Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I did my first evening of solo music this past Friday....not the first time performing solo obviously, but the first time that was all there was for the evening.

It was a very somber evening - there was a darkness and heaviness in the air and deeply with people...but it made for a very intimate evening of exchange.

Beauty comes in many forms.
Healing comes in many forms.

Thank you for so many opportunities for both.


I have now taken to referring to my email as emu....I find it makes the sea of constant correspondence more enjoyable....the notion that I'm spending time with my emu not just staring into a computer screen for hours on end...

(maybe this is also a sign that I need a vacation...yes, that certainly seems to be the case)

but amazing things are delivered by the magic emu...
sometimes it brings trips to amazing lands, or opportunities to create with amazing people....and sometimes it tells you that you owe money for stuff, which isn't as great.

Still, never underestimate the power of MAGIC EMU!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


“For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.”
(Benjamin Franklin)

Often people refer to insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results....of course "being insane" is something totally different, but there is some truth to be found in that old wives tale...for me, something has come into clear focus around this principle and is guiding me to make some different decisions.

Different decisions about old wounds.
New conclusions mean new manners of being.

Sometimes things happen and you keep trying to do the "right thing", the virtuous be the bigger the benefit of the doubt...but some things - and some people - are really just superficial in their essence - can't be anything more or anything less...and you can't change that. That's not to say people don't have the potential to not be superficial, just that it has to be their can't change it for them.

So, the lesson, regardless of what it is or where it is coming from - if it's toxic for you - don't ingest's just that simple.

You can try to understand the toxicity, to have compassion for it, learn from it, etc...but that doesn't mean you need to interact or participate with it, and get all covered in it's yucky business...

Spit it out, walk away, don't look back...cultivate interactions as you would like to have them. Don't dwell on how others treat you - focus on how you are treating others. And above all how you are treating yourself.

There's plenty of toxicity in the world that you can't remove yourself do yourself a favor and irradicate that which you can.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Frank endlessly supports the multifaceted Wayne Horvitz...always something deep and fascinating...

"Soprano Maria Mannisto and Pianist Cristina Valdes present selections from "Smokestack Arias" in the KUOW performance studio. Composer Wayne Horvitz tells KUOW's Dave Beck that his attraction to the story of the 1916 Everett Massacre comes in part from Wayne's family background. Wayne Horvitz' father and grandfather were active labor negotiators and arbitrators."

"The bloodiest event in Pacific Northwest labor history, the event that left 7 people dead and many more seriously injured, is the subject of a new mini-opera by Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb at Seattle's ACT Theatre.

Called "Smokestack Arias," the work tells the story of the events of Nov. 5, 1916 when two boatloads of Industrial Workers of the World -- "Wobblies" -- arrived from Seattle to Everett." (learn more by listening...)


Newark is never fun. Always difficult in some way. Back and forth across the airport, they tried to take Beatrice over and agent who repeatedly just grunted at me, as I desperately tried to kindly understand what he was telling me to do or where to go, finally said "I don't like musicians - I don't like you"....finally I made it through security and all the way to the gate, both clarin...ets in hand. And then, in the final moment, another tried again - gate check, she kept saying, ignoring my pleas...."we have a full flight, you must gate check, you cannot have two spots in the bins".....and then he stepped forward, my knight in round plastic spectacles, "you can take mine so there's room for hers" - quite confused the attendant said "no, you can't do that" - and he argued..."yes, I can - I was going to take it on, and now I'm allowing that allotted space to go to her instruments - its ridiculous to check a musical instrument".....still conflicted she agreed and gate checked his bag - but still looked conflicted, and still looked at me suspiciously...and then another stepped forward - "take mine too - just so there's no worry".....the people, they came to my rescue, they heard me, they understood, they defended the music...all babies secured in overhead bins....and then I thought, let's get the hell out of New Jersey and breathe that first breath of fresh Seattle air......finally, it's always so good to come home.


The amazing beyond words Jherek Bischoff is releasing a new record - "Composed" - and in conjunction with the release, which features a crazy line-up of inimitable artists, Jherek did a live performance of the work, performed by the Wordless Music Orchestra, as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival.

Jherek invited a handful of Seattle collaborators to interface with the Wordless Music Orchestra for this epic performance.

Leading up to the performance, a septet performed some of Jherek's work for WNYC & WQXR
(we perform at the 50min mark)

From the Festival website:
"Musical polymath Jherek Bischoff (pictured) is joined by an all-star cast of guest vocalists from his new album, due out in February, including David Byrne, Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Mirah, Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls), Carla Bozulich, Charlie Looker, Sam Mickens, Paris Hurley, Steven Reker and Jen Goma. This concert features the Wordless Music Orchestra, supplemented by a number of Bischoff’s long-time collaborators, and marks the first-ever collaboration between Wordless Music and the Ecstatic Music Festival."





REHEARSAL PHOTOS BY BRUCE TOM!/media/set/?set=a.10150623396587137.411870.664927136&type=1!/media/set/?set=a.10150613036872137.410843.664927136&type=3

SOUNDCHECK PHOTOS BY BRUCE TOM!/media/set/?set=a.10150606329337137.410032.664927136&type=3

PERFORMANCE PHOTOS BY BRUCE TOM!/media/set/?set=a.10150602368217137.409722.664927136&type=3

(it was an incredible honor to perform in this incredible concert)

Showing thanks and love for the composer....(photo by Kurt Bischoff)


Saturday, February 11, 2012



An old friend and former band member died suddenly in a car crash over a week ago...
And as I say that out loud and want to offer a remembrance of his legacy I am left silent - there are no words I can try to use right is all still too fresh - too painful. Tears pour.

To call Nathan one of a kind is beyond a gross understatement. I cannot begin to encapsulate him here. He was essentially the older brother of my best friend and former husband, Brad. I knew him since I was 15. He is survived by his amazing wife Stephanie and young son.

All I can offer in this moment is silence - and great love.

"All that lives, lives forever. Only the shell, the perishable passes away. The spirit is without end… Eternal… Deathless…” (Bhagavad Gita)


January 25, 2012
Royal Room (Seattle)

Bobby Previte (percussion)
Owuor Arunga (trumpet)
Craig Flory (sax)
Joe Doria (keyboards)
Luke Bergman (bass)
Beth Fleenor (bass clarinet)
Wayne Horvitz (keyboards)
Andy Coe (guitar)
Greg Campbell (percussion)
Geoff Harper (bass)
Tom Varner (french horn)
Ryan Burns (keyboards)

{photo by Sparky Collins}


I recently asked the universe for some guidance about a piece I am working on for dance....I am composing in a very new way - quite different than anything I've ever done before - and through it, something keeps coming up quite clearly and for some reason I keep resisting it...

but I know we all have an individual voice - and it is our obligation to stay pure and focus on amplifying that matter what - to contribute our individual sound, we have a moral obligation...

So then I got this gig - my friend and colleague Wayne Horvitz got in touch and asked me to play bass clarinet with a 12-piece ensemble Bobby Previte was putting together in Seattle to play a Miles Davis tribute night - music from Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way.

Over the course of that week I got to talk to Bobby about the amazing piece he's been doing, Diorama - percussion solos for 1 audience member at a time and the ins & outs of energy exchange as a performer, improviser & composer....I attended his masterclass at Cornish College and got an hour-long earful of all of the things I am guided by and know to be true presented in a new language at exactly the moment I needed to hear them, and reveled in nights of music making with Wayne's Conduction Band, the Bitches rehearsals and an incredibly educational and energy churning Bitches performance at the Royal Room...

Thank you universe - thank you for Bobby Previte and the fertile community generating nucleus that is Wayne Horvitz.

"the battle is won or lost in the fold of the map"

Back to the composition...