Feb. 13, 2013 - Issue #904: The Sugar Trade
After logging some serious miles tracing the route of the gypsies through Turkey, India, the Balkans, France and Spain for two years, Edmonton-based fiddler Cam Neufeld had found his inspiration for The Road to Django Collective. Before the show in Edmonton, which melds traditional fiddle tunes with blues, jazz and elements of the gypsy trail, Neufeld shared his soundtrack picks with Vue.
Morning: Ideally, my day starts at 6 am with an hour of yoga. My soundtrack to this is Anouar Brahem or Anoushka Shankar, both very meditative and perfect for a quiet session. When I feel the need for something a little more active, I do what I call hotclub yoga. I dial in hotclub radio, an Internet station that plays the music of Django Reinhardt and other related bands for a more energetic yoga playlist.
Noon: By noon, I've ingested enough coffee to tweak my temples a little, which usually happens around the eight to 10 latte mark and I'm ready to dive into the field recordings I made while travelling the gypsy trail. A part of my day is spent listening to and transcribing some of the people I met while travelling, like Johar Ali Khan from India, Nedim Nalbantoglu from Turkey and the Cherkezi Orchestra from Macedonia.
Night: Nothing beats dinner at home to the sounds of Chet Baker, and "My Funny Valentine" in particular, since it is that time of year again. Moving from Cupid to the taxman: for the past number of years I've devoted the week it takes me to sort through everything to an exclusive Tom Waits playlist. It's the only thing that gets me through, especially songs like "Earth Died Screaming" from the album Bone Machine. The ominous mood of the album seems perfect for doing income tax; I highly recommend it.
On the road
Morning: On the road I like to start my day immersed in whatever world I happen to wake up in. Whether I'm in Istanbul waking up to the early morning call to prayer or hearing the tail end of an all-night jam session at a festival, there's something special about the music that emerges from the mist as the sun is coming up.
Noon: This weekend on a road trip to Grande Prairie with Kevin Jacobson of Back Porch Swing, I subjected him to four hours of Turkish music, including a bootleg album of Selim Sesler, the king of the gypsy clarinet players. I think Kevin enjoyed it as well!
Night: At night on the road (as much as I enjoy listening to recorded music) if I'm not performing, I like to seek out live music in whatever city I'm in. A memorable and inspirational concert recently was hearing seven Sufi bands from seven countries all performing on the same stage in an outdoor show as part of the Delhi International Arts Festival. V
Sun, Feb 17
(7 pm dinner, 8 pm music)
Cam Neufeld and the Road
to Django Collective
Blue Skys Cafe, $15 (advance), $20 (door); Dinner, $15
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