A heady brew


Happy New Year!

I like the idea of taking stock – makes me think of making soup.  Each step we take, each moment we create throws another scrumptious veggie in the pot. 2012 cooked up a lovely brew indeed.  Four videos, an album, and more! Here’s the bright bits of what went down in the year of the dragon:

January started on some delightful notes – I suspected Daniel Berkman & Steve Lawson would get on well when I got them together for a couple house concerts, but I had no idea it would be like *that* – these two have some crazy magic musical chemistry, so I organized a nice California house concert series for this year. The first album from last year’s shows will be out any moment now. January 2012 also saw the release of Sara N. Abtahi’s wonderful animated video for my song ‘Easy‘.

February was my second annual Song-A-Day adventure. I wrote 17 songs (!!) – most of which will be on the new album that’s going into production as we speak. You can sneak a peek at the early song sketches here. I also released a video conceived and animated by Nicky Cairney for ‘Ella‘ – both the Ella and Easy videos got screened at festivals and even won an award. So that’s nice.

March saw Couch by Couchwest – I made a fort under my dining room table and sang a little Ditty. I also performed with Daniel Berkman at Orange Room’s Pisces Party and accompanied a yoga class with my sound healing compadre, Madhu.

In April, Madhu, Lynda Arnold (aka Divasonic) and I led our first sound healing workshop at Aquarian Heart Studio. I’ve just posted some videos of our sound immersion, including a bansuri duo with Lynda and myself, Lynda’s gorgeous flute solo, Madhu chanting up a storm, and a lovely call and response duet with Madhu and me.

In May, I did my first solo gig in ages at DNA Lounge, and got to break out some of the new piano and looping songs I’ve been writing. I also collaborated with Jason Rubenstein and recorded a cover version of the traditional song Wayfaring Stranger.

June, July and August I was deep in the studio depths with David Earl wrapping up production on Sephyra, which was then masterfully mastered by Ian Shepherd. I also did a couple lovely photo shoots with Keith Crusher and Juliana Medina, and we’ll be putting up some of our favorites in the online gallery soon. I got to hear my vocal looping piece in Daniel Berkman’s composition for Post:Ballet’s production ‘Mine is Yours‘ at the Herbst Theatre – that was a kick!  I also helped edit David Earl’s new tutorial book on LMMS, and did a couple really fun solo shows at Awaken Cafe, one of my new favorite venues for live music anywhere – these folks really have the right idea about live music and are super supportive of musicians and the arts. Yay for people with the lights on! :)

September through the end of the year has been an absolute whirlwind of creative output – I collaborated with Robert Dekkers and the amazing dancers of Post:Ballet (plus Keith Crusher, Amir Jaffer and a crew of gorgeous helpers) to create a new music video for Down By The River. I ran my first Kickstarter campaign successfully (woot!) to fund the video and album pressing, released Sephyra and threw a CD release party full of love potion and snuggles at Orange Room, and then another fabulous show at DNA Lounge with Kim Boekbinder & Theremina. And there were all the artists and art that went into the making-happen of all this flurry. It was a brilliant beautiful mess. Still tidying.

And that’s all! A tasty soup it was indeed.

And 2013 is set to be loads more fun. I can feel February’s Song-A-Day coming from here…I’ve already written five songs this month and recorded sketches for two of them. You can peep the latest one here. It has horses in it. I’ll be going to my first NAMM show in a couple weeks and then there’s the house concert tour with Daniel Berkman & Steve Lawson – I’ll likely be sitting in for a song or two here and there, so if you’re in California please come out and join us for some amazing music and conversation. The new music I wrote last year I’ll be releasing this year as a series of EPs…more on that soon! And all sorts of other goodies, I’m sure.

Oh…I also started off 2013 writing a poem inspired by a small critter I met on a walk through San Francisco:


new years day

brownwing moth

spins circles on the ground

broken compass

gasping for flight

flitting from brick to sidewalk crack

feathered body trembles erratic

schizophrenic motion

input overload

creeping morning sun

trips over jagged concrete

spilling everywhere

night is softer

single flame an anchor

now they crowd from all directions

beacons drowning

i want to scoop and carry her

to a cool shady place

not the green of rubbish bins

but of growing living things


i reach out a hand

toward her frantic flutter

she won’t come near

i don’t intrude

as she is perfect in her spinning


I’m so incredibly grateful for all the new friends, collaborators, ass kickers and inspirations that 2012 brought. I’d name them all but that would be seven more blog posts. Let’s just say I’m applauding the universe loudly and am on the edge of my seat and giddy to see what the new year will bring, and what we’ll all create together. All kinds of delicious darkness and light, to be sure…

Til then…I’m curious – what do you want to see and hear in 2013? I’m listening…

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