Sandra Alland is a writer, filmmaker, performer and interdisciplinary artist. This is where they write and post photos, videos and recordings, sometimes. More info on Sandra at blissfultimes.ca
Well, yes, I’m still updating you on the summer and autumn. It’s just that so much happened. Where did I leave off? Hmmm…. I think it was post Edinburgh Book Festival and pre-Canada. No! It was post-ConVersify and Cachín Cachán Cachunga! Argh, September is a blur.
So, Canada. Zorras took off for our first visit to Turtle Island sometime in mid-September. Shortly after landing we took an only-slightly tacky trip to Niagara Falls, then performed at the SUPERB Grey Borders Reading Series in Saint Catharines.
Highlights of the night were:
1. being piped in, which has never happened to us in five years in Scotland (sadly my father videotaped this but my camera broke. there will likely be many references to my camera breaking throughout this post. boo)
2. performing at the gorgeous Niagara Artists Centre (photo by Amanda Roth)
3. hearing Aisha Sasha John and Shannon Maguire for the first time
4. Y breaking in the wild drum kit my father built for her (photo by Amanda Roth)
5. meeting Eric Schmaltz, Phil Miletic and Lindsay Cahill
6. Y signing autographs in blood after playing “Head Games” without a pick.
That night we got dropped in Toronto, and the next day we did a live interview and performance for Facing Out at the brill Toronto Women’s Bookstore, with fantastic host Annemarie Shrouder. It was a blast, and I was thrilled to see so many old friends there.
(photo by Susy Alvarez)
Before the show, we also did an interview & video performance for the lovely Black Coffee Poet. You can check it out here.
After the show, a friend threw a wee party for us and we found out just how expensive booze and taxis have become in TO. (plus how long you have to wait for both). When we finally got there, the party was ace.
I think the next day we dropped by Word on the Street to visit a few indie presses. Then I was flying solo at Mutual Readings at The Secret Handshake. Hosted by bill bissett and David Bateman, it was quite the night. I read mostly new stuff, and was thrilled to hear Charlie Huisken, david tin mouth and a host of other writers. Sadly, my camera broke again. Someone lovely named Y was one of the first people to bother filming me reading — but it all got erased. Perhaps it’s for the best lol.
So then… are we still in September? Uh… yes! I remember. We then caught the train to Montreal. Ah, Montreal. What a city. And lucky us, some of our loveliest friends happen to live there so we got to spend five glorious days in hot hot weather — the first time I’ve been truly warm since 2007.
In Montreal, Zorras went on Vince Tinguely's wonderful radio show, then we did a benefit performance Vince organised at Casa del Popolo. The lovely Ariadna Battich joined us, too!
This was our first chance to collaborate with our multi-talented friend Gord Disley. He joined us onstage for our weird sound-poetry piece, “Able” — and it was magic! Check it out here (though I’m cheating because this is actually a different gig in Ottawa later and he’s playing guitar instead of bass guitar but I don’t have video of everything cuz…. my camera broke. So just pretend ok.)
Here is a picture of the real location (& you can even see Battich at her computer), taken by the amazing Samantha Bennett.
Okay, well, that’s only the beginning of the late-2011 update. Cuz then we went back to Toronto and on to Cobourg, Kingston, Ottawa, Birmingham & Liverpool. But those are stories for another day.