moved!

•October 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

now at http://natashaduchene.com

I’ve decided to move from wordpress.com to self-hosting, mostly so I can embed media more easily and customize my template. If you’re subscribed in a reader then you will have to re-subscribe, even though it looks kind of the same. that said, I added a bunch more content so please check it out!

hugs and kisses to you all!

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Breaking The Band

•September 19, 2009 • 2 Comments

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While we were traveling through the desert last fall, Lung and I did a shoot at Bombay Beach, which he submitted to PDN and Billboard Magazine’s Year In Music Photo Contest and then did us all proud by winning. You can see the image here by:

1) selecting “View The Winners” and 2) clicking “Next” two times

Lung is an incredible photographer who has won international competitions and you should go check out the rest of his portfolio at lungliu.com/. You can also go to his blog and let him know there.

notes from the desert – from the paper journal

•September 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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11pm, April 2009.

The wind is still blowing and the moon is full. I made my bed in my trailer while Charlie played three simple chords on the piano. Last night he was playing these same notes, and it sounded like such a lonely little song, singing self-awareness into the universe. I stood behind the screen door and this time felt compelled to sing. So I added my voice, slow gentle tones, ninths and thirds. Charlie turned away from me at the piano, me with my face pressed up against the screen, not wanting to open the door lest I break the spell.

But I did. Slowly, I grabbed a fleece blanket and wrapped it around me, still singing. I opened the door as gently as I could, so not to make a sound, and I as I opened it I thought of my throat and chest expanding like in a silent breath. I opened the door, and listened to a few notes, now peeking around the corner. But before I could sing, the song was over.

quiet nights with quiet stars

•July 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’m going to Montreal tomorrow, but I’m fighting strep throat again. I should really be sleeping but truth be told I am sad to be leaving Toronto and I kind of want to stay up and sit with this feeling for awhile. I guess that makes it time to take the guitar to the garden.

from the archives: The Cool Canaries

•June 29, 2009 • 1 Comment

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The Cool Canaries is a little jazz ensemble that started as a couple of friends and I putting together two songs for Ofleb Production’s short film “Frank’s Letter”, which we also got to dress up in period clothing and perform in (yup, that’s me up there). Later we added Maëva Clermont-Giguère on keys and Sebastien Belleudy on drums and played a fundraiser for Alain Wong’s bike ride for microcredit, kept practicing until we all started traveling too much and then had to let it go.

Ladies and gentlemen, Felix Pare on bass, Colin Parent on sax, yours truly on vocals. Enjoy!

In A Sentimental Mood

All The Things You Are

download: In A Sentimental Mood
download: All The Things You Are

beautiful moments on the road, new friends and heroes

•May 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’m standing at an intersection near the highway in Whitby, Ontario, holding a cardboard sign that says “OTTAWA” in big black letters. I’ve just gotten dropped off by a woman and her dad, and she just gave me her email address in case I want a hitchhiking partner the next time I go. I think that is pretty awesome. I’m feeling pretty good, smiles and all the rest of it, and this tiny old woman rolls down her window in the passenger seat of a car. She’s got to be at least eighty years old. I prepare myself for the usual lament that they aren’t going in the direction that I want to go, but instead this old woman says spiritedly, “I wish I was going with you!”

Later I’m sitting in Patty’s Pub in Ottawa, a pint of Alexander Keith’s in hand. Beside me are a couple of about my age, both singer-songwriters, and absolutely wonderful people. I’m here to see Charles de Lint play music, and to tell him that his writing has inspired me and to ask if I can please send him a recording of a song I wrote based on one of his short stories. It is so cool to meet one of my heroes, and he says he would like to hear the song. The music is wonderful and the room is full twinkle. There’s a fiddler playing from Nova Scotia, and the guy beside me goes up to sing a couple of his own tunes as well. I’d never gotten the draw some people feel to Ottawa, but I think I got a taste that night.

The next day I hiked to Montreal, where I spent the weekend with my friends, and my mom and dad who were there for a film shoot for their documentary on democracy. Sunday we gathered at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall, where I filled in for a missing alto on a text setting of one of Robert Frost’s poems. I love the sound of human voices together. The shoot went smoothly. Today I caught a rideshare home and now I am back in Toronto.

Tomorrow I start a job! A real job, where I have hours and have to show up on time and stuff. I’ll be telemarketing for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and as much as I love the symphony I have to admit I am a little bit anxious about spending hours on the phone calling people. But I’m crossing my fingers that it will be okay, and at the very least it will be nice to have enough money to be able to go once in awhile. Aubrey and I went to see Bruckner 8 the other week and the experience was pretty awesome.

things work out

•April 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

All the beautiful moments and wonderful people I met in San Diego only made it harder to leave. I’m still kind of reeling from the experience. Thanks to all of you for making my time there special.

I flew out early on Tuesday morning in a tiny Cessna 172SP. I posted an ad on craigslist on the off chance that somebody would be going that way when I needed to go, and when I got a reply from someone saying he could fly me there for about the same cost as a rideshare, I couldn’t believe it. The only catch was that we could only fly weather permitting, so there was some uncertainty. Fortunately skies were blue and by about 7am we were checked and fueled up and ready to take off.

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The pilot, Freddy, is also a musician and we had lots to talk about. I felt at ease pretty much right away, and I can totally see now how people get addicted to flying. It didn’t even occur to me a week ago that I might wind up with both an amazing new experience and the most convenient lift to El Centro I could possibly have asked for.

Now I am home and getting settled in again. Even though it’s cold and dreary it feels great to be here. Truth be told I was pretty homesick while I was away. A few friends from Montreal passed through last night as well so it’s been kind of nonstop action even now that I’m back. I am SO TIRED OH MY GOD. I still have to process everything that’s happened in the last six weeks – once I get a moment to rest I will take the time to go over everything and get a sense of where I am artistically. Lots to do still but I’m feeling motivated and inspired and ready to take on the rest of this project on my own.