Sunday, 30 November 2008

Thanksgiving, Fatherhood

Thanksgiving allowed me to have a few days off and wander in the city. But I actually spent most of my time with Karen’s brother, Brent, a giant of a Viking, who took great joy in showing me some aspects he likes about his home city. The three of us would often have dinner and walk the streets together.
He introduced me to Roxeane, an American born Palestinian woman in her mid forties who is looking for someone to father her child. She showed me the pictures of some of the few suitors that have lined up for the role.  They all struck me as men with no potential ahead, as if having a child would give them the life they no longer have.
I considered the option of fatherhood myself.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

In Chicago

I wake up around seven in the morning, go to the gym for an hour and a half, grab a light breakfast, then hop in the taxi with Karen to go to the studio where we work until the evening.
That’s more or less the routine I have been following during this first week in Chicago. I would be so knackered by the end of the day, the only thought I could welcome was a good night sleep. I actually enjoy this very unadorned and focused life. Just concentrate on my task and nothing else matters. I even surprise myself at not even being tempted to meet up with people, browse the bookstores or the record stores - something is wrong…?
It’s strange. I feel like I am emptying myself so to welcome a new life. A friend of mine talked about mutation and the word quite accurately describes the process I‘m undergoing. I’m dropping my inner skin  and do not feel the slightest regret nor fear to leave it behind. Not anymore.
But I see it happening all around me. Hope is spreading. Better things are to come even if it’s not going to be easy, but we have the hope and that is a vital ingredient to build something positive. At last. I never thought this energy could be so palpable, but as I walk on the streets of Chicago, the evidence of it is everywhere. It’s so simple, one man speaks out and people listen because their hear someone who seems to understand them. His words are told to raise confidence and strength, not fear and paranoia.  Faith doesn’t make things easier, it makes things possible.

Monday, 24 November 2008


In last night’s dream, I was taking part in a very unconventional performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. The usual orchestra was replaced by the most unlikely sounds or instruments. As often in my dreams, I just happened to be there and found myself involved in the action before knowing it. The musical reunion soon became a farewell party. As I walked back home, across the hills of the city park, the hint of the thought that it was maybe time to get ready for my departure grew into a panic that I may have missed my plane with all these distraction. Was it already too late? Where was I actually? I had never seen this park in Paris. And where was this plane supposed to take me?
I woke up and it took me a few seconds to find my bearings. The panic subsided for an instant. I was at the bottom of a well and it was all dark. How did I find myself in this room? What was I doing there? How did I get there…? I had a similar experience a week ago. I was in a music shop and  kneeled down to have a look at some scores. When I stood up again, I lost consciousness for the strangest ten seconds of my life. I completely forgot where I was and what I was doing there. I grew alarmed that nothing made sense. Was it a bad blood circulation? Extreme fatigue? Alzheimer? Let’s not be too dramatic.
It took me a few seconds before I finally recognized the bed, the room, the place. I had just spent my second night at the Talbott Hotel on East Delaware Place, in Chicago.

We had a chauffeur driving us to the engineer’s studio, John, his name was. His house was located in the northern suburbs of Chicago, where each house reveals the inner fantasy of its owner: a small castle, Snow White’s cabin, English manor, Spanish villa, French farm, gothic mansion, fisherman’s den, southern colonial style.
I can imagine them to line up for a TV show contest called The House of your Dream.

John’s house is a museum of these vintage artefacts from the fifties and sixties that everyone is so crazy about nowadays. Countless spaceship or egg-shaped TV screens, record players of all shapes and sizes, radio sets that look like props from a 50’s science fiction film. John was very excited to show off his collection. His enthusiasm took no time to spread in me. I wouldn’t spend my spare time hunting for these objects on eBay, but looking at them filled me with an odd sensation of euphoria and well being. Maybe that came from the round shape, a friendly shape. The designers certainly were fully aware of that..
The first day of work with Karen was pure pleasure. I wasted no time to befriend John, a swift and witty man in his late forties. As someone who’s been used to write and arrange all my music, it’s a personal challenge to oversee arrangements done by others and yet be able bring my salt and pepper. John comes from another musical time. He worked with The Police, Madonna's collaborator and friend Pat Leonard, as well as musicians who gigged for Brian Wilson or Frank Zappa. Respect, respect!!! I wonder what  the marriage of your two perceptions will create.