Saturday, November 27, 2010


Something happened on the bandstand last night and when I woke up this morning my mind was flooded with an ongoing rant – it’s a rant that comes and goes, and has for many years now, but for some reason today, maybe because of recent recurring situations, I feel like articulating some of it out loud….

The musician area was tiny which meant the two horn players were standing on the steps in front of the wee-stage to be able to have more room. In the middle of the second set, horn in mouth, all players feverishly playing, building heat, pushing to what would eventually become a pretty explosive climax, I felt a tap on my left shoulder – the one facing the audience while the rest of my body turned to the band.

Getting touched randomly by someone when you are deep in the zone is a weird feeling – for me, when I’m as deep in as I was in that moment, having someone touch you is like having your face shoved into cold water – BAM, you’re out of it, and can’t breathe, like you’ve been punched. It’s not the same as if someone bumped you accidentally or something like that….tapping someone on the shoulder is calling their attention to you – calling their energy away from what they are doing, and directing it towards what is being asked. So, startled, I turned……

People do this shit all the time when you’re playing in bars, try to talk to you while you’re playing - can I get a photo now, hey do you know this cover song, I dropped my money by your foot can you grab it for me, whatever kind of stuff that you excuse because they are just partying and aren’t thinking about the fact that you are in the middle of doing your job – but I’ve never had someone tap my shoulder, get my attention, pull my energy away from the music, TO BLOW A FUCKING KISS IN MY FACE on his way out of the bar.

What makes you feel like you have the right to stop me – to INTERRUPT me – so that you can display that you find me attractive? What makes you think that is in any way wanted or acceptable? And would you ever, in a million years, interrupt a man playing music to do the same. I don’t think so.

Just because I am a young woman playing music in public, men think it is ok to make sexual advances at me – oftentimes they think I want it, like it’s a compliment, like they’re doing something nice for me….mostly it is just rude, obnoxious, disturbing and disgusting.

Now let me pause for a second – I’m a person that believes in complimenting people. I think that people don’t get enough GENUINE compliments and that it is a very important part of human expression….people need to hear that they are loved, hear that they are beautiful, be reminded that they are infinite- it’s good for the soul. People need to be seen, truly, and honored. And I’ve been one to stop someone in public and tell them they are beautiful and that I have been moved by their beauty, on more than one occasion. And I’ve had people approach me randomly in public and had positive complimentary experiences. I once had a gentleman stop me in the grocery store to say that he thought I was enchantingly beautiful – this made my day, and in turn I found myself telling a cafĂ© worker later that evening that she was inspiringly graceful….it was a compliment that kept extending out into the world.

The difference is first - the lack of respect, second - the interruption, and third - ignoring my job…I guess really they are all about no. 1 – LACK OF RESPECT.

Since I started the blog, exposing practice videos and such, I’ve received many emails from many admirers – it’s a part of the exchange…I put this stuff out there for the public and the public reacts in many different ways. Once I release it, I give over control of the material and people can receive it however they want. I accept and honor that. And if someone is moved by my work, in any way positive or negative, then I have done my job.

But the amount of emails that are more sexual than musical is really disturbing. (part of this is the advent of facebook where people feel comfortable messaging would be date requests they’d never have the guts to initiate in person). From the comments, you’d think I was wearing a latex body suit that heaves cleavage, singing seductive songs that say “I just want to fuck you” over and over again….if you have seen my videos/work you see the joke here….

For me music/art is spiritual – it’s my religion. It’s my life force – it’s the thing I believe can change and heal the world. I see it as humanity’s most important unifying force. I have dedicated my life to perpetuating it, to propagating it for myself and as many others as possible. It is pure – direct – infinite – and healing. I do not work in the entertainment industry (though I recognize and honor it’s value as well) and honestly, even if I was in a latex body suit with my boobs hoisted to your eyes, it still doesn’t make it ok to disrespect me as an artist.

You would never go up to a surgeon and say “that mask makes you look so hot – and by the way, thanks for saving my grandma” or approach a cop and say “you look so cute the way you have your hair under that hat – and I’m glad you stopped that intruder from breaking into my house” or tell a minister “that robe shows off the sway of your incredible hips, thanks for visiting my dad in the hospital”……so why would you approach a musician and compliment their looks before their sound? WHY? We are the same as any other public servant.

I deal with the showing up at clubs and people thinking I’m the girlfriend of the band instead of the band leader, and I deal with people assuming that because I’m a woman I am gonna play weak and suck (yes, this is still true in 2010, sadly) – but the going out of one’s way to approach me in a musical setting, only to disrespect me with some sexual bullshit is tired. So very tired.

I’m laughing right now actually, because I’ve played in bands with dudes that are disappointed and feel like less as musicians if they aren’t getting sexual attention (That’s another post all together: spirituality vs. ego validation in music…not gonna go there right now) – and yet most of the women in music I know, fight AGAINST this bullshit constantly just struggling to play….to be HEARD MORE THAN LOOKED AT.

There is a part of me that wants to sit here on Saturday morning and craft an intelligent essay on the role of women in the arts, but I refuse to spend any more of my day thinking about this – I just needed to bitch and get it out of my system. I need to use my energy to practice and write music.

Since the blog is about my process more than the final product, I felt you should be privy to my issues. I know women have only been allowed to vote in America for like 90 years or something but let’s try to pretend that its 2010 and that we believe that all people are in fact equal and respect them as such.

So - If you like me, talk to me. If you like something you hear, talk to me about it.
Talk to me about music – about philosophy, metaphysics, politics, humanity, creativity, the occult, food, quantum mechanics, ANYTHING REAL – but don’t come talk to me about my pigtails or my ass or my southern smile. (keep that shit to yourself)


Saturday, November 13, 2010



This song is called: Sojka Ptica

I learned it from Gino Yevdjevich to be used as reference material/incorporated in the Butoh piece developed with Vanessa Skantze.

Mark my words, someday - SOMEDAY.....I try to remember that I've been working on the clarinet for 20 years and it still kicks my ass daily, and I won't even start in on the bass clarinet and it's ass whipping it's ok that the drumming is a bit rocky - you have to start somewhere. I've always loved darbuka, and tapped around whenever a friend would let me hold one, like for example before a rehearsal or show. After the Kultur Shock tour with Gino in June/July 2009 I decided I was ready to really learn something. I had a short lesson with Gino in May 2010. My first public performance was the following June. The collaboration with Vanessa Skantze this November is my second.

It is possible to walk the great wall of China, but first you have to take a step.


Another goddess - another soul mate...Vanessa Skantze.

I could fill an entire page with adjectives describing this deeply moving artist/human....captivating and entrancing, strong, authentic, sensual, spiritually connected - the kind of spiritual connection that you can feel is rooted deep into the earth, but extends far out into the darkest parts of the universe. And there seems to be, in my opinion, some kind of symbiosis between my sound and her movement. Like they were the same entity that we plucked from the cosmos and infused in each our souls - manifesting individually as "sound" and "movement."

She moves the way my body wants to move - the way I move in my mind. Watching her work makes me want to leap up and join the dance - letting life reel through me....instead I hang on and open up even further, letting the sound pour out like an electrical waterfall.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Thursday, October 28
Chapel Performance Space
Earshot Jazz Festival
Presented in association with Nonsequitur
photos by Daniel Sheehan

What an honor.....over the years I've worked with some incredible artists, and honestly, the last year and a half in particular has been a huge landslide of one amazing experience after another.

Within that endless sea there have been a handful of collaborations, often instigated at someone else's hand, that have pulled me into an artistic arena that I desperately needed to experience at precisely the moment I needed to experience it, greatly & dramatically nourishing my growth, perspective and voice.

That is exactly what happened with Matana Roberts. Meeting/playing with her was like finally running into someone who speaks your language when you're traveling in a foreign country. I don't have the time or energy at this moment (like so many of the blog posts - which is why this functions more as a sketch book than a journal) to adequately find the words to try to describe Matana, her vision/sound or impact.

I'll just say Matana Roberts is a gift - both to my life and to the world.

COIN COIN was performed by Matana Roberts with Seattle musicians: Tom Baker (guitar), Angelina Baldoz (trumpet), Brian Cobb (bass), Marchette DuBois (accordion), Greg Campbell (drums/percussion), Beth Fleenor (clarinets), Lori Goldston (cello), Tari Nelson-Zagar (violin), and Greg Powers (trombone).

(special thanks to Steve Peters for making it happen)

Thursday, November 4, 2010









(motor skillz.....yeah, it's tricky....that whole trying to improvise when I don't have control over my hands thing....ahem)