Shorter Days, Longer Dreams

Days are getting darker, and I’m enjoying playing with Correo Aereo, attending Pat Graney Dance company rehearsals, and mixing the recording of my 10-movement composition for chamber orchestra at Avast Studios.  I’m also recording with Annie O’Neill, playing in balafon master Nabi Camara’s band, and spending more quiet time with my cat Shorty ~ and writing grants to help fund future projects.  I’ve just applied to the American Academy in Rome (again!), and am working on a few other composition grant applications.

Also, I started dancing once a week, and feel infinitely happier because of it!


Truth Is Up For Grabs

I’ve just finished composing more gorgeous music for my 21-piece chamber ensemble Orkestar Istina (Truth Orchestra) to perform at the Chapel Performance Space in the Good Shepherd Center on Fri & Sat October 11 & 12, 8pm.  Open to all ages, 4 and up.

Reserve tickets.

Truth Is Up For Grabs

Artwork by Anne Marie Grgich

My musical musical suite is inspired by current events, the political economy of war, and by poems written by Pablo Neruda. Video artist James Drage has created beautiful moving images for each section.

The instrumentation includes strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussionists from Kurdistan and Mexico, beautiful world music colors. The ensemble will be conducted by Mike Jauregui.

This performance is sponsored by the Seattle Composers Alliance, and made possible in part by funding from The Office of Arts and Culture, and 4 Culture.

Suggested donation $5 – $25.

Contact me for further information.



Birthday update

Here’s more good news:

  • After 6 months of breast cancer analysis and treatment, I am cancer free!
  • 4Culture has awarded me a grant to compose and present music for a gifted 15-person chamber ensemble called Ancient Future!  The premiere will occur in November, 2017 at the Chapel Performance Space in Seattle.  The evening will be entitled ‘Truth Is Up For Grabs’; the pieces are inspired by contemporary events.
  • A crew of 25 people under the direction of Wilson Milam premiered the first act of The Nikola Tesla Projekt: The Light at On The Boards’ Northwest New Works festival last weekend.  Composed and written by Kultur Shock singer Srdjan ‘Gino’ Jevdjevic, it went splendidly.  Performers included members of Kultur Shock, Dunava (Balkan women’s choir), a brass band, Zeus, Prometheus, and the Tesla family, not to mention the village women, and the first sighting of Thomas Edison… We’ll keep you posted as we continue work on this beautiful piece!
  • Recently spent the day at Robert Lang’s beautiful studio, improvising with an international group of musicians organized by Steve Ball.  A gigantic pleasure!


Weds 21 June: Bats of Ballard @ Lake City Mini Park for Make Music Day 4:30 – 7:30 pm (improvised rock music at its finest!)

Thurs 22 June: AD joins KLED @ Lucky Liquor, Tukwila WA

Fri/Sat 23/24 June: World premiere of ‘Great Again‘ @ Broadway Performance Hall, 8pm Choreographed by dance collective ‘Never Formerly Known As Anything’; soundtrack by Denio.

Sat 1 July: Annie O’Neill (soul singer/guitarist) & Amy Denio (bass) @ Whiskey West

Weds 19 July: Kultur Shock @ Maymunarnika, Sofia Bulgaria

Thurs 20 July: Kultur Shock @ Kavala Festival, Kavala Greece

Friday 21 July: Kultur Shock @ Plovdiv festival, Plovdiv Bulgaria

l’Abbraccione (The Big Embrace)

Here’s a work in progress that I recorded on the Croatian brač last weekend, after finishing my brutal radiation regime.  My gifted poet friend might add his magic, I’ll keep you posted.

The portrait I chose for this song was created by Gretchen Armstrong in December, 1990 when we were sharing a bottle of wine at her house in Seattle in the deep winter.


l’Abbraccione (The Big Embrace)


Upcoming Concerts:

Friday 26 June: SEATTLE.  Thollem McDonas / Lori Goldston / Amy Denio @ NW Film Forum.  Info.

Saturday 27 June: SEATTLE. Correo Aereo @ FOLKLIFE, Seattle Center.  3:50pm, Fisher Green Stage.

Saturday 3 June: SEATTLE. Ama Trio/Correo Aereo @ C&P Coffehouse. 7pm.

Monday 5 June: SEATTLE. Singing in the Rain Family Choir @ Brightwater Waldorf School.  I’ll be playing songs on electric guitar in a killer band accompanying an all ages choir singing very timely pop songs.

Thursday 8 June: SEATTLE. AD Solo Voice & EFX @ Darrell’s Tavern, 9pm FB Invite

Sat/Sun 10-11 June: SEATTLE. The Tesla Projekt: LIGHT @ On The Boards, 8pm

Wednesday 21 June: SEATTLE. Bats of Ballard @ Make Music Day; Lake City Way Park @ LCW & 125th.  5-8pm.

Thurs June 22: TUKWILA, WASHINGTON. AD joins KLED @ Lucky Liquor! 9pm.


Last Day

Just before Radiation Treatment #20 at the Highline Medical Center in Burien.

My prescribed course of radiation (definitely brutal!) finished yesterday, after 5 days a week for 4 weeks.  Discomfort is starting to ebb, hurrah.  Now back to composing new works for my next album, and playing locally in the Seattle area.  Please join me!

Fri 5/26: SEATTLE ~ Thollem McDonas + Lori Goldstein + AD @ NW Film Forum, 8pm

Sat 5/27: SEATTLE ~ Correo Aereo + AD @ FOLKLIFE, 3:50pm (Fisher Green Stage)

Sat 6/3: SEATTLE ~ Correo Aereo + AD @ C&P Coffeehouse, 7pm

Thurs 6/8: SEATTLE ~ AD Solo Voice & EFX @ Darrell’s Tavern, 9pm FB Invite

Sat/Sun 6/10-11: SEATTLE ~ The Tesla Projekt: LIGHT @ On The Boards, 8pm  


Donald Ousted!

In November, 2016 a routine MRI revealed a garden of earthly delights in my breasts which prompted biopsies, leading to the discovery of a 1cm non-aggressive carcinoma passively lurking in my left breast.  I named it Donald.  On January 23, 2017  Donald was extaordinarily renditioned (successfully, with clean margins) to a Black Site & held for interrogation by specialists.  Good riddance, Donald!

Donald the Lump 1600

Thankfully no chemo was prescribed, just radiation.  Not a fan of western intervention, I dutifully met the radiation oncologist, but didn’t like her or the idea or the hospital, so I said no thanks.  Instead I spent March touring with my beloved Tiptons Sax Quartet, presenting two fabulous new recordings, COOKBOOK as well as the very special WE LOVE TO MEET AGAIN, a live recording of our ongoing collaboration with the 30-voice Michaelbeuern Stiftschor, in the Michaelbeuern Benedictine Abbey in Austria.

Upon my return, I found a different radiation oncologist & closer location, so for the last month have been receiving short beamings daily, Monday through Friday.  I have the weekend ahead of me, and my final 3 treatments after that.  I got to know a gracious lady going through the same ‘treatment’, and we became fast friends right away.  Last Friday she grabbed me and kissed me on the cheek, exclaiming ‘Happy Friday!  Now we have two days off!’.  I smiled at her kindness all weekend.  Her name is Cookie.  We are ‘zap sisters’, and laugh together easily.  She inspired me to make a piece for her, inspired by Zap Mama.  There are 19 vocal tracks.  Enjoy!



Sunset Walk into Gloaming

Yuan.  Crossing of paths.  Moon through bathroom window.  Seattle.

Yuan. Crossing of paths. Moon through bathroom window. Seattle.

Took a spectacular sunset walk after a week of driving twice daily through rush hour traffic.

First there was the red bunny, leading me towards the sunset just past our house.

Then a perfect clanging bell.  Must…record…

Soon after that I passed a very drunken guy & another guy out cold; the drunk one told me the other had been beat up, and a hundred meters later I passed a clenched up guy muttering ‘it doesn’t matter’. I figured he might be a mate in the match.

At the corner store I picked up some bottles of water. I try not to buy plastic, but this was an emergency.

Started walking back, and the mysterious Saba’s salon was still open, filled to the brim with stupendous stone and glass sculptures and fine drawings. He was in there, grinding away on stone with a mask on. Since we’re neighbors, I finally introduced myself. Saba’s from Iraq, part Kurdish. ‘Touch the sculptures’ he said. I touched basalt & marble, and looked around. Really fine work! He’s a stone master. Told him of my heartbreak about Iraq since 2003, and of tonight’s mission to return to my own particular war zone with water to aid the downfallen. I continued on.

The same prone guy now had his head in the middle of the bike path, dangerous new position and still down for the count. I touched his neck, at least he had a pulse. I gently touched him and talked to him and he didn’t respond, so I poured water over his lips. Slowly he came to, hungry as fuck. I had no food, just water… After a while he raised his head, and stared blearily and confusedly at me. Who is this? Finally he sat up and moved to the side of the bike path, a little better out of danger.

I continued my walk home, big fat moon on the rise blasting me when I rounded the corner.

All kinds of parallel universes in the course of 30 minutes.

I love Seattle.

Vote for Denio!

My bank is offering grants to businesses! When does that ever happen?

I’ve been running Spoot Music solo for 25 years and could use the help.

Please click here to vote for me, and to check out the many other amazing projects proposed. You can vote every time you go back to this link!  Competition ends on 17 July.



Perfect Moments

Sunset near Joshua Tree, June 2014.

Sunset near Joshua Tree, June 2014.

Annie our pit bull was barking, especially agitated by a squirrel taunting her from a tree outside the window at eye level, so we went out for a special sunset walk uphill toward the blinding solstice sun on the horizon, her yellow head glowing, her breath audible.

We came across a decent freshly abandoned bookshelf, one of my wishes!

A few minutes later I rolled it lightly and it jumped in, balancing easily in my tiny car. Then miraculously someone was walking by our house just as I opened the garage doors. He helped me angle the bookshelf in, and all is well.

Another series of perfect moments, thanks to Spaulding Gray who introduced me to the possibility.