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  1. Take A Seat

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“Take A Seat” - is inspired by the headstock on the Six String Nation guitar, which is made from seat 69 in the gallery section of the legendary Massey Hall. Upon learning about this piece, it got me thinking about the 100+ years of vibrations that had gone through not only the people sitting there but also through the wooden seat itself. I wanted the song to capture the history and range of momentous events that the Hall had witnessed and so it was a big challenge to choose and fit a limited number of moments into the song. However, during a “Doors Open Toronto” event, I had a chance to sit in the Hall up in the gallery near where the seat would have been and listen to Rob Bowman’s presentation as he ran through the years of events at the Hall. This helped me do some time travelling and I began to visualize the song. The legendary acoustics of the Hall had to be acknowledged with the lyric, “let these walls and arches have their say”, and I also wanted to give a nod to the 2 second decay time of the Hall’s natural reverb just before the bridge of the song with the line “2 seconds of a dream”. During the recording process, Kevin Turcotte played trumpet as a nod to Dizzy Gillespie and the Jazz Quintet and their famous 1953 concert. Kevin’s solo is actually an extrapolation of a solo - at a much slower speed - from the track "Wee" from that magical night at Massey Hall.

Lyrics

Standing in line since 1894
Travelling time through big red doors
Coming here to see dreamers making history

Like Booker T Washington, Keller & McClung
They raise their voice to overcome
And there’s freedom when they speak with the Old Lady down on Shuter street

In this hallowed hall, you chase the light
And feel sound wrap around you like a lover in the night
So let these walls & arches have their say
And ghosts of those who graced the stage
It’s time to take a seat with the old lady down on Shuter Street

Jack Dempsey dances in the ring
The Mendelssohn choir begins to sing
Hitting all the highs, suddenly the air’s alive

Dylan, Buffy, Young & Pavarotti
The Jazz Quintet and the Grand Ole Opry
Way up in cloud nine, reading Gordon Lightfoot’s mind

In this hallowed hall, you chase the light
And feel sound wrap around you like a lover in the night
So let these walls & arches have their say
And ghosts of those who graced the stage
It’s time to take a seat with the Old Lady down on Shuter Street

All the sounds that shook the air
From the stage to the back of every chair
And the magic in-between, two seconds of a dream

In this hallowed hall, you chase the light
And feel sound wrap around you like a lover in the night
So let these walls & arches have their say
And ghosts of those who graced the stage
The crowd is on their feet,
It’s time for you to meet,
The Grand Old Lady down on Shuter Street

(Written by David Leask)