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Thursday, February 24, 2011

My LOS rant

Ohhhh Orlandooooo.... Another blog entry about you...

Why is it that ever since I have been down here I have been asked/approached with "Lady of Spain" more in my life than ever before?

I have a serious issue with this song as it represents everything that I do not stand for an a musician, accordionist and performer. Cheesy, hokey, sappy, lame American standards in music have dominated many accordionists repertoire, this I know, and this is something I dealt with less and less while performing back on the West coast of Canada.

I seem to have dropped in to some kind of poor taste black hole/twilight zone down here, where everyone is suffering from being stuck in a Consensus trance, where acapella groups, dinner/theatre shows, terrible restaurant chains, and "Lady of Spain" medleys thrive.

I had a drunk fan the other day assume we were best friends during my performance at work, only because she claimed to play the accordion as well. She attempted to hit my keyboard, hovered for a bit, and demanded "Lady of Spain" from me. It wasn't pleasant to say the least.

I love watching Lawrence Welk, and Myron Floren, but only out of irony! Those cats know how to put on a wholesome show, but that show is OVER. What is left is people still pairing together the accordion with horrible music, "All of me", "Swanee River", "Roll out the barrel"...The Golden Age of the Accordion has PASSED people! (See video):



When I posted 'No, I won't be playing "Lady of Spain" and no, please don't touch my accordion.' on my Facebook page, I got a big response from both sides of the fence. Many agreeing that this IS a bad request, to then having others post their love for "Tico, Tico" along with scores for it. What is happening here?


I end my angst-ridden rant with this:

Don't pigeonhole me.



*Note*: Miss Enquist continues to "Save the world with the Accordion" and yet refuses to play "Lady of Spain". 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Scorpios, Squeezeboxes, and Shapcott!



My lovely friend Victor was here for a couple of days, and so we spent all of them together and had a fantastic time.

On his first day here I got him and his parents into Epcot, and it was a treat to be able to perform them. Having him there definitely made my Valentine's Day easier since I am very far away from my boyfriend right now.

Victor and I met through the theatre scene in Victoria BC, where we were both born and raised. He has since gone on to perform in the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. We have the same birthday, and with that we keep our connection close to our hearts.

The evening of Feb 14th I went on several rides with Victor and his Dad, I love when friends meet you after you're done your shift and they have fast passes all ready to go :)

I was recognized in the line up for "Soarin' " which surprised me as the ride is quite far away from the Italian Pavilion. It was nice to go on some of the rides at Epcot, as I never get a chance to. Once you're finished working for the day you just want to go home, so it was nice to be a 'tourist' with my friends.
On Feb 15th, after my day at Disney was done, I was invited over for dinner at Victor's friends home with whom his parents and him were staying at. Jerry and Marta were their house-hosts and friends, and they used to work for Disney as architects. They designed and built their own home, it was amazing inside and out. Jerry was the architect for the Canadian Pavilion at Epcot, parts of Euro-Disney, as well as other areas of the Magic Kingdom and parts of Disneyland in California. They had several pieces of artwork within their home by Disney artists which was a treat to be able to see.

On my 'weekend' Victor and I spent my first day off at the Animal and Magic Kingdom. I was spotted by one of the ushers for "The Expedition" roller coaster at the Animal Kingdom, telling me he loved the "Ziti Sisters" show, which tickled me. The ride, however, made me weak in the knees for the rest of the day. I wasn't emotionally or physically prepared for that roller coaster!

It was a wonderful day spent with my friend :)



Victor has since left for the remainder of his trip with his parents elsewhere, but I cherish the brief visit we had. Orlando is a very weird place to be in, and it was very interesting to re-view it through Victor's eyes. His perception and firsthand glimpse into this city of the deep South was very similar to mine. I recall him calling it a 'Twilight Zone' as well.




I really ought to document all the concertina's and squeeze boxes used on Disney rides. There are several I can think of off the top of my head.

Speaking of small world's, Michael Shapcott was visiting my home city of Victoria BC this past week, and not only is he a specialist for Toronto housing/homelessness, and in Victoria BC to support local groups in their housing/homelessness work, BUT he's also an accordion player!

Photo credit: Michael Shapcott's FB profile :)
So like any good accordion friend of mine, he gets his photo taken by my boyfriend, who is a photographer for the Victoria Times Colonist.

I'm happy to report that I'm a hot topic at City Hall :)
 
I was informed by my friend Philippe Lucas (Victoria Greens Politician) that Mr. Shapcott brought me up, out-of-the-blue, during a meeting he had at City Hall, expressing his disappointment that I wasn't there in Victoria BC.

I recommend you follow Michael on Twitter: http://twitter.com/michaelshapcott

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Weekly update: My haircut, Bruce's Squeeze-blog, and the end...

Ah, so what is new this week in the life of an Accordionista?

Well, at the beginning of my work week -my Monday is the rest of the world's Friday- after the Ziti Sister's last set I had what I thought was some fans approach myself and the rest of the sisters for some photos with their kids. Instead it ended with "Can I take a photo of your haircut?". I wanted to say "NO WAY" but was overwhelmed and weirded out and just kind of shook my head, nodding, wanting it to be over.

I do get a lot of attention down here for my haircut, but still, c'mon people!

Bruce Triggs, of the acclaimed Accordion Noir Radio, has a blog!! I recommend you read it (after you finish reading mine of course)! I learned about his blog in his recent email informing me that he has his hands on a chemnitzer concertina.


I'll be getting a visit from my friend Victor this coming week. It will be nice to have a fellow Canadian performer at my side.

At the end of my work week I had an older woman grab my butt during a Ziti Sister's set. Unexpected, and surprising, especially because my dress is so poofy - how did she know where to grab?

Until next time! Ciao!
xoN

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Draw me up

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a guy, like many before him, very involved in his camera and taking photographs of "The Ziti Sisters" show. We have photographers, of all ages and degrees, come to the show and it pleases me to see that they're intrigued with us and want to capture us. What is more pleasing then to inspire a fellow artist?

This one guy continued to pull out his sketch book and draw us, and returned to every show that day. I passed along my card in hopes that he would share his work of us with us, as I have had photographers email me their shots of me as "Katia", and sure enough this brilliant illustration appeared up in my inbox the other day.

I had a great observant comment made on this picture the other day by an accordion friend on Facebook saying "I think I saw this in a Russian instructional manual from 1918. It's great."

Check out Greg Betza's work, he's a genius.

I am now collecting a little gallery of portraits, view them here: LOOK

---

I've been visiting an old friend - the piano. This is just a rental, but I hope to someday feel that I can settle in and have my own piano, and have a happy home for it to live in :)

Other things that are new with me: I LOVE RMR - okay, that's nothing new. I have been in love with the Rick Mercer Report for a long time now, but when you're living in the Twilight Zone you fall even harder for hilarious Canadian broadcasting. That and new work friends, along with delving deeper in to how much culture shock is too much for an accordionist to swallow.


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