Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New photos!

I've been posting a lot of new photos today.

You can see our new Elim Lodge photo album on our site, and lots of new photos on our Facebook page.

Our recent shopping trip to Cosmo Music.
No, this wasn't a purchase!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How Sundays roll...

So, the start of the day wasn't fantastic: we had to make the announcement about postponing our concert, which just felt horrible. I do think it was the right decision, but certainly not one that made either of us feel good.

Happily, the day got significantly better from there!

This morning, we led worship for Chartwell Church's Kerr St. congregation in Oakville. This faithful group meets in the basement of an apartment building, gathering early for coffee, and sitting cafe style for the worship service.

Gerald and I actually led the entire service! We started with 30 minutes of music and prayer, and then presented our version of a musical sermon. We shared stories about God's hand on our lives, interspersed with songs of reflection. After we spoke, the pastor led the group in prayer for us, which was incredibly humbling. We ended with a rousing hymn, and then joined the crowd for a fantastic meal of BBQ!

In the afternoon, we met with our band to rehearse for tonight's Gathering service. Lack of a sound person added a few challenges, but we pushed on, and had a great night of music! Tonight's team included vocals, guitar, piano, bass, and saxophone.

Our pre-service song was What a Wonderful World, followed by songs like Beautiful One and Our God. We sang Psalm 31 set to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, and for a song of reflection, we sang Martina McBride's Anyway. Drew preached on the subject of Faith or Fear, which led to some great discussions.

After the service, we chatted with team members, confirmed details for next week's service, and then met with Patrick, who'll start as organist and choir director in the fall.

There's nothing like that feeling at the end of a great Sunday - tired, but well earned.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kick Off Concert Postponed!!!!!!

Unfortunately, we've had to postpone our concert until the fall.

Please stayed tuned to for a new time and date.

Our apologies for any inconvenience!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Concerts In The Park but not In The Park

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city

All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

That could be our theme song in Toronto right now.

We're in record highs, and there's no break in sight. So you can imagine our concern as we planned for an outdoor concert tonight in Burlington (just west of Toronto). I was really excited to book a spot in the summer concert series, as we were the only Christian act on the line-up.

But we were even more thrilled to arrive at the bandshell today and see the sign "Concert Moved Indoors Tonight"!

What a relief! The fear was that people would stay away with the heat, but the audience started to arrive, and in the end, we had well over a hundred people crammed into the hall.

We knew this would be a really mixed crowd, so in addition to our signature pieces, we pulled out a lot of well known pop and country songs. It was interesting to watch the crowd - some sang along, some smiled, and a few looked at us like, "I have no idea what they're singing about, but I think I like it." Okay, that's my own interpretation, but I like to think I'm on the money.

Doing Christian music in a non-church setting is a real challenge, especially in a city like Toronto where Christians face a lot of political-correctness, but I'm determined to keep pressing forward. I have confidence in our music, and I believe it can inspire people from all walks of life.

And I think in a city as diverse as ours, all voices need to be heard.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Elim Lodge - Day 2

For the past few months, we've deliberately taken Monday as our day off. When you're self-employed, it's easy to work every day, and we found we really needed to designate a day as our own.

Today, we were blessed to spend our day off at Elim Lodge!

We drifted around the campground, enjoying the sunshine and the people, and only paying attention to the clock when it was time to eat.

This afternoon, I set up a writing studio by the water. I brought out all my writing tools: a guitar, my iPhone, my pink MacBook (complete with Masterwriter) and of course, an espresso. The stillness and fresh air created a gently creative environment.

My songwriting studio.

After supper, we gathered at the water with the rest of the campground to watch a wakeboarding demonstration - cool tricks and jumps, and they still were able to use it as a ministry moment.

Later, the weather turned and a storm started brewing in the distance. I sat outside and watched the fork lightening and the changing palette of the clouds. The air had shifted, and birds started flying for cover. It was awesome and beautiful. The storm still hasn't hit, but until just a few minutes ago, the power was out.

Storm watching...

The next few weeks will be busy with concerts and touring. I'm so grateful for this quiet and calming day...

I think I'm one of the few people who honestly loves Mondays.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Elim Lodge - Day 1

We’ve spent the weekend here at Elim Lodge, north of Peterborough. This family-friendly Christian campground host activities all summer long, including daily worship and weekend Gospel concerts.

Our view!

We arrived yesterday and settled into our cozy cabin by the lake. After a fantastic BBQ feast, we had our sound check and set up our product table.

Setting up last night made for a relaxing Sunday morning. As we rechecked our sound, a few families drifted into the sanctuary. Ten minutes before the service, we gathered for prayer with the service leaders. When we left the prayer room, we discovered a packed sanctuary of over 400 people!

The service was wonderful, with robust congregational singing, and a great message based on the book of Jonah. Gerald and I sang “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” and “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone.)”

After a relaxing afternoon, we gathered back at the chapel for our evening concert. This kind of audience presents a unique challenge. We knew the crowd would represent a mix of denominations, ages, and interests, so we prepared a very eclectic program. We mixed hymns, praise & worship, Gospel, country, originals, and even a Beatles song.

Selling our Blue Bag Special at the concert.

At the last minute, Gerald decided to do his 9-11 song, “Angels in the Dust”. At the product table after the show, Gerald had the chance to speak with a woman who actually found her faith because of her 9-11 experience.

It’s amazing - you never quite know how a song can affect someone.

You never know when you might be singing someone else’s story...

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Plein Air Concerts

Tonight, we opened the Plein Air Concert series.

The list of summer concerts and workshops, featuring our opening night concert!

Each summer, artist Susan Brown hosts a variety of musicians for a series of concerts in her lush backyard. The centerpiece of the garden is a gorgeous wooden pavilion that provides both a stage and a surprisingly good acoustic.

When we get the opportunity to bring Infinitely More into a non-church environment, we're always excited by the challenge of providing inspiration and encouragement without getting, well, too "churchy." We pulled out a real mix of songs, including popular standards like "People Get Ready" and "Lean on Me." We also chose soulful songs like Gerald's "Real Big Fan", and artsy pieces, like my "Sing Me a Song".

As we sang the gentler songs, we were accompanied by soft breezes and singing birds. Surrounding the stage were paintings, a waterfall, and candle-filled lanterns. Truly, a glorious place to sing!

Gerald filmed the concert using our new video recorder, so I'm hoping to post some video soon.

There's nothing like singing outdoors, especially in such a beautiful environment. We have another outdoor concert in Burlington this month. Hoping for another fantastic night!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

East Coast Tour Kick Off Concert!

Mark your calendars for a great night of music!

Featuring the music of Infinitely More, and lots of special guests!

All moneys raised will support our East Coast Tour.

Tour Angels in the $100 level and higher will receive FREE TICKETS to this event.

Monday, July 04, 2011

The Lord Giveth, and The Lord Postponeth...

I'm writing this with a heavy heart.

When we heard that our church was installing a new sound system with the ability to do high quality recordings, our artistic hearts leaped with joy! The concept of gathering our friends together to do some recording was irresistible, and we started to make plans. Having an Infinitely More CD for our East Coast Tour was an awesome thought, so we booked an engineer and made arrangements for each step of the process.

But to quote John Lennon, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

We received news today that the sound system won't be in place until at least a week later than originally planned.


Given our tight summer schedule, there's no way we'd be able to make the CD before our tour. We've just called everyone involved to give them the news.

Obviously, by the opening line of this post, I'm disappointed. But I'm just taking a few deep breaths, looking out the back window at the sunny day, and seeking blessings in all of this.

A few thoughts come immediately to mind:

  • This gives us more time and resources to put towards our July concerts and our August tour.
  • We're not canceling but postponing. We'll still have all our great ideas and fabulously talented friends when we're able to record in a few months.
  • By the time we're able to record, we'll probably have a whole new set of original songs for the album.
  • When I think of the serious issues plaguing friends of mine - illness, grief, financial despair - I really have no right to complain about delaying a recording. I mean seriously, I make a living creating music with my husband - who am I to complain about anything???

So, keep that $15 in your pocket, and in a few months, we'll have a fantastic new CD for you to purchase!