Saturday, April 12, 2014

art scraps and elemental orchestra: let's recycle!

 It's been so much fun finding new things to make using art scraps. Thanks to Crispina ffrench for coming up with the First Ever Art Scraps Challenge.

Here's my newly made and re-made instruments for the Elemental Orchestra.

              
I keep finding  blue plastic rings everywhere and plan to make more jimmy jangles and rhythm stick recycling them. I was moved by the multi-media presentation  Conversations with the Sea with Hannah Fries, Sara Parrilli and Marie-Elizabeth Mali that was part of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers.
How wondrous is the ocean and its inhabitants! To see the many dead fish in a remote sea whose bellies are full of our plastic bits and pieces is heartbreaking.
How might we change this situation?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

songs about water

I'm excited that some of my songs about rivers and watersheds will be sung at Undermountain Elementary School in Sheffield, MA this May. Thank you to music teacher Elizabeth Petty for all her work.
Another awesome teacher at Undermountain, Rebecca Neat, is working on sharing the lyrics to Survivor Tree with some of her students who will make a virtual book. Can't wait to see this!

Rivermass Song
 Twelve thousand years of tears are standing in my throat
A hundred million fears are woven in my coat
Illusion and memory are all the same
Can you tell me, what is my name?

Beyond the mountains I move along
My voice is hidden, then my voice is strong
After so much silence and separation
Will you praise my beauty, my reparation?

Rising, falling, known, unknown
My water blossoms in your bone
I am the heart of tree and bird
I am the river, a holy word


 © 2007 words and music by JoAnne Spies



Watershed Waltz
Come on, let’s dance
Can we skip? Can we prance?
I’ll try not to step on your toes
I saw you there with the clouds in your hair
In your shimmering, glimmering clothes
I didn’t know how the steps go
But you showed me every day

When the eagle flies back to her nest
Where the blue heron stands for her rest
When the salmon jump early in spring
Dance with me

In the river where the deer drink
In the middle of the woods by the muddy creek
In the way we listen and the way we speak
Dance with me

Come on, let’s dance
Can we skip? Can we prance?
I’ll try not to step on your toes
I saw you there
With the clouds in your hair
In your shimmering, glimmering clothes

I didn’t know how the steps go
But you showed me every day
When the eagle flies back to her nest
Where the blue heron stands for her rest
When the salmon jump early in spring
Dance with me

We’re doing the watershed waltz
 © 2007 words and music by JoAnne Spies


By Water I Am Led

I'm standin' by the riverside
Lost and rambling in my pride
Never knowing in my heart or head
That I am water and by water am led

Let the memory of the soft green ground
And the majesty of each simple sound
Hold me when I’m tumbling down
I am water, missing and found

Landlocked, full of fear
Sound your torrent that I may hear
Where I'm stubborn, let me flow
Where I'm ignorant, let me know

Let the spirit of the earth and sky
Keep me and when I die
Carry me to the river and sea
I am water and I am free

 ©2007 words and music by JoAnne Spies
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Save the Date for CATAtude!
CATAtude
Mark your calendars and join us in May for CATA’s Annual Performances & Gala!
When: Gala & Performance
Saturday, May 17 at 6:00pm
Matinee Performance
Sunday May 18 at 1:00pm
Where: Tina Packer Playhouse, Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, Massachusetts
For more information call (413) 528-5485 or visit our office at 40 Railroad Street,
Suite 6, Great Barrington, MA.

I look forward to being in this show and sharing the voices of some of the elder artists I work with at Berkshire Healthcare settings through the Art Cart program.
Celebrating Fred's 104th birthday at North Adams Commons




Friday, January 17, 2014

Berkshire Festival of Women Writers


Thank you to Jennifer Browdy of Simon's Rock for creating Berkshire Festival of Women Writers
 that's in its third year. So many community connections, workshops and performances have taken place and the festival continues to grow.
It's an honor to be a part of it again and I'm excited to be in two different performances

The format I created for the first festival Karaoke Confession was an interactive guided /musical tour of the Rockwell Museum that explored the theme of forgiveness with Rockwell's paintings as the focal point and local poets and dancers assigned a painting.
Last year the theme was trust; this year's theme is 
COURAGE
Norman Rockwell Museum
Friday, March 28th  2:30 - 3:30pm
9 Route 183 Stockbridge, MA
413-298-4100

Artists:
Mari Andrejco
Suzi Banks Baum
Jan Hutchinson
Andrew Joffe
Francesca Margulies
WindRose Morris 
Eve Schatz
Gabrielle Senza
Nathan Smith
JoAnne Spies
Rosemary Starace


Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman
Teresa Thomas
                                                                              ***
Looking forward to gig at six depot with Rosemary Starace March 7.
Words sung and spoken and part of Berkshire Festival of Women Writers

                                                                         ***
UpComInG:
Saturday, January 25th   2:30 - 3:30
I'm happy to present a workshop on using music improvisation in the classroom
at the Norman Rockwell Museum's 

 Symposium on Using Non-Fiction Books in the Classroom

You don't have to be a teacher to be there ~ all are welcome. Featured speakers will include
illustrator Wendell Minor, his wife, author Florence Minor, illustrator David Macaulay (How Things Work,)
and picture book historian/author Leonard Marcus.

great interview on using whole body to make music:
Conversation with Melanie DeMore: "Sound Awareness"



Sunday, December 8, 2013


interesting article in Scientific American:
The Power of Music: Mind Control by Rhythmic Sound

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Friday, December 13 at Hevreh

Thanks to everyone for a great gig !

Turn to the Light 
Poetry and Song 
with JoAnne Spies and Rosemary Starace
Friday, December 13     10:45 AM 

Hevreh of Southern Berkshire 

More info here:
Facebook link

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013