Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Family Band - Ask Your Sister - New CD

So the epic journey of Ask Your Sister this year is close to completion. I wonder if there is any way to really describe the ups and downs, joys and disappointments in the life of a family band. Well, every family and every band has its own trajectory, and we, being who we are, had to make something grandiose right from the start. We met in India, the home of my heart, where I had set us up in a sweet little apartment close to the sea, surrounded by creative people who inspired and supported us while we wrote music. We had 6 weeks to make and perform the show that we then toured though China, from the south to Beijing, my sister Kamila's home. She organized us in Chinese with shows all over. Planes, trains, and automobiles, luggage, instruments and gear to carry, and oh yes, the wonderful venues all over the country. We were so blessed (and stressed) and finally made it to Beijing to rest. After two full months in China, we came home to Nova Scotia, Canada, and played a few shows for our home crowd, then got to work on our new album. My sister Ariana and her husband Andy are rooted here and have taken over the majority of band duties. Andy produced the album and Ariana has been managing the business end. And now we are done!!  We are playing three CD release concerts this week and a folk festival next week and then we will take some time to breathe and plan for the next things.. whatever they are. And you know, whatever they are, I am so grateful to have such an amazing  global community supporting us through it all. I love you all, and will keep you posted on the next adventure!

Here's a video that Andy made from our New CD, GECKO


Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Music Business - The World


Some people say that to "make it" in the business of music, you have choose one path and stick to it, perfect it, and eventually your time will come. Others say you must diversify and be able to play whatever is asked and go where ever the work is. It is funny that this conversation follows me everywhere I go, though I'm quite sure I don't bring it up. I suppose my very presence brings it up. And I appreciate that people who know me want me to do well and take an interest. Lately I am getting constant emails from CD Baby, and Radio Airplay and other online music platforms that are giving endless advice about how to get more fans, write a hit song, promote and become a mega success. This feels rather less sincere, but still sometimes can be helpful. Usually though, this discussion is the air that I breathe and the water I swim in, it is probably the same for any business. I am polite, I read the occasional article in my inbox, I agree with pretty much everyone. And still my life feels like the great unknown. We can all say after the fact what worked or didn't as far as making a living or having an effect, but business and art are always pushing and pulling each other. This is a good thing. It means that no one really knows. As soon as you know, the game changes, and advice becomes dim. The only things we can try to know as musicians, are ourselves in the midst of pressure to become otherwise, and those who really listen to the music.

So my life in music is not a plan for the future, it is embracing the moment. Every day asks something particular, and every day I try to respond fully. Today I am loving Beijing. I must practice a song in Chinese for a show with Ask Your Sister. Today I am missing my home in India. Today I am looking forward to being back at home in Canada, where soon I will have the chance to perform with Blue Lotus, my world fusion band. And always, I am writing and keeping the joys and heartbreaks with me in song form. They make the show. Today I feel both terribly diverse and completely focussed. Perhaps that is what everyone has been trying to tell me. Perhaps that is what it takes to make it. In anything. 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Ask Your Sister


This is a momentous moment in my musical life. It has been a long time coming. Finally after years of travelling, learning, experimenting with different styles (of music and life..) everything seems to be bringing me home. Back to my roots.. as complex and varied as they are. And back to my home. These last few years I have been spending a lot more time in Nova Scotia, Canada in the amazing music scene that is there. A few months at a time even :) 

And now, after dreaming about it my whole life, I am joining up with my sisters and brother to take our new band, and our new sounds, encompassing all of our collective experiences and all that is "home" on the road!!!!

Ask Your Sister is the four of us. Ariana, Andy, Kamila and myself. They are joining me in India this January and we are making a new show. The first performances will be here in India, then a tour in China before we land back in Canada to record a new album. I could not be happier. 

We made a video of the first song that we have written together. "Take a Little Step"

Go to AskYourSisterMusic.com and see the video!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Himalayan Hand Weaving

I am back in India, this time in the Himalayas.. Manali to be specific. What a beautiful world. It has been too long since I wrote.. so for one post, there is too much to write about. Life here, life before I left canada... working with Blue Lotus and the way that feels like coming home... and ooh oohh  I haven't even mentioned the big new project that is brewing and is almost ready to be fully realized... you will have to ask your sister what that is. I will reveal it in a post very soon. Before that let's talk about Manali. Sheep. Mountains. Hand looms and weaving.


Some may have noticed that I am wearing this green woollen stole in a number of photos taken over this past year in a bunch different places. I have travelled too much this year perhaps, and this stole has come with me everywhere. It is so soft, and so warm and so light, I always love having it with me. Well, this is the where it was made, the Kullu region in the Himalayas. The hand weaving and traditional designs from here are famous for the craftsmanship and quality. I love this stole so much that when Ji Myeng asked if I wanted to work with him to send some back to canada, I was all in. Sometimes I sell jewellery that my friends make, or scarves that Ji and I have designed at shows in Canada, so those who come to my shows or blue lotus shows will have a chance to see them and buy them. There is also another opportunity, Heidi Kalyani from Blue Lotus is organizing TAZA, Indian Gift Bazaar in Wolfville, NS. If you can make it, there is going to be amazing stuff there.. Check it out:
www.tazabazaar.tumblr.com



Friday, 16 August 2013

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Blue Lotus

This month I have been hiding away in a magical music house working on the concert that we will present this Sunday, July 28th at the Horton Community Centre. It will be the debut of our group Blue Lotus, consisting of Ken Shorely, Heidi Kalyani and I. 

We will present an intimate concert of songs and grooves, inspired by our passion for the sounds of India, Afghanistan, Persia and Turkey! We are so excited to finally be putting this project together as we have been talking about it for years and finally, it is the perfect moment!  Please come and join us after the days workshops mentioned below. The concert is at 7:30!



June and July have been busy months. In June I came back to Nova Scotia to co-teach a course at Acadia University with Ken Shorely. The course was called the Music of India, the students were amazing musicians, and teaching with Ken was such a pleasure. Many people here in the community expressed interest, so we decided to make a full day workshop to learn about and share this music. This is now happening on Sunday, July 28th!!  Here is the lovely poster designed by Heidi Kalyani who will also be helping out with the day!