backyard concerts

Sunday evening we sat in a beautiful farm style acreage around a patio stage warmly lit with softly hanging strands of mini lights.  While the wind blew through the tall trees and deer grazed in the field below,  we listened to the singer songwriters Lindsay Pratt and Naomi Shore share music from their new CD, trouble.  I am a huge fan of small venue concerts in our local theater or in the backyards and homes of friends of musicians celebrating their talent and putting a few dollars into the pot for the continuing road trip that links one show to the next in the Canadian music tour. You can check  out Twin Peaks at their site if you follow this link, or buy some music on itunes. you will be glad you did!


I grew up with music in our home. The kitchen concert was a part of celebrations and family gatherings as my Dad’s family were able to play a variety of instruments and grew up, and grew old with their informal  family band. Over the years various neighbours or visiting cousins would contribute to the mix. It was part of the norm and until it was gone I didn’t realize how special it had been.  Sunday night the duo included a version of little brown jug that was on my dad’s play list and brought a warmth of memory that felt like a visit from the past.


my aunts, uncle and Dad10985418_10153847645430639_971757257947903115_naunty Lois (photo by Tracy Johannson)

Last winter while the snow fell softly outside my studio window and I painted in the soft light of one lamp or a few candles for an exhibit at our local gallery, dark nights, I  would listen to Nightowl, a lullaby on the first twin peaks CD I had purchased from a couple summers back. The lovely soft melody peppered with french phrase would take me into the space of the owl house and gliding wing, it became the soundtrack I associate with the totem series and winter night.  While slipping into the claw foot porcelain tub in the our room in Le Capitole in Quebec City I found it singing through my thoughts.

You never know where you leave a part of your story to join someone’s page when you release creative work. And now the next page in this particular memory link will add its inclusion  of a warm June night when the singers shared it again for me and we hoped the resident owl would land in the tall tree where its late night silhouette has been often seen.


Instead when I returned home a painter friend e mailed the owl we visited last spring was paying her a visit! Symbols and stories are the foundation of much of my experience as a painter. Music is ever present when I work, bike, drive, cook….we all have sound tracks in our lives when we stop to consider, what touches us is telling. Somewhere in your day I hope a song plays that seems to be especially for you. Go ahead, dance to your music, close your eyes let it sift through your body until it finds your spirit and lets it soar.


2 thoughts on “backyard concerts

  1. i should add, night owl is not about a literal owl, but one who needs to consider closing their eyes and getting some sleep. if you are one of those late birds and of the folklore of shapeshifters, the lines between beings are easily blurred


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