Arriving in Canada with minimal French, it took a while to connect with the local Quebec music scene , but contacts made in the UK helped to find session work and gigs with Quebec artists such as Jean-Pierre Ferland and Acadian singer Edith Butler with whom I toured for a while
It was in this period that I met and started working with Ray Bonneville, first as a duo, and then founding Electric Desert Records to produce and release with Ray his first album, On the Main.
On the strength of this album we played the Blues Stage of the Montreal Jazz Festival and Ray's career hasn't looked back.
Time was also spent jamming with local muso's at Rockhead's Paradise, and on the "Main", Montreal's fabled St-Laurent Blvd, in clubs like The Rising Sun and the G-Sharp Bar.
It was at this time, too, that I started working in film and exploring the world of MIDI and computer based music .
A number of these tracks went on to be used as the basis for performances by talented NY choreographer Marijeanne Liederbach and her New York dance company, Fourworks
Here is an early collection of pieces created using the built-in sequencer on an ESQ-1 synthesizer. Aided and abetted by friend and music producer, Peter Alves on the console and percussion, this concept album, Innerland, was recorded at a local film-editing studio in the mid-80's.
I have often thought of re-recording these pieces in a jazzier and less quantized way but I just love the sound of the 8-bit samples, so characteristic of the New Age trend of that period and think I will leave them alone!
It was just a matter of time in Montreal before I met
fellow S. African singer expat, Lorraine Klaasen, who had been bringing her brand of SA music to the city for a number of years.
We have worked together quite often since.
In concert with Lorraine Klaasen - Tremblant Music Festival
Lorraine would bring her mother, the legendary Thandi Klaasen, one of Nelson Mandela's "Madiba Ladies", to Montreal each year for collaborative concerts, and I had the honour of being her frequent accompanist on piano when she was in town.
Thandi and the Granary Blues Band in