… I’ve uploaded the uncut, massive single MP3 version (please right click and save the file, as it’s huge!) of the second-to-last musical performance I ever made in Saskatoon, back in 1998.
My friend Mike invited me, my ex (the vocalist on the track), and two DJs I knew from high school (Phil Greer and Keenan Gauthier) to perform at what he was then calling “parties” (because, I think, “rave” was passé by then. We played a few gigs, and on the last one — just before I took off for Montreal in fall 1998 — Keenan got a buddy of his to come in and record the show. The guy was an amateur producer, and he remixed it slightly. Mostly, it was just adding effects and tuning levels, I think, but some of the stuff he did sounded pretty good.
Phil and Keenan were ambient DJs, which at the time they joked meant they were the laziest DJs ever. Back in high school, they’d both dated the girl I’d loved with all my shallow, hormonal heart, but by this time that was all water under the bridge.
We performed under the name Apocrypha, which I made up on the spur of the moment because I’d been studying Medieval Lit and someone had been talking to my about the Apocryphal books of the Bible and it sounded weird and exotic and mysterious. Not that our audiences noticed much. We mostly performed to rooms full of people who seemed to be stoned out of their gourds. Not everyone, but lots of them. The night of this performance, we were supposed to wait until 6am. I didn’t know until later that Mike had planned to invite some famous British trance musicians who were playing downstairs up to see us in the Chill Out Room. We started playing around 5:20 or 5:30, and the band never made it.
Missed opportunity? Probably not: we played one more gig together, a few months later, at a party of Mike’s which was called Farewell, I think. Mike was moving to Toronto to start his career as a DJ — which has really taken off, by the way — and I left for Montreal and soon was shoulder-to-the-grindstone in a creative writing program and I felt much more at home. Well, eventually, I did. Not because of the people, though some were cool and others of whom were downright annoying, but because of the work I was doing.
Still you can see these glimpses of what I could do with a saxophone, here and there on this track. I lived with the damned thing in my hands for years and years, so little wonder. Studying music in university ruined my instinct to play sounds that felt and sounded good to me, though. If I practice, that’s what I’ll be pursuing. The sounds that sound and feel good.
Quarter tones and shrieks and all…
If you like that, there’s more music here.