Archive for November, 2009

Serendipity & Songwriting 101

November 7, 2009

It’s here!

New arrangements.  New vocalists.  All the result of a serendipitous and unexpected connection to the amazing Michael J. Lewis, Emmy-winning, Grammy-nominated composer and producer, and his equally amazing partner, Alison Pryce.  Exactly the kind of thing I would have sworn (and often did!) never happens to me.

Early last summer, I was in Santa Fe fro a singer-songwriter circle organized by Lisa J. Carman, my newest soul-sister, fellow Cancerian, award-winning singer-songwriter herself, and a wise teacher.  We spent a weekend playing, singing and talking, and Lisa cannily challenged me to get clear on what I really wanted to do with my music.  And my spontaneous response was this:  I wanted a top-flight producer who loved my music and really gets it.  I don’t really care about performing, I want to compose.  I get an amazing kick out of hearing other people sing my songs, and I love using the scope of unlimited voice types and talents to take my music to new places.

Not two months later, a different girlfriend, my old high school pal, mentioned in passing that she hd a friend who “did something in the music business”.  Thought it might be interesting to get in touch, and did so, with no idea beyond a generic curiosity.  The friend turned out to be Alison Pryce, formed bassist with the Royal Philharmonic in London, and collaborator/partner of Michael Lewis, composer of dozens of scores for major films, commercials,, and a Broadway musical, who had tired of LA and moved to Austin (an hour up the road) a few years before.  Alison followed with her own move to Austin, where she met my old high school pal, Ann.

One descriptor that has always come up in terms of my music style is… “movie music”.  Alison checked out some of my tunes, mentioned them to Michael, and within a week, the two of them had approached me;  they loved my music, and wanted me to let them “do justice” to my songs.

And how!  It’s been an overwhelming experience, educational, challenging, expansive, and thrilling at every step.  Alison and Michael worked magic, and my first reaction on hearing waht they had done was… So that’s where my music wanted to go!

More entries will follow soon, to give all credit where it’s due, and recognize the fantastic voices on these three tracks, but for now, Please take a listen – at to Juarez, Darfur Lullaby, and Leaving Athens.  I hope you enjoy them!

Tino’s Rainy Day

November 2, 2009


It’s me, Valentino.
It’s a very wet and dark day where I am. I cannot go out and play. I love to play outside. There is grass outside. I like to roll in the grass. Over and over and over.
There is dirt outside, too. I like to dig in the dirt. I have big white paws. They get very dirty. Then everywhere I go, I get things dirty.
That is a lot of fun. I do not know why Cece and Joe do not let me play in the rain. I sit at the window and look out. I am very bored! Sometimes I make little sounds to say, “I am bored!”
Cece knows I am bored. She said, “Let’s take a picture. Let’s take a picture for the girls at Santa Julia.” So Cece and I sat down to send you a letter and a picture.
Here is the picture. As you see, I am a very beautiful dog! Don’t you think so?

Tino and friend

Tino admires himself on screen

. Now I am not bored. I am happy because I wrote you a letter. Well, I did not write the letter. But I sent my lovely picture of my lovely face! If I were there, I would lick everyone’s face, too.
With all my love to the girls of Santa Julia, Valentino