Thursday, September 4, 2014

Join in International Day of Peace September 21

There are many ways to raise your voice for peace on Sunday, September 21.

International Day of Peace event at Eastover
Lenox, MA
This free event at Eastover begins at noon. I'll be leading everyone in singing 'Survivor Tree,' and look forward to seeing you there:
Jane Goodall explains the significance of the Survivor Tree

Pathways to Peace

People's Climate March

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

As I Sit Down To Eat

Since May I've been working at Soultube Substation studio in Housatonic, collaborating with Robby Baier and hip-hop artist Jackson Whalen on a new CD.
Can't wait to share the first song about mindful eating. Stay tuned!

Have been reading "The end of overeating : taking control of the insatiable American appetite" by David Kessler. It's an interesting overview of how our eating habits have changed the past few decades and why.

Meanwhile, one in five children goes hungry in America.

Locally, a link to food banks:
Berkshire County MA Food Banks

An excellent national organization:
End Hunger Network

Friday, June 13, 2014

what's in a name?

since recording 'Mindfull Eating,' my grandmother's Italian name for me is sticking.

call me Giovanna.

Dolce family in Chicago 1915.
                                                    Grandma Dolce seated third from left

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Atop Mount Greylock at Bascom Lodge June 30th

Bascom Lodge atop Mount Greylock

Come join me Monday evening at Bascom Lodge  at 6:00.
Stay for dinner if you can, as the food is excellent.
I'll be sharing new songs and poems from a week there as a 'Creative Resident.'

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 the collection:
 Scrap Bag Challenge on Pin Interest

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 Neet, 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!
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 for Karaoke Confession, a performance that I created for the first festival 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 
Norman Rockwell Museum
Friday, March 28th  2:30 - 3:30pm
9 Route 183 Stockbridge, MA

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

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"