Puzzle Pieces Falling Into Place

Making an unbroken record…

IT’S BEEN several months since I had to basically start over before I could continue recording more Songs of the Month. It happened like this: I semi-willingly upgraded my Mac OS (you know how that can be—upgrade or else) which made my Logic 9 recording program not only obsolete but actually disabled. POOF, it was gone. For only $200 I was back in the game with Logic X, which was just like the prior version only completely different in every way possible.

My late-life red convertible sports car. Also converts analog audio to digital. Try that with your Porsche Boxter…

Okay, fine. Now that I’m in over my head, why stop there? So, I added a complex new outboard audio magic box (see blog post below), upgraded my mic preamp and digital converter thingy, and got a couple of plug in software gizmos to add some sonic secret sauce—and then all I had to do was learn how to use all this insanely technical stuff.

Retro gear software plug in. Hey, it was good enough for the Beatles!

Well, a few months of crunching through manuals, watching tech videos till my eyes bled and trying this, that and the other with mics, adapters, sliders, dials and switches, and I actually feel ready to start up again.

So standby for a new “Song of the Month” in early September. Just in time for school.

Circle your calendar

October Enneagram Class.

MUCH to my pleasant surprise, the spring Enneagram class was engaging to teach and well attended. So, I’m offering another this fall. I’m giving early notice because it requires four Tuesdays in a row and builds sequentially—so missing a class means missing a lot. I want to insure you have ample notice.

For those who don’t know the Enneagram, it is a profoundly elegant system for discerning and counteracting subtle, unconscious, reflexive fixations. Although the origins are lost to antiquity, it emerged in Armenia at the end of the 19th century and was perfected over the course of the 20th.

Four Tuesday evenings, starting October 2nd.

The Enneagram is sacred geometry. Much as the Golden Ratio reveals a universal principle of manifestation in the physical universe, the Enneagram reveals the hidden structures of our mental universe. Knowing it leads to greater self-awareness and freedom. It’s well worth the effort.

Come if you can. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.


KOEMS Illustrator Sally Pierone Dies at 97

February 10, 1921 – June 22, 2018

SPOKANE LEGEND and KOEMS illustrator Sally Pierone died Friday, June 25, surrounded by family. An internationally-renowned artist, illustrator, therapist and bon vivant, Sally lived her life larger than life. She worked in postwar Europe promoting the Marshall Plan as its visionary art director; rubbed elbows with countless artists, writers and celebrities in Paris; illustrated a book for Art Buchwald; and—once back stateside—devised her own art therapy modality.

Meanwhile, Sally also raised three remarkable sons in Spokane, whom she followed to Los Angeles a few years ago. And, in an afternoon sometime before she left town, Sally illustrated the KOEMS.

For more details on Sally’s amazing life, check out this LINK to an article in Wikipedia.

Heaven just became a livelier place.

A Convergence of Passions

Bringing the Humanities to Life (and Death)

THIS VENTURE started over twenty years ago with amazing songs appearing, unbidden, from nowhere. Had the songs been more mediocre (like the ones I’d written in the past) that would have been the end of it. But they seemed to me to have a larger purpose, though exactly what was not revealed.

Then, I was introduced, equally unexpectedly, to being with the dying—only to discover death and I were old friends and that he was far more wondrous, mystical and even magical than I had been led to believe. As most of your know, those encounters changed my life leading me to become a chaplain working with the dying and their families.

“…only to discover death and I were old friends”

Now I have time to share all that, and am trying to figure out how—in an otherwise death-phobic culture—to do that beyond the occasional gig or festival.  This flyer represents my latest vision, taking parts of my master’s thesis project on grief, my dissertation project utilizing songs and stories to open conversations on death and dying, and bits of other projects and performances to create this menu of programs for schools, faith and retirement communities, and other interested groups wherever they may congregate.

The vision is to use the humanities to inspire conversations that matter. If you know of any group that might be interested, let me know. I appreciate all the help I can get. After all, if it were easy, it would have already happened.

“If you die before you die, you are free to live.” — Sufi aphorism.



A Sound Investment?

THIS IMPRESSIVE techno-thingy, apparently pulled from the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, makes sound sound better in recordings. It rounds of the edges of raspy vocals and volume spikes and subtly warms the sound by using actual vacuum tubes like 1950s radios. Who even knew vacuum tubes were still made!?

For any techno-nerds, it’s an ART Pro Channel II optical compressor and EQ that goes between the mic and the computer.

Naturally, once I learned such a device existed, I wanted one to round off and warm up MY vocals. It took me about a ton of aluminum cans collected by the side of the road to pay for it,* and several misadventures to get it working, but the thing does make a difference. How much? Well, we’ll all find out next month when I (finally) release the studio version of “Little Heart.” 

Meanwhile, the recording light is on…

*Not really, but my mother taught me to never let a few facts ruin a good story. It was actually a half ton.