Wednesday
Jun052013

My sixth CD, with poetry from Stafford, Nye, Machado and myself.....I am happy to offer you...

Somehow, I manage to carry on, it doesn't seem that easy always, but there is such reward in it.

Thank you for helping in all the ways you have, thank you for enjoying my music and poetry and spreading the word of my work.

This CD came together from the confluence of several things - one is my idea to offer Tributes, music and poetry pieces, last year. I was starting to feel more confident to offer my own poetry, wrapped up in the music I create. Several pieces were commissioned and written over the course of 2012.

Then, in early 2013, I began creating some podcasts - only two so far, but this pressed me into service around poems of Stafford, Nye and Machado that I had been wanting to do.

Then, my friend Sue Williamson, who had commissioned a piece in memory of the bear who was killed in Ojai a few years ago, invited me to come and perform this piece at a benefit in Ojai this weekend. Her idea was to have "Up A Tree In Ojai - A Bear We Knew" on a CD of mine. I had to admit such a CD did not exist, but the material for one did.

So her support of the idea made this new work possible, and I am grateful for that.

When it came to picking a name, I was all over the place, but my mind settled on a line from one of Naomi's poems, " A secret pouch of listening..". Naomi graciously agreed to allow that line to be used as the album title, and I was off to the races.

I am grateful to Chris Miller, an incredible bass player in Nashville, TN for his work on the graphics.

Each of these projects inspires me to carry on - and I hope you will order a copy for your self and your friends, and let me know what you think. It is the greatest joy for me to share this work with you...

Sunday
Mar312013

Easter Podcast...

A fair bit has happened this week. I started using "Hootsuite", to schedule posts to Facebook and Twitter. I am just in the most infant stages of being able to use these tools effectively. It is all bringing me forward, strengthening my commitment. I am posting my new podcast, number two, which is oriented around Easter, as much as it has any particular orientation. Here is a breakdown of what is included;

1) a new poem of William Stafford's I am doing, called "Easter Morning"

2) a musical portrait that I love called, "Right Here, In A Larger World ( for Bill)".

3) a great poem by Naimi Shihab Nye, called " I Feel Sorry For Jesus"

4) another musical portrait, that was recently the music a young boy was born into the world to.

5) my ode to marriage equality, a tribute commissioned as a gift for the wedding of two men in Seattle

6) a new piece, based around a poem I wrote, "The Great Unwinding".

Here is the podcast....

Easter Morning Show

Sunday
Mar242013

My Vision...

My Vision...

Since the summer of 2008, when I came to a sense that I needed to return to making music as my main activity in life, I have been guided and supported by many, many people in that endeavor. It would be lovely to be able to say I have made my way all by myself, but that is really not the case. For a time, one of my main sources of income were the tips I collected from busking in Lithia Park, in Ashland, Oregon. I had significant financial support from many friends, and you know who you are: the  list is long. The concerts I have offered around the country - almost 200 now -  and the musical portraits I have created, along with the compiling of all that musical creation on to five CDs, has been an undertaking that I never could have imagined, when I first made that choice: to say "yes" to the music inside me.

With all that dedication, though, some new form needs to arrive, has yet to arrive, for even taken together, as of this date in March of 2013, I neither have a home, nor do I have a reliable source of income. I currently have a modest schedule of concerts booked, and I have been fortunate to continue to receive commissions for musical portraits, but even with that I have not "made it" yet. And the time is dragging on. This is an ambitious undertaking for anyone, and I am an ambitious character, but I know that I am not inexhaustible. 

Just today as I write this, I have produced for the first time, a podcast, hopefully the first of many. I may be able to produce one a week - it is not a small task - but the thought behind it is to "wake up employed" in the doing of my art. Poetry fascinates me, music delights me, bringing together sounds and words is a great, compelling work and play for me, and performing these creations for others is the most satisfying thing I have ever done. My thinking with the podcast series is that if this is welcome enough to you, my audience, you will have a good reason to throw money in the hat, even on an ongoing basis, for which, at least for now, while inventory lasts, I can gift you with CDs, and downloads. Maybe in that regular offering there can be a solid base of support that will emerge, and larger things can be grown out of that.

The larger things have mostly to do with finding musical partners who can join me in this work. I have a body of recorded music that needs to be transcribed, notated for the instruments it was concieved for, so that these pieces might be performed live as they were originally intended. At least, for a beginning, a pianist/accompanist would be a good start. I can envision a small ensemble including other cellists, upright bass, and I can also see the work developing into sung lines, some vocal harmony playing a part. Given gifted musical brthers and sisters, a truly unique performance could be developed, and an unforgettable experience could be brought to many thousands of people - the experience of the beauty that arises when we hear words of grace and understanding and music that touches all of your heart. 

And beyond that, my vision has to do with being able to buy a new set of strings, even a new case for my cello, as the one I have has been held together with loving care but could use a replacement sometime soon. I have a vision of actually living somewhere, being able to unpack all the things from my van and rest, set up my recording equipment and collaborate with others to create beautifuk work. To honor the poems of Stafford, and Rumi, and Hafiz, and Naomi Shihab Nye with music that might bring them even more alive, so that such beautiful words might fill the ears of many more people and they can feel and see how Presence streams through us all. 

There is probably even more to it than all that, but it is late now ( early!) as I write this, and I just wanted to spread the trinkets out on the carpet and let us look at them. Some people have suggested I get a job, or pursue other musical work that might help me to pay my bills. And I am looking into all of that, to be honest, because...I am a little weary. But the truth that I can do what I do won't really leave me alone. I hope you will listen to my work and feel what you feel in it, and give me some words about that, if you have a little time. As you are, I am trying to make my way in this world, being who I am...I know you know how that is.

With gratitude to all who have helped to carry me this far, and with prayers for my way forward to unfold, for this vision to open up, with grace...

Daniel

Sunday
Mar242013

The Troubadour Is Alive!

This is my first podcast. You will hear two musical portraits, three poems, and a few stories and anecdotes about different things. Just, my latest, which I am happy to share. This broadcasting of my work is listener-supported. On my home page, you will see a few options for making a contribution. If you make a contribution, you will be rewarded! Not just through the deep satisfaction of the exchange of valuable stuff, but also because I will send you things! As noted, on the home page. And, I want your feedback, comments, impressions, knowledgeable advice...whatever you want to share....thank you for listening to my first podcast.

 

The Troubadour Is Alive

Saturday
Mar232013

Just back from Mendocino...

And now....in Marysville, here for the weekend, housesitting a cat named Messiah, and working on my first podcast. Should be out tomorrow....glad to  be here...