was unable to attend. I thought that sounded cool but didn’t really think too much of it.

For me, it was a lot of work sharing the videos as I had to figure out how to upload such large files to YouTube. Remember – I’m not camera savvy so imagine how much I knew about videos! To be honest I thought, “Why am I doing this for someone I don’t even know?” but as I am a woman of her word, I decided to just suck it up and remember that all this new YouTube knowledge I was obtaining just might be useful in the future. (It WAS useful for the Sade concert AND Dr Maya Angelou talk!***) A few days later, I finally had all the videos up for sharing and I sent the links thinking “Whatever he does with this, I hope he does it well.”.

After a few weeks of no communication, I thought that perhaps I wouldn’t get to see his final product. He seemed like a genuinely nice person and I didn’t think my gut instinct was wrong but he was a complete stranger….. I felt that I did my part in sharing and then simply forgot about it.

A week later, I got an email. With a link. Of an almost 30 minute video montage. A well put-together video montage! As I watched it, I thought how lucky I was to have met him! He composed a great momento of the concert not just for his sister but for everyone who was a Janet Jackson fan AND I was a part of that! Very cool, right?! 🙂

Thought I’d pay it forward and share with everyone else. You’ll find the YouTube link below. 🙂

T

Link to the Janet Jackson concert video montage:      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zotgMjDLqBU&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

***Link to Sade concert blog:        https://arainbowintheclouds.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/amazing-incredible-soulfood/

***Link to Dr Maya Angelou blog:  https://arainbowintheclouds.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/dr-maya-angelou/


Amazing. Incredible. Soulfood.

I would describe my life as interesting. Every day brings something new – a lesson, a memory, a different point of view, a reflection – and I welcome it all with much gratitude. June 28th, 2011 was no exception…

My thoughts upon waking: Tonight is the Sade concert! Sade tours once a decade and her music has helped me through some rough times. AND I love music and I love going to concerts! I bought the tickets last October, before I went to India, for this much anticipated event. I’m going with my friend D. who loves Sade as well, and I’m very excited! I have my outfit together – off-the-shoulder black cocktail dress paired with my Michael Kors heels. I have a busy day ahead of me – go to work, hit the gym, then get ready for the concert! Whoohoo! I am excited although I didn’t sleep very well last night. My neck hurts and I see that I have messages to check on my phone.

I got ready for work, boiled a few eggs and left my house around 7am. I checked the messages on my phone as I walked to the elevator. One was from my aunt who currently resides in Bosnia, informing me that my grandfather had ended his short battle with colon cancer last night. I phoned my youngest aunt while walking to work. We spoke about her, my dad’s and their oldest sister’s departure later that evening for my grandfather’s funeral in Bosnia. We also discussed the importance of living life and not allowing certain things to stress us out. We had a similar discussion last week as one of her friends (whom I also knew) passed away suddenly, while at work, at the age of 50. The conversation ended with us agreeing that we need to live life to the fullest and do what makes us happy. When I got to work I emailed my dad after failing to reach him on the phone.

As the day went on I thought if it was appropriate it was for me to go to a concert of one of my favourite artists knowing that my grandfather passed away the night before. I talked to my friends, I talked to my mom, I even had conversations about it with people on Facebook and Twitter, and it was unanimous – I was to go to the concert and enjoy it.

My friend D. and I met up at the Air Canada Centre, and as her cab took her to the wrong entrance, we ended up walking in after John Legend was already on stage.  Our seats were in section Floor Left, row 13, seats 3 and 4.*** As we were ushered to our seats, sitting directly behind me in row 14 was my friend M! I hadn’t seen her in a VERY long time (her and I worked at a clothing store for some time, years ago but we keep bumping into each other randomly) and it was really lovely being around another person (who I knew!) who has a great energy. (I might not have mentioned but D. is really cool peeps!) We thoroughly enjoyed John Legend’s**** performance and I caught up with both M. and D. before Sade stepped on stage.

As you will see from the videos I took (links posted below), Sade’s concert was absolutely amazing…incredible…pure soulfood. I loved every second. It is so refreshing to experience an artist perform live and instead of a huge stage production (i.e. dancers, crazy  special effects, etc), the use of lighting and simple video projections which complimented the music, enhanced the entire concert experience. It is hard to describe what I mean, but I do think you’ll be able to appreciate this from the videos.

After the show was over, before I even left my seat, someone tapped my shoulder. I turned my head and met the gaze of a man who said: “I came all the way from Nova Scotia to watch the concert and my camera broke. I noticed that you were taking a lot of pictures and I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind emailing them to me.” Of course I said yes, and he handed me a piece of paper (he was well prepared!) with his email address written on it. I carefully put it in my clutch and bid him goodnight.

D. and I said goodbye to M and off we went in hunt of a taxi. Our taxi hunt was a challenge (imagine the number of people who just attended a sold-out concert and were also trying to hire one) so we decided to walk a little ways in our search. Five minutes later, a lady approached me and said “Excuse me, but were you sitting in row 13?”. I confirmed and she said: “I was watching the pictures and videos you were taking with your camera and you must share them! Upload them on YouTube or something!”. I told her that I plan on doing just that and I offered to email her the links once I’ve done so. She gave me her card, thanked me and we bid each other good night.

After getting home, I was filled with so many different emotions but sadness wasn’t one of them. Yes my grandfather was gone but I work in healthcare and I know what cancer means – great pain. Although death is never a happy thought, I was not sad as I knew that he was no longer suffering or in pain. People grieve in different ways and mine was a celebration. A celebration of life. In addition to all of that, I was also able to give to complete strangers. I felt incredibly grateful to have life and to be living. And this could be my own way of making myself feel better, but I think that my grandfather would not have been upset in how I celebrated his life…

As I promised to the two strangers who approached me, I’ve uploaded the videos I obtained at the concert and I’ve made a slideshow of some of the pictures as well. You’ll have to excuse my shaky camera work – I did my best! I hope you enjoy my compilation and I hope that you’re living your life.

T

***The October morning of last year that the Sade concert tickets went on sale, I had to be at the Indian consulate to apply for tourist visa for my then upcoming trip to India, and D. had to be on the road, so neither one of us would be near a computer. Thankfully I have great friends! My friend E. booked the tickets for us online and got up early that Saturday morning to do so! E. is often one of my rainbows in the clouds and I’m thankful for him and his friendship always. 

****I was fortunate enough to have attended John Legend’s concert at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto in 2008. His live performances are incredible.

Sade in Toronto, Parts 1, 2 &3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WxvrFmjtMU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As7KopRduO8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEDM_KzJeWM

Slideshow of the pictures taken at the concert – unfortunately some of the picture quality was lost in compiling the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIcVUHlV1eA


The Concert Goer Part 1

 

The Birth

Thanks to my parents, I LOVED music from before I even knew of myself. There was music sung or played in our home every day. When I was old enough to learn how, I played music on the record or cassette player or would tune in to the local radio station and just jam! No matter who was around, music was playing and I was singing and dancing…

The first concert I remember going to, I must have been 8 or 9 years old. It was the pre-war era in former Yugoslavia and I had big dreams of a solo singing career and a wild imagination. It was a warm sunny autumn day and, thanks to a radio station announcement, I found out that one of my favourite bands was going to perform that evening in our town . I was willing to do anything for my parents to let me go.  I remember there was a money issue my parents discussed and my dad was against me going (I think it had something to do with my age). But I just had to go as I was to be ‘discovered’ that night! I am sure that my then talent to produce tears quickly was utilized along with the well practiced pout.

Now I don’t remember the details (of who talked to whom, how we left the house or how anyone else felt about it) but I do remember my mom and I walking to the arena where the concert was to be held. I had the cassette cover of the band’s album in my pocket as I knew that I was going to get an autograph from the cute lead singer of the group. (This speaks to the faith and dreams of children which we should never lose. It also speaks of an era – do YOU remember having cassettes?) I don’t think mama or I knew how much this really meant to me nor how much it would affect me later on in life, but I do know that she was just as excited as I was!

After purchasing our tickets, we made our way through the massive crowd and finally entered the large gates of the arena. We found some space on the wooden benches and after we sat down, I felt like I was a grown-up. I mean, I was sitting amongst them all and I was at a concert! I sat up tall so that I could see the stage well and also to make my self better seen by these scouts who were to ‘discover’ me.

The band entered the stage and the concert started. Hearing live music…I was in awe. I was moved from within as my audio and visual senses were stimulated. I felt a little light-headed but that could have been because it was hot sitting next to all those people and I was overwhelmed by the energy and the smell of the crowd. I watched the musicians play their instruments and could now see and hear their talent for myself. I could feel each note that blasted through the large speakers in the middle of the arena (our seats were vibrating!); and I appreciated the way that these talented men moved, danced and sang together. It was magical.

I knew all the words and my mom and I sang along with the band. I, of course, knew that each band member saw and noticed me amongst the few thousand fans who were there. How could they not?! I was one of the youngest people there and my mom the prettiest!

After a couple of hours of pure goodness, the concert had come to an end. It was time to get my autograph! Except that I was too little to fight through the crowd which surrounded the band so mama did that for me. With the cassette cover in one hand and a tight grip on my own hand in the other, she walked up to a band member and said “Will you please sign this for my daughter?”. I know he replied with an “I’m sorry ma’am, I don’t have a pen.” but somehow a pen appeared and these men took turns signing my cassette cover as my heart filled with joy. My mom did all of that. As for my singing career which was to begin that night…although my body moved and I smiled, I had lost my voice! In a quick second I went from a girl who was going to sing and be signed on the spot for her talent, to a complete mute! (In retrospect, it was probably a good thing I kept my mouth shut. Not all of us possess the talent of voice with which to sing in public.) I remember waving to these lovely men as they walked away and exited the building and I remember thinking “Nothing beats live music!”.

That magical evening, thanks to my mom, is when the concert goer in me was born. With my little hand safely held in hers, and the very special cassette cover in my pocket, we walked home with smiles on our faces and our spirits lifted, excited to tell everyone about it.

T


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