Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Bumping into... Mike Smith

Bumping Into... is a series of mini-chats with a variety of peeps that you might run into in some of our local music communities. (There's a bit of an intro and my thoughts behind the series here.)

How are you? Where are you?

I'm doing great, considering the massive changes about. Deeply hunkered at Bathurst and Dupont.

What have you been up to since March or so?

I feel like aside from physical location, my day to day has really changed since March. I've been very fortunate to find some steady and rewarding work from home, so that has slowly taken over my 9-5s. It feels good!

The 5-9s have had all sorts of new stuff in em. The most notable new addition is getting into homebrewing, which has been super rewarding and enjoyable. We're lucky to have a backyard, so it was a great way to while a bunch of afternoons outside. The results are pretty good, too! i mean, I haven't dumped any anywhere but down my gullet, so that's an okay sign.

Have you found any new ways to do old things? How are you feeling about the shifts in how music is being made/shared/listened to?

I came into 2020 in a pretty deep music slump, which I can't say has really passed. What has changed is any sort of pressure on myself to get out of it, so my mental health has profited considerably. I'm slowly poking away at a cruddy overdub project, but there's no rush. I'm just trying to stay agile enough to reclaim some sort of social life when we are allowed to make music together again.

I'm a little bit frightened at how much is going to be lost from such a break in ensemble playing at large, and I think there are going to be a lot of early retirements. Mind you, I am not speaking for all the folks just shedding like nobody's business. They are not me.

I will say, that it is a great time to actually listen, though.

Any works of art that have been a light for you in these times? Anything that's just been a good diversion?

I had a plan for this year to try and buy one unknown album on Bandcamp every week, and clearly I picked the right year. I've been shovelling in the music like mad, and really enjoying the slow soft and still. Glorious. Maybe my favourite is something called Music For Baths [Vol. I] by Early Fern. I don't know anything about it, but I have listened to it many many times.

I couldn't really bring myself to read in the weird mind-mangle of the spring, but I have managed to catch up a bunch. Lots of Sword & Sorcery: not trying to impress anyone here, just trying to find something to not take too seriously.

How are you feeling about 2021?

Wildly optimistic.

Anything else we'd chat about if we bumped into each other?

I'd definitely bring up Sarah Pinsker, since you did. I finished Song For A New Day on, like, March 11th, so it kinda messed me up shortly thereafter.

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