Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Sunday Setlist: E., And Friends


My oldest kid first sang with me in front of an audience of about 500 when she was four years old.


There are a couple of things I should make clear before I begin.

First, it was a captive audience given that E. came into sing to one of the big classes I teach on the last day of the year.

Second, pretty much from the from the beginning it was actually me that was singing with E.

Not the other way around.


In the ensuing years E. became involved with all manner of big singing projects, including a whole lot of musical theatre and a longterm stint belting things out with the Bach Choir.

But one thing never changed.....

Which is that E., and later littler e. too, always came to my last day of class for a sing-a-long.

This became such an event that students from the past and students from other classes as well as members of our departmental staff, including some that had retired over the years, would stop by for the show.

And it is a show that has had a good long run.

Fourteen years long.

But next time out there will have to have a cast change.

Because earlier this fall E. went off to a college of her own.

A college that is not mine.


Almost two years ago now, I decided I wanted to sing with my kids more often.

Well, actually, there was a little bit more to it than that.

And some of that 'that' had a whole lot to do with my long pent-up desire teach myself to able to do stuff like this, even if only badly.

But a bigger part of it had a whole lot to do with the fact that I wanted to give E. the feeling that she could get up anywhere and unleash her magnificent instrument in any way she, herself, so chooses.

In other words, I wanted her to know, for absolute certain, that there really is no need for big productions or big producers or big directors or, yes, even teachers, to validate anything that you do.

Which, of course, is a DIY ethic that is, essentially, the very essence of busking.

So that is what we did, pretty often for an entire year.

Busk, I mean.

And the video at the top of the post, I think, will go down as, perhaps the best example of what it was we actually did.

Later, after the family project was done, E. headed off on her own down to Granville Island where she played for the vendors and the crowds for most of the next year or so.

Which brings us to yesterday.

Which was the day E. disappeared into the bowels Montreal Metro for the first time.

Three hours later she emerged with $80 in her pocket that she didn't have when she went down the stairs.

And a whole bunch of songs swirling in her head.

And, I know for certain, she left a whole bunch of smiles on the faces of the folks that heard her sing.

Can I possibly be prouder?


E. is also hanging out with her friends, some new, some old, in their dorm rooms.

Here, too, there is music (and revolution?) in the air.

A wee bit of that music has been captured, by her new friend H, below.

If you would like to see and hear the evolution of our Busking Year, it starts here....And ends here.
And, just in case you were wondering, littler e., who fronts the very first busking video, is actually the dancer in the family....Now, how the heckfire am I going to keep up with that?



BC Mary said...

You set a very high standard for parents, RossK ... but some of it happens by magic, don't you think?

I love hearing about your family, especially your daughters ... because I, too, am the happy parent of a magical daughter. Nadina's instrument is the bassoon ... and she took charge of her own educational trajectory from the age of 13 ... and has many blogs and CDs about that journey. What a joy!

Nadina Mackie Jackson

I admire so much, the way you put yourself on the line to do music alongside Bigger E., and sometimes Littler e. The best teaching, i.m.o., and Nadina never had that kind of support. Seems to me I've done so little, for Nadina, and still the magic keeps on.

The paintings in the background of some musical settings shown on her blog are her work, too. I did play a part in her painting career though (blush); because I put wax crayons in her chubby little hands while she was still in a high chair, less than 1 year old. And I did once wreck my mousing-arm by enthusiastic applauding during the 3-day Baroque festival which Nadina & Guy Few directed and performed in ...

All I'm sayin', RossK, is that I think your daughters are very fortunate indeed. Good on ya.

RossK said...

Awww Mary--

As you and I both know, and as any parent well knows, it is all about so much more than just one or two things.

More specifically, in my estimation, there are at least 10,463 things, give or take a few thousand.

Truth be told I'm good at maybe 2 and-a-half of those things, maybe three at a long, long stretch. The others I'm still working on...Maybe by the time I'm grand I'll be up to 10 (I hope).


Hey folks in Prince George!....And I know there are bunch of you out there that come over here from Mary's place, given the Railgate connection....Mary's daughter Nadina is coming to your town in November...

Go and see her!


BC Mary said...


Of those 10,463 things that good parents do ... I was thinking in your case of one thing in particular: the early and easy introduction to the electrifying on-stage exposure to live audience. I think of it as the most difficult achievement in a most challenging profession. You not only gave your daughters stage confidence, you also made it into a wonderful tradition for others.

Happy thanks for inviting Northern B.C. to Nadina (and Guy Few's) concert in Prince George next November.

I suppose you would have to kill me if I proposed an Order of British Columbia Award for you?

RossK said...


Ya, I would.


Because, my old boss deserves one first, at least a million billion times more.


West End Bob said...

Very cool, RossK.

Both you and C should be very proud of both upper- and lower-case "Ee"s, as I'm sure you are . . . .

BC Mary said...

Dr Auseberg comes across as a very impressive person, in a quiet, gentle way. Seriously, I did wonder if perhaps you had influenced HER.

RossK said...

Thanks a million Bob.

We most definitely are proud of both of them.


You have no idea how much it goes the other way.

With C's help I wrote this crazy letter that described how I thought scientists should pay more attention to the plasticity of the phenotype (i.e. the non-genetic component) of tumors while I was, essentially, working as an over-educated camp counsellor after college.

Then I sent it to Nelly and thought I would never, ever hear from her because it really was a crazy idea.....

Boy, did I hear from her.

And she taught me everything.

(and not long ago she told me she still has the letter)


BC Mary said...


That is so-o nice to hear. Yes, I now can see that she taught you everything.

Thanks for the smiles.

RossK said...

You're most welcome Mary.

And, thanks to you, Nadina is now on my musical blogroll.