Tour, Day 23 – You Played the Bassoon

Leyla Zamora

Leyla and her bassoon

Today I got up and hung out with Jason for a bit. He showed me his awesome studio/workspace in the basement of his apartment, where he does some of the construction of the timpani mallets he sells through his company, JG Percussion. He also has a practice area where he rehearses timpani and other percussion parts. When I was in town, he was practicing for an upcoming – big time – audition for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He then cooked me a fantastic breakfast: two pieces of toast with circles cut out of the middle and filled with eggs over easy, topped with marmalade and honey. Beautiful! I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of it.

Miles Driven: 227
States: California
Lodging: Slept in my car near Santa Barbara, CA

I left Jason a little before noon and headed to meet a friend of his, Leyla Zamora, with whom he played in the San Diego Symphony. Leyla is a bassoonist in the symphony, as well as one of the most kind persons I met on this trip. She has an unmistakably positive aura that is infectious – you can’t help but feel good around her.

I recently recorded the basis of a song that I’m very excited about titled, “You Played the Bassoon,” which is about living next door to a bassoon player. This song will be released this summer in the follow-up album to twoheartsone and will be called, twoheartstwo. Imagine it! Jason had connected me with Leyla a week or so ago, and that afternoon, we were set to record the bassoon parts I had charted out for this song.

Leyla lives with her husband – also a musician – in a very charming bungalow. We set up in her husband’s “man cave,” a small one-room structure in their backyard, which was quiet and perfect for our recording. Leyla was a pro we did a couple of takes and got everything done – set up and breakdown in an hour. I can’t wait to mix this song and post on the site!

Los Angeles Traffic

Los Angeles Traffic

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

After leaving Leyla, I headed north through the jungle of LA highways. A real joy. Check out my view for much of the way in the picture at left. I stopped in Santa Monica for a few hours to have a few drinks with my friend, James Hunavinch. We met a few of his friends, including TV show host Krista Gibson, at a place called The Misfit. James is a wicked entrepreneur/programmer, who recently sold MoVoxx, a mobile ad network, and is currently working in LA on launching a new firm, EverySignal. He went to college at Iowa State with a bunch of my Chicago friends.

California Countryside

Near last night’s “campsite”

After hanging with James, I pressed on toward tomorrow’s destination – San Francisco. I had planned on camping at a state park north of Santa Barbara. I got there very late – as usual – and the wind was blowing cold air like crazy. I pulled my tent out…and then decided against putting up. I drove a bit further down the road and found a quiet spot alongside a farm for some more beautiful sleep in my car. (It actually isn’t that bad. I have a system going now: passenger side, seat fully reclined, shoes and socks off, inside my sleeping bag, pillow under my head, camping mattress rolled up and under my lower back (filling in the crack in the seat) and voilà! If I park on an incline, I’m nearly horizontal and feel like I’m in a twin bed.)

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