In the words of Peter Bloom
“…and my coloured world bled out to black and white…” – Life After the Death of my Father –
The short answer as to how losing my father to lung cancer last year affected my ability to make music is that it stopped me cold. When I learned of Dad’s illness, I was already going through a period of doubt with respect to my music, due mainly to both an ongoing problematic vocal condition as well as a brutally disillusioning record deal. Add to this mix the bewildering third ingredient of Dad’s diagnosis, and I had the recipe for a “perfect storm” of doubt and surrender. I spent six months watching this once powerful man slowly drift toward the inability to take so much as a step or a breath without considerable effort. Meanwhile, I simply stopped writing and performing, as if my ability to take steps and breathe musically were mirroring Dad’s decline. And when he eventually passed in the fall, at the risk of sounding trite, it seemed like the music in me died too. I spent the next few months mostly keeping to myself, building a tree house for my little girls. It was good therapy. As my mind and heart were being constantly flooded by sadness and frustration over Dad’s death, it was quite handy to have something to hammer the crap out of!
But that alone was not enough to reignite my desire to do much more than simply exist. What really started to tip the scales for me was simply committing to doing something musically-related, however small, day after day…even if all I did was bang out a few random notes or chords, or sing some meaningless mumblings. After months of “musical loitering”, an exciting new song idea came to me while driving one night in early May. It was, surprisingly, a very upbeat little tune. I laid down the rough instrumental and vocal tracks the very next day. Regardless of whether that song ever sees the light of day, from that moment on, it was as though the weight of sadness that had so relentlessly held me down had been lifted. I have since written many new songs for my sophomore English CD, completed the grueling ordeal of applying for a FACTOR grant, and traveled to Montreal to shop around my French CD. Most recently I participated in the 2011 SongStudio songwriter’s workshop in Toronto. Since the last SongStudio I attended eventually resulted in my debut CD, as well as a co-write on (Juno nominee) Justin Nozuka‘s debut disc, it seemed like a good way to get back into the game! It gave me the sense that I was no longer “living on the side of the road”, but was once again driving with my fellow songwriters on this crazy journey we call MUSIC!
If you are going through a challenging time, all I can suggest is that if you take even one step, one breath toward the music each day, you will soon find yourself miles down the right road, filled with a renewed zest for making music and doing something fulfilling with this precious gift of life.
Incidentally, I realized only today that the day on which that fateful first new song idea came to me was actually Dad’s birthday. Thanks, Dad. – PB]]>
For those of you who may have been wondering what happened to me and my blogs this past year, I can only say that life – or more precisely death – forced me to put everything on hold for the latter half of 2010. Sadly, my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer back in the spring, and the brutal reality simply took the wind out of me and my desire to perform. After six months of unbelievably stoic determination, Dad’s brave fight was lost. Since his passing in the fall, I have slowly tried to put myself back together, which has not been an easy task. One of the few people in the world whose opinion and support mean everything to me is now gone. I guess one never really gets over it. The best one can hope is to get through it and manage to keep living life to the fullest, as I am sure Dad would want. So as a difficult year has now come to a close, I begin a new year with a renewed sense of purpose and determination, in his honour and memory. Here’s to much happiness and success in 2011 for all of us.
The funny thing was that the event coincided with the Team Canada men’s hockey gold medal showdown with the USA! Well of course I am not so shallow as to cancel my appearance in order to watch a simple hockey game…BUT, I did dig out a really old 13″ TV from storage, and set it up backstage! HA! Fortunately Canada finally won in overtime (the US gave us a real run for our money)…and fortunately the game ended BEFORE my performance. I could only imagine how difficult it would have been to sneak the TV up on stage with me!
After all was said and sung, a good amount of money was raised and it seemed that a great time was had by all. And by the way, I wasn’t the only one who brought a TV…there were TWO other ones on elsewhere behind the scenes! What can we all say…except, “WE ARE CANADIAN”!!!
2. FREE TIMES CAFE Show! The Songwriters’ Association of Canada (SAC) is hosts the latest installment of its monthly spotlight concert series Wednesday, December 2nd at the Free Times Café (320 College Street). PBB is proud to be one of the feature acts. We will be performing a semi-acoustic set of tunes primarily from the debut CD – Random Thoughts (from a paralyzed mind). Show starts at 8:00 p.m.. There will be some other great artists performing as well – please come and check it out!
3. We are now mixing the French version of Random Thoughts, to be released in early 2010. It is sounding fantastic! It’s gratifying to hear the songs stand up as well in French as they do in English…maybe even a little better in some cases! More info to come. Merci beaucoup!
Thanks for your continuing support!
We’ve added a couple of vids from last night’s hour-long LIVE on-air radio feature interview and performance on Radio Caledon’s “CH Canada Indie Music Show”, with hosts Rick Jones and Tom Beyer. What great guys! Thanks to Tom for the video! See it here: http://peterbloom.ca/video.html. You can also check out YouTube (search Peter Bloom), or the PBB MySpace page: myspace.com/peterbloommusic. Thanks for your continuing support!
Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlXRIatpscs
Enjoy. Thanks for your continuing support!
Can’t wait to get back up there to show northern Ontario what we’ve got! In the meantime, below are some pics from the trip. Some audio/video clips to follow shortly.
Next on the journey: western and eastern Ontario. Stay tuned…
As my debut CD is now distributed by DEP/Universal Canada, I can no longer sell it online at my site. But here’s what I thought might be cool: I still have a couple of boxes of the independent version of my CD in stock. Those CDs have now become “limited edition” copies…perhaps even “collector’s items” one day soon – hey, one has to dream BIG! HA!
So, if you go to Amazon.ca, and buy a copy of the label release of PBB’s Random Thoughts CD (same music as the indie disc, with new artwork, AND lyrics included), I will then also send you a FREE autographed copy of the indie CD to whatever name you wish! I’ll even pay the shipping and handling!! Try to do it soon – Amazon.ca has a special price – only $8.99 Canadian per CD (plus tax and S&H)…but only until Tuesday the 29th! Simply email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) some sort of confirmation of your purchase (the Amazon transaction confirmation number will do), and I will send you the second CD…FREE!
I’m not doing this for the money, believe me. Once the label takes its cut of the retail CD sale, and I pay the S&H on your free indie disc (which I also paid for), I’ll be lucky to break even. BUT the way I see it, everybody wins – the label gets some sales, I get my music out there, and YOU get a FREE, “limited edition”, autographed CD, which you can either keep as a souvenir or give to a friend or family member.
Of course, I’ll keep the offer going beyond this Tuesday (when Amazon’s special price expires), but – as cheesy as this sounds – supplies are truly limited. Seriously – I have about a 100 indie CDs available for this. When they’re gone, they’re gone.
Thanks for your continuing support!