Monday, May 15, 2006

Toronto Street Performance: Leonard Cohen Live

(click on image for larger size)

Leonard Cohen and Anjani at an outdoor concert at Indigo Books in Toronto on May 13th to promote his new book of poetry, Book of Longing, and her jazz CD, Blue Alert, of songs they co-wrote (or perhaps co-arranged, really they're his poems) and that he produced. The Barenaked Ladies were there, and singer Ron Sexsmith.

Leonard Cohen is 71 years old. It's the first book of poetry he's published in 13 years and is filled with his delightful line drawings. After the concert Heather Reisman, the owner of Indigo-Chapters, came out and told us Book of Longing had made it to number one on the bestseller list; the first time a book of poetry has been number one in Canada.

A few hundred people attended the event, and the rain held off until he had finished.

I did take some video with my digital camera, and tried to upload it to a couple of hosting sites without success, which is probably just as well since the quality is not very good. If you go to the Blue Alert website and browse, you'll find all the lyrics, and some video clips.

Her voice, magical, rich tones stacking, cascading, interplaying in her singing, her beauty, radiant; his presence, however, was the highlight. And he sang "So Long Marianne" from his heart, without holding anything back, and we were enthralled, swaying before the Zen master from the mountain, a poet-musician dearly beloved by the Canadian people.