Hi Everyone, I just got back from a couple days in Utah with the “Women of Windham Hill” tour. We did a clinic at the University of Utah where we talked to students about doing music as a career, and what its like to be.. umm….us. It was really really early and we were a bit bleary, but it was fun. Then we did an afternoon show for school kids and the evening was the normal concert. The next night was Valentines Day and we did just a concert.

The whole time I was struggling with big pain in my leg which I knew to be a blood clot because I have a chronic circulation problem from a past injury and how much I fly etc. I have had trouble with deep vein thrombosis for 10 years now and it flairs uponce in awhile. I already had a surgery for it to place a filter that guards my lungs and heart etc, but I ended up in the emergency room with a new clot in my hip and thigh. They have a great hospital in Logan, I was there after the show each night getting injections of blood thinner in my stomach! I have always been a person who goes the natural/organic way of health to try to deal with this, lots of herbs and vitamens, etc. but this time I have to have some big time help from the mainstream medicine. It was all rather rough but the show must go on!

I’m back in LA now staying in bed to get over this, excellent doctors and good people are helping me with it now. Since I can’t bear to give myself a shot in the stomach, there are have some wonderful nurses volunteering from both City of Hope and Kaiser hospital where I do my music programs coming to help me with it, its only a few more shots, then just pills and hopefully it will be managed once and for all.

I hope you enjoy the video, its so fun to make these. I have always loved home movies and I like to document these times forever.

 

Here is another installment from the road with the Women of Windham Hill, this was done in mid-January in New Jersey.
The lineup is myself, Barbara Higbie, Liz Story and George Tortorelli. We have been doing lots of shows in the Northeast, next week we will be in Utah.  I tried to capture some more of the backstage stuff this time, but its always a challenge to remember the camera. I’m hoping to get better at it as time goes one.
So here is another day in the life….

Hi everyone,

Right now I am sitting on the floor of Aryeh’s recording studio in San Francisco. Its quite cold and its rainy outside. We are working away every day on our first recording together and he is often glued to the computer doing edits. Here is my view from here.

And here is me with my mandolin

I have been trying to get some new video together from a recent show with the Windham Hill gals, but my video editing program is having a glitch so I am limited what I can create, but as soon as I get it up and running again, I have some really fun footage from some recent concerts backstage. It looks like yet another trip to the Mac store for some fixin. I love my mac.. it goes everywhere with me. Here’s me at my table at the Highland games in Orlando where George and I played last weekend.

 Here is a look behind the scenes of a typical Windham Hill show. Featured here is Barbara Higbie, Liz Story, George Tortorelli, Sean Harkness and myself. These shows were last weekend, in Stockton New Jersey, and Scottsdale Arizona. When I got to the first show, I opened the case and the harp had some damage from the airline. But thankfully it was still playable.

We have so much fun on these shows.

The weeks post takes us to a wonderful intimate venue in Alta Dena, California. Its about 15 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Its called the Coffee Gallery and its a wonderful place to play because in the back of the coffee shop there is an intimate theater with excellent sounds and lighting. Each time we play there it sells out. (only 45 seats). The two gals singing are both wonderful artists in their own right, they are singers and writers Adjoa and Ashley Maher. We formed this group just to play at City of Hope, but ended up wanting to do even more, so here it is. We are doing a favorite song of ours by Sarah MacLaughin called “Angel”.

 Hi there, here is a show we do each summer called “Festival of the Little Hills” in Saint Charles Missouri. It takes place in a small river town, the place where Louis & Clark began their historic expedition to the weston the Missouri River. The people of this town are so very nice, they love our music so much that I keep going back each year.

You will hear sound clips of a few other street performers, our friend Bob Culvertson on the Chapman stick, and our friend Mark Holland on the Native American flutes. You will see George playing an incredible hand made flute in the shape of a long snake, you will see two ladies trying to extract an over filled trash bag, and hear the million secada bugs making their unusual song. Because there is so much other sounds going on at different levels, I opted to put in a recorded song over the images, so thats what you are hearing, “Little Dirt Road” from my New Morning CD. I left original sound from the other musicians of course.

So you can see what a typical weekend is like in the many midwestern towns and cities I visit. I hope you enjoy it and get the sense of how human it all is..

This summer in Big Sky Montana the harp conference took place.Here are some clips that I put together, please pardon the shakey footage, it was so busy that I was lucky to get any video at all. The harp conference brings hundreds of harp peformers and enthusiasts from all over the country and world. We go there to teach the participants and share our music with everyone. The was the final stop of the tour with Aryeh Frankfurter and you will see in the opening clip of us playing harp and viola on the main stage. Following that is Aryeh’s set where I played Octave mandolin and we were joined by another two wonderful harpers William Jackson and Grainne Hambly playing pennywhistle and concertina. Next is a trio with Kim Robertson on harp, myself on harp and Aryeh on Nickelharpa. The last segment ends with a jam session in the hotel lobby featuring harpists Kim Robertson, Aryeh Frankfurter, Sue Richards, and Seumas Gagne. I am mostly taking the footage, and also playing mandolin. The website for future conferences is http://www.BigSkyHarpConference.com

 I am just starting to go through the videos taken of performances we did on the Northwest tour I did this summer with Aryeh Frankfurter. One of our stops was in Eugene Oregon. We performed at the Eugene Hotel, a really cool and funky place where senior residence live, and they host concerts to the public in the heart of Eugene, which is a special town south of Portland.
Our host for the evening is David Helfand, a well known harper and recording artist in his own right. He’s a magical musician and we enjoyed the time with him.

When I host concerts at City of Hope, my favorite part is getting to have the performers stay at my house, and getting to play with them also. So we were happy to play some of Davids music with him in the unique setting of a closed restaurant after hours.

It was late at night after the concert, we were exhausted, but that never stops the music from flowing. Sitting there improvising with our instruments with all those empty tables and chairs was surreal and dreamlike. This is a piece written by David, (you can check out his website at http://www.DavidHelfand.com) Aryeh Frankfurter, also a harper extraordinaire (www.lionharp.com) is playing viola, and I am playing my octave mandolin.

So here you go..

I was in North Carolina again this past weekend, playing a show in Waynesville and a concert in Asheville. On a rare weekend day off, I walked around the Bele Chere festival in downtown Asheville. It is normally a very crazy festival, but this day was called “Family Day” so there is no alcohol served and a much mellower vibe. There is lots of great music in Asheville, its like the Nashville of the Southeast. Its a very progressive enlightened community nestled along the Blue Ridge Mountains. I spend a lot of time in North Carolina this time of year, as it is high festival season. So you’ll be seeing more in the coming weeks no doubt.

The second half of this video is a couple excerpts from the concert I played with George on flutes. The final segment you’ll see sounds like there are tracks playing along with the harp and flute, but it is all done live, using whats called a long delay, it takes what we just played seconds before and loops it around again so we can play harmonies on top of what was just played. Hopefully the sound quality will be ok enough to hear the music. It all has to be scrunched to fit in these blog formats so we’ll see.