August 23, 2021

Your Breath is My Breath, My Breath is Yours

Flutes use breath to create music. Which means for the last year and a half, I have not gotten to play live for folks (unless I was over 20ft up on an outdoor balcony). I missed people waiting till a tune ends to talk with me. I missed the kids who stand right in front of the flute/whistle to hear it better. I missed the people, young and old, who sit down next to me and close their eyes to float with the music.

And then, I did get to play with a group of vaccinated musicians on an outdoor stage. We were all slightly delirious with musical joy and anyone depending on us for rides had to wait quite some time that night! (I must find a way to let little kids try out the instruments without risking infection because I was devastated when I had to turn a group of 5 year olds away even though the kids took it just fine. Maybe several of those short bamboo flute heads? Or cheap whistles that I can take home and clean in between uses?)

Soon after, I got the go ahead to play at an outdoor Farmer's Market. Almost immediately, there were kids dancing in pink tutus. And many people just enjoying the double whistle. And several friends I hadn't seen in a long time stopped to say hi. It was like being in a hazy rainbow filled other-world.

Outdoor performances and caution are my rules (easy to grab masks for when people want to talk are now part of my performance kit). Along with being prepared to change plans with little warning for everyone's safety. (Perhaps I'll be playing at Faire soon.)
But for now, we'll just enjoy a bit of distanced Musical Dreaming under the Summer Sun.

May 22, 2021

Music from the woods.

A moody triple tune.


August 1, 2020

Pause

 Taking a short break from everything so I can focus on teaching my music history class this Fall.

I will be back with more flute-ness.

July 1, 2020

Double Whistle on a Stormy Day

 

My mother says I should name this "Between the Storms".

June 1, 2020

Double Ocarina

Two tunes on the Double Ocarina.

May 19, 2020

Triple Flute again

Some lively improvisation on the Triple Flute.

April 27, 2020

Windy Day Triple Flute

Some wind noise but the flying hair and the triple flute are still fun!

April 15, 2020

Double Occarina Video

Sunset and Improvisation on the Double Ocarina


March 26, 2020

Low Whistle video

A Low Whistle improv.

March 20, 2020

Double Whistle video

Another bit of music for everyone.

Triple Flute video

March 14, 2020

Possum Playlist

A story from my "studio".

While recording music for my 2nd CD "Waking the Devas", which was all recorded outdoors, I went out to play under a Meteor shower. Nighttime nature sounds being different from daytime and besides it seemed like a great way to watch for shooting stars. 
I spread out a blanket, got all set up and turned off my flashlight so my eyes would adjust. I watched the stars and listened to the tree frogs. Then I played several different tunes and re-worked some. All the usual recording activity.
After some time, I heard some odd quiet little noises and rustlings (cat? small dog? giant nocturnal rabbit late for a tea party?) just past my blanket. They stopped and started, got closer but I could only see vague movement. I turned on the light and saw long pointed face, dark wild eyes, fur sticking out in all directions and a long fur-less tail.
Now let me say I love Possums. They are sweet and helpful little guys and girls. They do not generally live long enough to even be at risk of having rabies let alone spread it and they eat ticks so they are most welcome as far as I'm concerned. But they are surprising when they emerge from the darkness and fearlessly sit down next to you. Asking you to play some more tunes on that odd silver tube. Just for them.

Which is why one of the tracks recorded that night but not included in the album stops rather abruptly and includes me vocalizing various “heys” and finally clapping at the end.

February 6, 2020

Why We Listen to Diverse Music

Culture is embedded in music and dance. Throughout history when a culture is under attack, music and dance from the suppressed culture is one of the things targeted. Happens over and over. From Rap being censored to specific instruments being deemed bad or inappropriate for women to play. The wider the targeted music, the more totalitarian the attacking group is trying to be.
And it never works. People keep making the music they love no matter what punishments are involved. In fact, it often backfires and makes the music from the suppressed culture more popular and more beloved.
So let's just keep right on enjoying all the different kinds of music and dance out there!

December 1, 2019

A Bit About Me

One day many years ago, I went out into the woods to teach myself to improvise. The cedar tree I sat under taught me how to listen to things I had already heard but not noticed. The birds taught me how to make each note my own song. The breezes taught me how to adapt and change to each moment. The little forest creek taught me to dance while holding still.
This is how I went feral.
After many years, I learned to share my creations with others and slowly became a composer/performer. I studied how to ornament Baroque music. I took classes on Jazz improvisation. I delighted in the many different First Nations flutes and scales in North and South America and the personal songs they sing. I learned the differences between articulations in Irish and Classical music. I jammed with musicians steeped in Eastern improvisation.
I soaked up ideas of inspiration and the creation of music from myths and fairytales.

I create art from breath and make sculpture out of air. Each song/tune/performance is individual and ephemeral. Each flute has its own voice. I use recording as a tool to expand my ideas and share unique musical moments in the wilderness with others.
"Amaltheia's Lullaby", my 1st CD uses Alto, Concert and Glass flutes recorded in my garden. Lullabies and dreams, all based on a 4-note call to Pan.
"Waking the Devas" uses Baroque, Concert and Glass flutes recorded in rain and wind, night and day, crickets and cicadas.
“A Few Flutes Shy of a Flutter”, continues the madness with new whistles and rim-blown flutes recorded over a year of wandering the forest hills.
I am currently working on a 4th album with the sound of water in every track.

What will happen next only the Stars and Time will tell.

October 19, 2019

Talking Water

(This was originally posted in June of 2013. Since I've spent the last year recording music next to running water, I decided to share this again.)

There are several small creeks and run-offs in the hills around my home. Each corner of every one sounds different. After a heavy rain, I can walk beside the streams day after day and never hear the same tune twice. The harmonies shift hour by hour as the water level sinks, progressing out to the rivers.
Roots in the Creek Bed
None of these little creeks have running water year round though there are little springs here and there that keep them from becoming bone dry and maintain a soft hum.
Usually.
For two years, we were in a drought and the creeks have not been as chatty as I'm used to. We had a good conversation last May but then they fell silent for the rest of the year. By October, only dust was moving in the rocky beds. Even the tiny springs’ tuning pitches seemed to have been lost to the heat and wind.
Dusty Dry Creek
...and dry

Green Creek
Same creek, wet...













Then, this Spring, it snowed. And snowed. And for good measure, snowed a few more times, moving planting dates later and later. And every time the snow melted, I could see more water standing in the too-quiet waterways. The slowly rising pools even began to create tiny trickling noises, little whispers and hints that the drought might be ending. Just perhaps.
Sky Between Snowfalls
Sky between snows
The cold Spring snows finally gave way to rain and to my great delight, there were a few twists in the creeks that were speaking without stop, though debris and roadside trash still cluttered most of the straight-aways, just waiting for a good rushing torrent to chase them away. Until it rained 3 inches in one day. And then rained the next day. And again two days later.
The floods were intimidating of course but largely brief. The ground soaked the rain up as fast as it could, greedy as a cat with cream or a musician with notes. And I could not help but dance for joy. The water was talking, chanting, singing in ways I hadn't heard in over a year.
Leaf Waterfall

Pictures just weren't enough. I had to take my handheld recorder out to gossip with the running waterways. The chiming sounds of water tiptoeing down ditches, the rhythmic lines from the rocky falls and the dark bass notes of the wide deep bends below the bridge all had a solo to share.

Wild and Crooked Creeks
Run-off; around 1 minute Mini Water-fall; around 3 minutes Bass Note in the stream; 7:52 min Bridge Exit

Run-off
Opening Run-off
Rocky Falls
About 1 min; the Mini Waterfall
Spring Torrent
About 3 min; Full Voice w/Bass Note
Pools and Reflections
7:52 The Final Bridge

The thunder and rain have drummed up dance forms, chansons and polyphonic-rounds in the running waters while the birds toss motives and trills down on us like confetti. The earth and sky pour joyous melodies into the little pathways of the ear and overflow the mind until nothing is left but song and water.

Sky, Trees and Talking Water