Why? Why? Why…am I so accident prone? And “Tequila Boom Boom!”

The second last week of April (the week of April 20th) I was excited and I wanted to start the week strong.  On Monday april 20th I woke up early, had breakfast, did a workout, watched a video for an online technical music production course I am taking through Coursera (I highly recommend their online education courses).  I felt so proactive I wanted to shout out; “Everythings Coming Up Tara!” and then the unthinkable happened….I damn well cut the top of the middle finger of my left hand with a dull serrated knife.  And this cut was deep.  


As I am over the kitchen sink screaming, running the wound under cold water Don runs into the kitchen, gets me to calm down and gets our first aid kit.  I have to say Don was awesome!  He got me to apply pressure to the wound, he bandaged it up and then he got online to search for a clinic for me to go to so, I could see a doctor because I could possibly need stitches.  Lets be honest no one wants to go to a hospital during a pandemic so a medical physician can look at at deep cut…there are more pressing medical issues in a pandemic.  I digress….

Don has been to a really nice (private) medical clinic in the Ku’damm area so, he reached out to the clinic to inquire if they would see me.  They said yes, so we hopped on the S-bahn and made our way to the clinic.  When we arrived, I filled out the necessary paperwork, and the receptionist told me the wait would be an hour (as a side note…I have waited longer to see doctors at a clinic..I’m Canadian!  I’m kidding…I love Canada’s healthcare system.) so, I waited patiently to see a physician.   When I saw the doctor she was nice, spoke excellent english and as she took a look at the wound (which had stopped bleeding) she said; “I don’t think this will need stitches but since this is not my specialty, I’ll call our in-house surgeon to take a look at it for a second opinion.”.  The surgeon came down, she looked at it and confirmed that I did not need stitches.  So, they bandaged me up, told me not to use the finger (meaning…I can’t play the guitar”) and sent me on my way.  

Did this hamper my ability to play the guitar? Yes.  Can I play another instrument with my right hand? Yes! I am musically saved because I can play my synthesizer and a… 

Matthew reached out to us that even because, he saw photos of my bandaged hand plastered all over my social media.  We had to figure out what songs we could do together for “World is Watching” episode 6 and since I could not play the guitar we would have to strategize a workaround.  Matthew suggested I could sing backing vocals on one of his songs called “Why Why Why” which is a beautiful song about riding a BC Ferry back to Vancouver from Vancouver Island and the beauty of British Columbia (I have always loved singing that song!).  Don suggested we try to find a triangle for me to play  and we actually found a friend who could donate one for this musical cause.  Ta Daa ships bell!


The original song I could contribute for the episode would would be “Facciola State of Mind (Sticky Dance Floor Mix)”. Why?  It’s a dance track and I would only have to do a keyboard line because, the majority of the track is in the can.  Even Matthew would only have to contribute cool sounds to the song.   Now for the story behind the “Tequila Boom Boom!”. 

 

“Facciola State of Mind” is a song I wrote for a friend named Aurora Facciola and she owns an Italian wine bar/restaurant in Kreuzberg called “Facciola” and marketing hashtag for her establishment is #FacciolaStateofMind.  Sometimes she’ll have a food theme night and on one particular evening the menu theme was Mexican and when you do Mexican food you MUST include shots of tequila!  Don and I were there for Mexican night and as I consumed tequila a lyric came to my head; “Auroa shouts boom boom, drink tequila boom boom” and I came  up with a short melody for the lyric.  Auroa liked it so, at the end of the evening we (the people & staff in the wine bar) were all singing “Auroa shouts boom boom drink,  tequila boom boom”.  The lyric stuck!

A few months later (around January 2019) Facciola was celebrating it’s 4th year anniversary so, I decided to write a song called “Facciola State of Mind” as a gift.  The original version of the song (available on all streaming platforms) is very rock/blues oriented and half way through the  “Tequila Boom Boom” is a highlight of the song.  For Facciola’s 5 year anniversary (January 2020) I decided to make “Facciola State of Mind” a dance track as a gift.  So, the song would be perfect addition to the “World is Watching You” set list!  For the video shoot I shot tequila and Matthew did a few shots of tequila. And we even got Aurora and her fiancé Anna to film themselves doing shots so, Don could edit them into the video.

As Matthew and I were promoting teaser for “World is Watching” Episode 6 we suggested all who watch the premier on Youtube should do tequila shots with us!  Episode 6 premiered on Youtube on Monday, April 27th and the drinking shots concept was a hit!  Talk about interactive.

 

I am still pissed  I cut my hand but, I am glad I could share this story with you.  So, for all of you out there that decided to take a moment to read this blog I hope you all stay safe and stay healthy!

It’s time for a glass of wine and search for a new hair salon via google. 😉

Cheers!

TCT  

 

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A Tribute to a Life Taken From Us Too Soon

As I mentioned in my last post we lost a dear friend of ours named Kacie Wallace (12/19/1986-04/12/2020).  Don and I learned about her death on April 13th and in the days that passed it was revealed (by a member’s post) that she had stage 4 liver disease and she had died in her sleep.  

My heart has felt heavy all week because she was taken from us much too young.  But, she’s not the only friend of mine that has passed away far too young due to natural causes, missadventure (a.k.a accidental overdose) or suicide.  I have known far too many people that are now ghosts that walk among us.

This week’s “World is Watching You” (Episode 05) is taking a more somber note.  For the tribute Matthew Presidente is going to compile video footage & photographs from the shows he & Kacie performed over the years.  He also wants to do a version of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen and he wants many of the artists that have performed on his show to sing a verse of the song, sing
the choruses, submit the files and footage  to him and he’ll edit it all together.  This takes me back to the shows we did together when we (Don & I) lived in Vancouver because,  Hallelujah was our go-to all inclusive encore song. 

The song I chose for episode 05 is a song I wrote not too long after Don and I moved to San Francisco titled I’m “Only Human”.  It was actually the first song I wrote in San Francisco and it’s a song about leaving all of your loved ones behind because you have the chance to embark on a new opportunity & adventure.  In this case it was my small tribute to Kacie Wallace because she & I  did lose touch for a few years when Don & I lived in San Francisco.  I am glad Kacie and I were able to reconnect in 2019.   I also decided to sing a version of the show’s opening song called “The World is Watching You”.

I have found that during these times where it feels like “Death is Everywhere” (credit- Martin L. Gore from Depeche Mode) sometimes you have to take a look around and love those around you. So, for all of you out there that decided to take a moment to read this blog I hope you all stay safe and stay healthy!

It’s time for a glass of wine. 😉

Cheers!

TCT  

 

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The Show Must Go On!

Filming and recording songs for Matthew Presidente’s weekly at home concert series “World is Watching” has been a delightful project to be a part of and a great distraction away from the Corona Virus & isolation.  The notion that two (sometimes) three songs have to be recorded for a deadline has given Don & myself reasons not to sit on the couch and “twiddle our thumbs”. 

This week we are filming & tracking songs for “World is Watching” episode 04!  The songs are “Under the Midnight Sky” (an original by myself) and “Sucha Shame” (a Matthew Presidente original off of his 2015 release “Every Single Sin”).  Matthew will be backing me on piano & vocals and I will be backing Mathhew with Guitar & vocals. 

To record and film Don literally turns our apartment into a filming and recording studio.  During a shoot Don will set up two stationary cameras (for two separate angles) while a
third camera is handheld, he arranges the perfect lighting for the mood of the song and also, to match the lighting in Matthew’s apartment for seamless editing.  We really want you (the audience) to feel like I am in Matthew’s apartment in Vancouver performing together.  Don also makes it so recording the song is as seamless as it sounds.  He sets up my recording/stage area so my microphone, in-ear monitors and guitar are connected to his recording workstation for recording. After a couple shows he has the set up down to a science. 

The process of long distance collaboration has been wonderful.   When we are working on one of my songs I’ll have the track ready, we will record & film my lead, choose the best take, send the Logic music files & video files to Matthew by using “Dropbox” (it’s so easy).  When Matthew receives the files he’ll record his backing vocal, piano track & film the take and then he’ll send it back to us for editing.  After we have edited my song & video we’ll send the final cut back to Matthew so, he can add the song/video to the show. The process usually takes 8-10 hours to complete.  The process is reversed when I am performing backing on one of his tracks.

I know Episode 4 will be fantastic!  Also,  today my online “Tip Jar” has been launched via Paypal!  If you like my work please donate.  Links to the are available on my website and my Soundcloud artist page. 

On a sad note on April 13th, 2020 we received news that our friend and fellow performer Kacie Wallace passed away (not COVID-19 related).  She was a fantastic jazz singer and a wonderful person.  I shared many Vancouver stages with her  and she will be missed.    

As a side note: Since Kacie Wallace’s death was so sudden a tribute could not be added to “World is Watching You” episode 04 so, a tribute to her will be added to “World is Watching You” episode 05.  

So, for all of you out there that decided to take a moment to read this blog I hope you all stay safe and stay healthy!

It’s time for a glass of wine. 😉

Cheers!

TCT  

 

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The First Weeks in Social Isolation

With Berlin in full social distancing and quarantine mode options to perform live have become  non-existent. Fortunately with a home studio and a partner who is a total techie the possibilities to make music and videos were endless.

Matthew Presidente, one of my best friends & favourite musicians to collaborate with, decided to start a concert series on Youtube called “World is Watching”.  The concept for this weekly Youtube series is to collaborate and do duets with artists/musicians and connect with audiences  The show is pre-recorded and video edited since there are a lot of people involved each week and a no budget facebook live stream can be unreliable and very poor quality.  Matthew reached out to me mid-March to be a part of the show and I immediately said yes.  So, Matthew began working on “World is Watching” in Vancouver on March 18th. Don and I quickly converted our apartment in Berlin into a recording/filming studio to record & film my backing tracks for two of Matthew’s songs “Gracious” & “Valentines Day”. All of the artists/musical guests invited to participate put a little elbow grease and love into the project!  “World is Watching” Episode 01 premiered on Matthew President’s Youtube Monday, March 23rd at 8:00 p.m. (Pacific).

 

At the same time our friends Steffen Roll & Nina Severin from “Only You Interviews” decided to reach out to the Berlin creative community in regards to starting a new interview series on artists in isolation. This interview series is focusing on how people in different communities are coping with the new reality that comes with a pandemic, isolation and quarantine.  Both Steffen & Nina reached out to me to do an interview and (of course) I said yes.  My interview titled Tara C. Taylor | “because that artist is hungry” | #corona premiered on Youtube on Wednesday, April 1st!

On April 1st Don and I got back to work on three songs for “World is Watching” episode 03. This time Matthew collaborated with backing vocals & piano on “Le Louver” (an original by me),  Please, Please, Please Let me get what I want (a cover by The Smiths) and I tracked backing vocals for an original song by Matthew titled “Glamour”.   Needless to say there is a great deal of effort to produce three videos with multiple camera angles and live off the floor recording with people on two different continents! Don figures it takes about 8-10 hours per final song.  Once again all of the artists/musical guests invited to participate put a ton of work and love into the project and it premiered on Youtube on Monday, April 6th at 8:00 p.m. (pacific).

It’s time for a glass of wine. 😉

Cheers and stay healthy!

 

 

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