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.

A Small Circle of Friends

Intimacy plus ambience made for a beautiful evening. Photo by Clif Trimble.

ABOUT a dozen stalwart supporters sat in a circle for a totally unplugged performance. No mics, no PA, no cords—just a direct connection. Wonderful for me, and apparently for the audience as well. The way music should be heard.

All Saints Lutheran feeds 100 to 150 homeless and working poor every Tuesday night.

The evening netted over $100, not a lot but more than we started with. Every little bit helps support the good work. It’s what Jesus—or in my case, the Buddha—would do.

Less is More


The kindest cut…

ALFRED HITCHCOCK once said, “Movies are like life, with all the dull parts removed.” Indeed. And alas, I soon realized the introductory spiel in my recent video was exceedingly dull and so requested Hamilton Studio’s highly skilled editor, Hannah, remove it. Poof! Gone without a trace. And so much better.

For my part, I deleted any trace of the former video on my YouTube Channel and have replaced it with one that’s just like a live performance, only with the dull parts removed.

LINK to new video.

If you know anyone who might be interested in seeing this, let them know. I’ll do the same.