Town Hall residency - Final Findings 

FINAL FINDINGS… 

I feel a lot more at peace than I did a month ago! I am inspired by so many people I’ve seen through Town Hall and beyond, sharing their messages in different ways. There is so much good work happening. I can accept what I do seem to do pretty well, which is to offer some beauty and some comfort. I can also offer some discomfort (but not too much, or I seem to hurt myself). I took stock of the pieces I’ve created since my last album of original music, and I now have enough pieces for a 5th…

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Town Hall mid-residency reflections 

In the middle…. (November reflections) 

I’m probably right where I should be now—a mix of feelings: inspired, overwhelmed, reassured, anxious… Here is what has been on my mind. 

New piece written for my string trio 

Getting the AIR position filled me with swirling thoughts of happiness… and then the reality set in of creating content to present. I set to work almost right away on writing a string trio for my “band” (with Anna Doak and Brandon Vance) to play—something joyous. I was pretty nervous to have…

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Fall Artist Residency at Town Hall Seattle—reflecting on month one…  

I am so grateful to have this opportunity! My daughter heard me squealing through our apartment when I read the email that I had been chosen to be the Artist in Residence. My head has been spinning with inspiration, new ideas, a bit of stress on the desire to produce some new and compelling work… A residency is an amazing thing. An organization pays an artist to utilize their space, to create and share! It is a joy to work on the stage, getting used to the feeling of being a soloist in the Great Hall. 

I…

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Reflections on Le Café from The Nutcracker 

Le Café (Arabian Dance) - Tchaikovsky (from The Nutcracker, composed 1892) 

 There is a lot to work through, and a lot of people re-envisioning the ballet. There are many articles written about the potentially racist associations with these character dances and choreography, and I invite you to explore these ideas, while staying open to the music. I have a special place in my heart for Tchaikovsky. When I was a child, I listened to the vinyl record of the Nutcracker Suite countless times before I ever saw…

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Thoughts on Taken From Us 

I’m grateful to have my instrument to express and connect. I’m happy to play music that resonates with people and brings peace. 

And yet, there is a part of me that has been screaming and running for years. That part of me that had sheltered in place has cracked open and seeped throughout my entire being. We know what has happened to black and brown people in this country before our time here, into the present day, though here we are in this newly awakened re-evalution. I'm ashamed and engraged, holding on…

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Travel on musical paths while staying at home, and going gently down the stream 

Hi Cello Friends,

My musical paths have gone a few directions over the last several months. I began recording a classical album, and then turned to a project that is currently under wraps, but should be revealed later in 2020... 

In the meantime, I realized there was some nice music sitting there that could be shared without anyone leaving home! It has been a joy to work with Kent Harrison at Sammamish Sounds studio, and I'm looking forward to a time when we can safely continue. Kent sent the Chopin Piano…

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Cello-ist 

I get to be a part of some fun art! Here is a photo collage by Bob Scoverski. I appreciate one of the titles he gave this piece, which was "Celloist", because a lot of people do indeed call one who plays a cello a "celloist" (though fyi, I am a Cellist, which is now the official title of this piece:) 

The Elephant and The Swan 

It started in a rehearsal with Different Drummer Band, talking about what our spirit animal would be.... the Elephant and the Swan being two pieces from Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens, representing the bass and the cello. The thing is, I do feel like the Swan--or rather, the Ugly Duckling-turned-Swan. Like many kids, I felt like quite the "other" growing up. My brown skin was not reflected around me, in school or in media. And, that brown skin of mine was covered with spots. (Seriously. I had a…

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Beginning Strings 

I think about how I started playing cello. My parents signed me up for Beginning Strings class when I was in 6th grade, which was a surprise to me. I had a vague interest in playing clarinet, though for no particularly strong reason. The teacher, Warren Shelton, was a wonderfully intense, energetic man. When I walked in the class, I noticed a girl who had the same color skin as me--I had not met anyone the same color as me besides my sister up to that point. My mom is "African-American" (though she would…

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Title story--Waves 

Choosing titles is fun and challenging for me. Album titles are the most tricky! Here is the story of Waves Wash Over Us....

Background: My regular "classical" gig is a member of the cello section in Northwest Sinfonietta. My 3 wonderful cellist colleagues and I are endearingly referred to as "the Fab 4" by our executive director. I have been sitting next to my "stand partner" Val since 1998! 

Anyhow, last summer we had the pleasure of recording a collection of dances for piano and orchestra with the…

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