Friday, August 10, 2007


June to July 2007

I’ve been neglecting the write ups as of late due to the fact that my life has been incredibly busy and I do apologize… I’ve wanted to give you the reader and future viewer of my adventures a chance to really get a behind the scenes look at what I’m trying to accomplish with this passion project of mine. As you can see there is a bit of a gap in time but as you’ll see as I write my ups and downs for this particular time span there is plenty to catch you up on!

Let’s start form the beginning of June where the chaos and pressure started to mount as our deadlines to finalize deals for the party reached the critical stage… The talks with the venue had been going on for relatively two months up to this point and everything was always on a positive note but the word ‘stall’ truly found it’s meaning in our dealings. Our promoters had been in an ongoing conversation that said essentially said ‘yes’ to the party but due to the way things are handled at the venue it required a few people to sit in the same room and do the necessary hand shakes to agree on the terms. Stress was mounting on my end due to the fact that as much as my promoters were filling me in on the events it’s never the same as actually being there to comment on all the conversation that is going on in the moment. I had put complete faith in my promoter which is needed but due to the fact it’s my money on the line I was beginning to feel the strain of the unknown. The loan from the bank was hanging by a thread due to the mystery of the final deal we would strike up with the venue and are timeline to book the talent was running out… it was truly pressure cooker time and the end result pushed through June which made new choices having to be made. The dream of Film Festival execution had slipped from our grasp and a new date seemed to be the only solution… After discussing options with my partners and the bank we decided to move it to the beginning of March during Fashion Week in Toronto in order to give us the necessary time to book the talent we wanted and coincide with an event week in my hometown. I guess snow will potentially be our back drop instead of sun but the reality of heat and good times will still be evident on the dance floor come that fateful night in 2008.

Now if that was not enough in the stress department the countdown was on for the official ceremony for the biggest day of my life to date… the date I speak of involved one beautiful lady, 50 of my closest friends, one dad, a pair of new surrogate parents, and an island off the coast of California known as Catalina. This was my wedding… this was the day that was truly going to change my life… and this is one of those amazing times of stress that you embrace but in terms of timing sometimes can add a lot to an already full plate of responsibility. I’ve been fortunate that I have decided to marry a woman who deserves a cape and secret identity in the organization department which gave me some relief but to watch her bog herself down with her overwhelming schedule added some spice to some of our conversations over the course of June. As well as I thought I knew time management, there is no way to compare my skills to hers due to the fact that mine match a 2 year old learning to walk compared to my sexy and intelligent lady. In case I haven’t thanked her enough here is a little shout out to the lady of the hour Jennifer… you are an angel of organization that keeps me on the straight and narrow… I LOVE you for it and am at your disposal for anything you need… especially sexual… did I say that out loud? Oh yes I did!

With all this going on I managed to still keep work moving forward by journeying back to Cleveland on a short notice trip to interview ATB and Kenneth Thomas. If you’re curious why Cleveland has become a repeat destination my only answer to that I felt this would be my only opportunity in this journey to add some thoughts from these two talented d-jays to the film. Both d-jays are more of a trance sound in their expression and to truly give a perspective of understanding to this culture I felt it important to expand from my haven of HOUSE music to other genres of dance. ATB and Kenneth were an absolute pleasure to interview and gave two very different voices to the themes I was covering. ATB is from Germany while Kenneth is from Detroit… Europe vs. North America… the sounds and message comes from the same place but the way it is expressed is truly different. The crowd wasn’t disappointed and neither was I…

With all this going on during the month of June, the time flew by and as most people experience there never seems to be enough time in the day. I was behind in my editing due to scheduling conflicts with my editors, the wedding was closing in, the party had to be pushed, and due to these set backs more adjusting to business plans had to be done to appease the bank that was now causing us issues due to our date changes. The stress was mounting, my debt was at an all time high and the light at the end of the tunnel was starting to seem further and further away. Did I mention I moved as well? Let me give you some advice… if you feel the world is closing in with pressure, don’t move. It’s simple advice… advice I couldn’t really take myself due to my living arrangements… but advice nonetheless I will take to heart in any other future bogged down monthly schedules. I could keep explaining and describing the process as how it happened to me but I think MOVE is all I need to say.

With the wedding right around the corner and the editing behind schedule I looked forward to unplugging for the big event and regrouping when I got back. It was a 10 day adventure with my friends and wife to be and I couldn’t ask for a better moment for this to happen. With all the stress that had mounted it all just melted away like the first days of spring. It was a special day and a special week with the people I care about. The reflection of why I’m doing this film for me came out in all its glory as FAMILY became my muse for getting back on the horse and recharging the battery for the journey that lies ahead.

The journey and its journals will start once more as the month of July comes to an end and the back story to my Toronto days is focused on through the month of August. New segments, mixes, and interviews will be exposed to YOU the public! Just remember…


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Max Graham ... The travelling minstrel

I left you last with comments about my financial situation… has it changed? Rocky roads have been the trail as of late but this is the week I find out if everything will work out… that’s right… within the next couple of weeks I’m hoping to lock down the loan. The new people that I’ve partnered up with have been amazing and feel confident that they can make the magic happen for my bank account. As I board the plane to head to Panama to film Max Graham the dream feels like it still has life… but more on that later… for now the focus becomes on what really needs to be talked about… Max!

For the last 10 years there has been a presence in my evolution within the house scene. This presence has shaped me with his skills behind the deck and as a producer in general. I’ve been fortunate enough to be exposed to a lot of great talented d-jays being from Toronto and with many of these skillful maestros coming from different countries from around the world it was nice to finally have a talent from my country reach a global audience with his sound. This statement doesn’t put down the local talent because we certainly have some of the best in the world but when an individual can reach out of his own kitchen and start cooking for a larger population that appreciates what he cooks then you should take notice and understand why… Max Graham is this chef I speak of and to experience a set and voyage through his eyes it is truly an amazing moment to any electronic music fan.

Panama was scorching hot with record temperatures and the kind of dirty heat that you appreciated but questioned as parts of your body sizzled with delight. Central America had opened its doors and with Max on tap to interview in the evening my crew and I decided to visit the city and find out where the borders began and the similarities blend. Panama is a city of both wealth and poverty. No middle ground seems to exist and even though the areas we traveled to have issues of just complete rundown economic stature, the people seemed to deal with it with a sense of happiness. One thing I did notice that was quite interesting in these moments of examination was that music seemed to be playing… it was in Spanish… varied in genres… but the soundtrack and message it gave to the people listening was quite noticeable and uplifting to the surroundings around. Music does that to people, be it from whatever genre, and it’s nice to feel that universal synchronicity 1000’s of miles away from your home. The power of rhythm and beat is a special thing to listen to and control… it only helped build excitement as the day flew by and we approached our interview time with Max.

The interview with Max happened and for me to go into detail at this moment would be wrong due to the fact that the cameras were rolling… you the electronic listener will get your full experience soon enough… until then just know that this well spoken individual didn’t hold back and gave us one of our finest interviews which I can say makes me proud to be Canadian as well as gives me that sense that this project through hell or high water needs to make it to the finish line.

Normally my entries wrap up there thoughts on my final notes on the artist but we were fortunate to experience another chapter in the Panama files… oh yes… this is where the eyes really opened up as a visual artist whom I categorize myself as. I’m not one in the traditional sense but as a film maker you take the world and create a canvas through your lens, scenery, story, characters, and choices of putting it all together. Today… the day after Max took care of business at this beautiful oasis known as PLAY… was my first time tackling the rainforest and interacting with genuine Central America tribesman. The adventure was a last minute edition to the trip and with cameras in hand we went a couple of hours south into the heart of the rainforest to experience a tribe showcase it’s lifestyle and how music brings them together as one. The similarities to the bang of their hollowed out turtle shell drums, bird bone xylophones, and carved out flutes timed to the unison of a tribe chanting and dancing was amazing. The rhythm of the beat and the synchronized timing of their dance moves communicated to each other along with the visitors that had been welcomed into their world. I’ve never felt such calmness in my inner soul knowing that people like them have such common threads to my tribe’s power and meaning… The BEAT must go on…

More answers to my problems and adventures will be posted soon enough… I hope as you read this you get a chance to reflect on your life for a moment. The reason I say this is as much as the joy and pain do become unbearable sometimes we as human beings need this to help be complete in our existence. My adventure is far from over and I’m grateful…

Look at yourself for a moment and ask that question… Are you grateful? Until we talk again…

ATB … here I come!