We took the train into London Victoria today. It was our first day exploring without any bags or violins. It was amazing. London is a very special city. One of my favorites, if not my absolute favorite. It’s amazing we can come here for weeks at a time. When I was 16 we were only here for 5 days, and we had to rush around like maniacs doing all these pre-planned activities. Though I did like living in a nice hotel in the center of town and eating at fancy restaurants and not having to worry about money back then, this way of traveling is so unique and special. We live like locals, just like I wanted to when I was a kid. No one else in the world lives and travels like we do. Sometimes it is so overwhelming and scary I can’t handle it, but at times like these it is all worth it. The torturous agony of flying and the fear of the future, the frustrations, the depressions… it’s all clear now. Just last week in Amsterdam I was so f**king freaked out about finding us a place to stay in NYC I didn’t know what to do. Now I am actually excited to be in NYC because we’ll be living with artists. I’m not scared, I’m curious what will happen. I know that no matter what happens, we will be OK!
We spent many hours wandering around the city. We had lunch at a cute little place. I treated us. We went to the theater district and got donugts for dessert. We passed through many resonant spaces, which we may try to play in this week. I believe our play spot is in the theater district. There are so many beautiful buildings and resonant walkways there. We stopped by Her Majesty’s Theater where I saw Phantom when I was 16. It was eerie to be back in a place I was at over 10 years ago. My life was immensely different then, and I was a completely different person. We came upon a billboard with MICHAEL CRAWFORD’s face on it. I freaked out. He’s in a new musical called “The Go-Between”. Michael played the original Phantom, my favorite character of all time. That’s who I “act” as sometimes. I want badly to go see it. Maybe we will! We took the bus back to London Victoria station and took the train back home to Sutton. It was a truly lovely day for us. I am so happy to be a grown up and to be independent and free to do as I wish, within reason and with responsibility and forethought. I am so grateful to be able to be here in this city.
Monday August 22nd 2016
We took a walk in Sutton. Went into the supermarket and then found a place to have a big English Breakfast. We went home and stayed in our room for the rest of the day. In the night we went outside to the picnic bench where Kaja and Emil were playing a video of us for their friends. Grandma had made dinner for us, which I helped him bring outside. Thoth went back inside to work more and I stayed with Kaja and Emil and talked for a long time. We are so blessed. So, so blessed.
I went to bed early last night so I’d get enough sleep. All night I wanted to get up and write new music for us. I was afraid we wouldn’t have enough material for Rhan and Michael to work with. I was thinking of totally scrapping the opera. It was freaking me out too much. I just didn’t think we’d be able to pull it off. My lungs were more congested than usual when I woke up, but my ears were much better. I’m so lucky I didn’t get super sick and loose my voice! Thoth made us protein infused smoothies again to sustain us throughout the day. Michael arrived just as I came downstairs. He was talking to Nana. I hugged him and told him I had a bad night. He went outside with me and we stood in the sun. He put his hands on my shoulders and took a deep breath. I took several myself. “You picked a perfect day to record.” he said. I closed my eyes. “I’m so scared. I’m so scared. I want us to make a great album.” I said to myself more than to him. “That’s good.” he said. “It’s good you know what’s going on. You’re doing good.” He’s such an encouraging, calming energy. I knew he’d help me feel better. We drove with him to the recording studio. Rhan was already there. Dad let us in. We helped Rhan bring his instruments in.
It didn’t take much time to get in the groove of things today. We jammed a piece with the band almost immediately. I finally felt more at ease. It was fun recording. After about 2 pieces, we went into listen. Michael is so responsive to our music. He was cheering for us. That’s one thing I love about playing with him. We have a built in cheering squad. 🙂 He can’t help but cheer us on. When he heard me sing a particularly cool note or something he would say “Yeah!” It’s great. That’s what I needed today, and I really soaked it in. I think I was uninspired yesterday because I had no feedback. We got most of the pieces by 1:30 when we went for a lunch break at The Fat Lady. It had a cozy Victorian feel and was festively decorated for Christmas. I loved it, but neither Thoth or I ate anything. We wanted to have enough energy for the second half of the day. We treated everyone. It made me feel good. The second half of the day went well, too. I overdubbed some belting. When I went back into listen, Daddy tried to do it. It was so hysterical I was doubled over with laughter. By 5:30, we’d gotten everything done we needed. We got to do a little thing with Rhan plucking his cello. We’ll see if we can stick that in somewhere. Rhan packed up, we paid him for his gas and he drove home. I was so pleased we’d gotten everything done! “And we’re not here until 1 or 2 in the morning.” Michael joked. We did it!
We said goodbye to dad (he’s flying back to Nashville tomorrow) and drove with Michael to sushi in Piedmont. I liked it so much last night we had to go back. I thanked Michael for being so present and calming. “It really helped me.” I said. It’s so nice to spend some time with him. That’s my favorite thing about being in Oakland. We get to see our friends. We actually have some really close friends here, despite that we only see them once a year. I feel so proud we could finance this project ourselves without any trouble. “We’ve created something that’s never existed before.” I said. Who knows what will happen with it. Michael drove us home. He was making all these silly voice. It made me laugh. “I love that you love my stupid silliness.” he said. He kissed us both on the cheek and went home. What a sweet man. We went upstairs and Thoth lay down. I took a bath and talked to sis on the phone. She’d read my blog and was feeling envious of me. I’m living a creative life and she isn’t. Well, not yet anyway. My poor baby. I want her so much to be happy! I went downstairs and had some pumpkin cornbread while listening to Bela Fleck and the Flecktons. I was in bliss. We did it. We really did it! Nana came home so I went back upstairs and wrote my blog. Bunny was still sleeping all cuddled with the Babes. So sweet!