5th December 2005
A Flame of Hope in the Darkness...
Doesn't it seem like we're just careening at 180 mph toward the end of 2005? I feel like I need a seatbelt to sit at my desk these days and answer my emails. Whew!
This past year has been quite a journey for many of us - more like a roller coaster ride than a drive in the country. There have been many twists and turns, devastating natural and man-made disasters, a critical turn toward ending the war in Iraq (Thanks, Rep. Murtha!), and particular challenges to women (reproductive rights), poor people in the Gulf Coast region and gay people (equal access to the benefits and responsibilities of marriage).
13th October 2005
Report from the Vortex!
Dear Friends -
It's hard to describe what it's been like to release this new project. First there was the inspiration to create a 7-minute meditation combining my photography of the Callanish Stones and the instrumental version of "Avalon." During the past three years, I have taken hundreds of photographs of this ancient Scottish site on repeated visits to the Outer Hebrides. However, it was only when Sheryl Erickson of the Collective Wisdom Initiative suggested that I put music to the images that I was shaken awake to the possibility of sharing this photography with others.
Then came the realization that I could create a brand new soundtrack to accompany the images by remixing tracks we had recorded back in 2001 during the Avalon sessions. What was originally released as a 5-minute solo piano version of "Avalon" evolved - with Stephen Hart's extraordinary engineering skills - into an 7-minute instrumental arrangement with Mary Fettig's soprano saxophone, Diane Lindsay's bass and Jeanette Wrate's percussion. Tom Christopher, a remarkably intuitive and subtle film editor, took my photographs and the new "Avalon-Remix" and the two of us collaborated to integrate sound and image with the intention of creating a mind-body-spirit encounter with the Stones.
It was quickly apparent that a 7-minute DVD was not marketable on its own. This led me to return to Stephen Hart with a compilation of 9 contemplative piano solos I had been using as a soundtrack for my labyrinth peace walks. Stephen digitally remastered these tracks taken from recordings spanning 25 years and created an entirely new 47-minute sonic experience culminating in the new "Avalon-Remix" track.
Now I had something: a DVD and a CD that were made for each other. This combination of music and imagery could be an entry point for people looking for a contemplative encounter with the Sacred Feminine. The obvious title for this project would be PORTAL.
Donna Korones, my close friend and colleague, worked side by side with me as associate producer, bringing perspective and solid ground to the complex decision-making that was involved in hundreds of aesthetic choices, from track sequencing to graphic design to packaging, marketing and distribution.
The really amazing thing for me is that the entire PORTAL process - from inspiration to distribution - has taken only nine months. The effortlessness with which so much of the work has come together is a mystery to me - surely connected at least in part to the depth of my collaborators' understanding of the material as well as the "rightness" of the timing.
Where things stand right now... Exciting news arrives daily at Pleiades Records as PORTAL moves out into the world. NPR stations are picking up the CD compilation for their play lists, OVATION TV Channel has requested to play the 7-minute DVD on their network, the largest distributor of New Age, health & wellness products has agreed to distribute PORTAL to stores and outlets of all kinds.
I am so happy to know this work is going to be accessible to viewers and listeners who will recognize it and find it useful. I am full of gratitude for the opportunity to share my music and photography at this time, in this way.
On the path -
18th August 2005
Rocketing into the 4th Dimension... Ye-e-e-ow!!!!!!!
What a journey! I am recently back from another trip to Scotland - called yet again to visit the Callanish Stones in the Outer Hebrides, way out in the North Atlantic. The experience has filled me with such joy and contentment it's hard to know what to do with the feelings.
This hybrid musical and visual experience is a first attempt to give artistic expression to an on-going spiritual experience that is profoundly altering my perspective. My hope is that PORTAL will provide still space for you in this chaotic world in much the same way as the Callanish Stones have for me.
Wishing you strength for the journey -
11th March 2005
A Word From Margie
When I entered the room, I looked out onto Lake Michigan, past lovely rustic furniture, a hot tub and couch. And on the wall, directly across from the king-size bed, above the 30-inch Panasonic television.... was the head of a bear! (click here)
Now this would have been understandable in some reality had I been staying in a Northern Minnasota lodge or cabin. But the walls of my room were sheetrocked and painted a fashionable terra cotta. (click here)
So now my touring has a new organizing principle: if your town or city has a hotel which something unusual going on in it, please invite me for a concert. I will be sure to move your request to the top of the list!
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