Housecalls

Housecalls

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TUESDAY: SONG FOR SAD PLANTS












In the morning we trekked to Craig's apartment by the mountain with plant broaches in our pockets and our baritone uke and concertina snuggling in a guitar case.
When we got there the super nintendo of the building was trying to plunge Craig's toilette into submission, so we hung out a bit and ate cookies before getting started. The plants were a bit sad, it was true, in part due to their as-of-late perch on top of the radiator. We moved them to the table and added a polaroid of a sad plant sent from a far off friend. We gave Craig a typewriter, and he proceeded to write a love letter to his sad plants, clicking and dinging loosely in time to the music.
Amber tapped out tunes on glasses filled with water, the baritone uke rang out clear, and the concertina hummed mournfully.
We sang to the plants about the experience of being in a pot, discussing the possible ups and downs, but in the end coming to no conclusions, not wanting to preach to the small greens. We hope that by trying to sympathize honestly we made them feel a bit better.
Before we left we presented Craig and Paisley with plant broaches to wear as a means of showing camaraderie with and honoring their plants, hopefully encouraging them to grow green.

Monday, February 15, 2010

SUNDAY = LAMP LOVE DAY







For our special Valentine's day edition, we invited friends with lonely lamps to join us at Bronwen's house for a wholesome lamp cheering. Friends (and even some family) joined us in the living room, toting their sad, cracked, and droopy lamps. A few friends who could not themselves attend sent their lamps along in our care.

We plugged the lamps in and turned them on. We then sat around making valentines, getting covered in glitter glue and snipping our scissors. There was also, in the kitchen, a pile of lamp shaped gingerbread cookies, bowls of pink and brown icing, and lots of little candies. Soon we were covered in icing and glitter glue. Sugar comas were soon to follow.

As the day wound down, everyone gathered around the lamps, and we sung them the heartwarming story of an oil lamp who falls in love with an electric lamp. Hearts and bulbs were warmed equally.

Between the cookie decorating, the valentine making, and the sweet serenading, we hope we brightened some lamps' days.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday: Double header

Busy day today, we make two house calls, the first to the Waldorf seniors residence to visit Amber's Grandma, and second, to the house of Carry and Katie-Lee to sing the mice out of their house.

The first visit took us westwards, into Cote St. Luc, to sing about an hierloom ring, gold with a ruby and diamond embeded withing
We baked a plate full of ginger-bread rings for the occasion, complete with well melted cinnamon hearts, to be munched on during the serenade.
The ring in question was not present for teh performance. It is currently locked away in a safety deposit box in Calgary, Alberta. This fact was inspiration for the song. Lyrics were constructed around the idea of keeping objects "safe from harm." The process of stowing away the things we hold the most dear, so that they cannot be damaged, destroyed or stolen. How does this efect our memory of an object? What happens to an object's identity when it is removed from its usefulness? Where does the desire to shelter things come from? Is this process of sheltering similar to sheltering people, our children, parents, grandparents?
The song was, in part, a round. We were joined by the lovely Kiara Albina to make the round a triangle, and to add eerie dulcimer twangs on the track.

The second performance of the day was just a close walk away from home base, on Henri Julien, in the Plateau. Katie Lee had complained of mouse troubles. While not inanimate objects, we decided that the idea of writing a song to lure the mice out of the house would be an interessting challenge. We began the evening by reading some excerpts from french erotic landscape poems (a mouse's least favourite poetry, according to wikipedia) and taking turns playing the saw and wine glass in cat masks. This process was so irritating that the mice began to pack up their meager belongings in bindles, and head for the front door.
Not wanting the mice to feel unwanted in this world, (only in this particular house)
we changed pace and proceeded to sing a sweet lullaby on the front landing with ukulele and viola. No word yet on the mouse situation over on Henri Julien, but the sound of tiny feet pattering on pavement was heard as we headed home. video

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday: Care




We headed to CARE on Friday, to perform for people at Amber 's work place.
We wrote a song together, inspired by objects that people have lost.
From favourite hats to diamond bracelets, everyone had something to contribute to the song.
Lyrical highlights included, "Now here's the icing on the cake..."
"Hun, don't have a heart attack" and a wicked guitar solo by Moe to "He lost it, he found it, he lost it he found it...."
super.

Thursday Toof day




We make a visit to the recently de-toothed J. Gillingham.
J. has proposed that we serenade his entire home, in preparation for upcoming renovations. We discuss the physical pain J. is experiencing from his dental extraction in relation to the turmoil that his physical surroundings seem to be experiencing. We decide to take the apartment through a process of catharsis, purging the space of negative emotions through the auditory re-enactment of painful experiences.

Amulets seem to be working well so far, so we construct another pouch for the removed molar to reside in, filling it with calming blue lotus leaves, and a coin, (from the tooth fairy.)

A pair of tooth hats, complete with ripped red roots and a tiny set of cardboard furniture accompany us back to the mile end.


We made noises, some horrible, some less so, ukulele's were distorted, a saw was bowed continuously, the concertina got pulled by two teeth, chewing.
At the end the furniture was smashed, the apartment acting as audience, to the dramatic cathartic enactment.





Thursday, February 11, 2010


A cat with a cough...



Today we visited Kiki to sing to her sick cat! The Cat, Meow-wow, has developed a bad cough since moving to this humid city. She is 12 years old and one tough kitty.

We were happy to sing to this wee feline even though she is not an object. She represents an important front of the domestic scene: the non human pals who have developed symbiotically with us in the best of ways. Cats, I have heard, domesticated themselves. They, for some, complete domestic spaces.

Before visiting Kiki, we built the cat, Meow-Wow (who named herself!) a stylish cat purse. Also included was a catnip saturated tuft of raw wool.

When we got there, we met the cat, drank some smokey tea, and built ourselves robo-cat costumes in honour of the occasion. Meow-wow hung out. We also patched the butt of a stuffed ram, adding a tail for flourish.

We presented Meow-wow with the bag and she listened blissfully while we serenaded her. We had written a song in the blues tradition of listing things that could go wrong, with a chorus of "its not your fault", but realized as we were playing it that most of Meow-wow's ailments just make her a tougher cat. Her tears of blood, her love for heavy metal music... she's a great little cat. It's not her fault at all, it's her charm and character. Her cough, though, that's not her fault.

She really did seem to bask in all the attention, and stuck around the whole time. Kiki thinks it was the ceremony that Meow-wow has deserved for 12 years and never yet got.

later we went home and made a big dinner, and watched a slide show with pals!!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Crooning to a coffee Pot



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The first serenade, sung to a well brewed coffee pot for two, in the possession of Ms. Caitlin Thompson. After writing and rehearsing under the safe comforts of the Loft Bed, we pack up our Ukuleles and head north, to Montreal's Mile End. The pot in question is an aqua blue, serves two comfortably, nicely patinated, seen many a boil.

A sweet song about aging and moving on fades out to the gurgle and hiss of a fresh brew.
A hand stitched pouch containing healing powder is bestowed upon the coffee pot. We think that the pot looks more content with people sitting around the kitchen table, some strumming, some singing, all enjoying a nice cup of coffee with friends in the afternoon.

Under-loft serenade