such an honor to hear Sarah Lee Guthrie & Hoping Machine sing my song at the Climate March in DC!

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new CD available on band camp click on cover image below to download tracks

new CD available on band camp          click on cover image below to download tracks
contact: spiesarts@gmail.com

Friday, November 28, 2008


Red Red Robin Singalong for CATA

January 30 2:30 pm

where: Crispina ffrench's studio (old Notre Dame church) 40 Melville St. Pittsfield

Who: Anyone who'd like to join in singing or humming "When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along"

What: "Red, Red Robin" Video Project

Mission: Create a music video of CATA Art Cart participants (who are predominantly elders) singing this song. Residents sing this song with gusto (and their own lyrics!) every time I play it on the guitar. The goal is to videotape a number of participants,including family, staff and other local participants and artists, edit a 5-8 minute video, and premiere it at the May 2/3, 09 CATA GALA weekend.

Here's a link to Doris Day singing "Red, Red, Robin" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ScH-X91qmo

I prefer Steve Goodman's version, but you get the idea how the song goes.

Thank you to Crispina, Youth Alive and Stefanie Weber for making this taping special!

Erica Spizz, Rodelinde Albrecht, Will Curtiss and Keith Emerling: crew extraordinaire!



Sing, Giovanna, Sing!

My Sicilian grandmother from Chicago, Rosaria Dolce, instructed me to sing whenever I could. If I felt blue in the back seat of the car as we headed out on a Sunday drive, Grandma Dolce would boom out: "Sing, Giovanna, sing!" If I was cross at the kitchen table while she cooked pasta and I set the dishes: "Sing, Giovanna, sing!" No matter how rotten things were, "Sing, Giovanna, sing!" was the cure-all.

See the NPR link below for more on the power of song.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Move it, Sound it, Write it!

This essay on NPR by one of my favorites:

Singing: The Key To A Long Life
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97320958&sc=emaf


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a suggestion from mike doughty:

why not donate $5 or $10 to Doctors Without Borders?


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Evelyn Glennie: How to listen to music with your whole body

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/evelyn_glennie_shows_how_to_listen.html

Scottish percussionist and composer Evelyn Glennie lost nearly all of her hearing by age 12. Rather than isolating her, it has given her a unique connection to her music. Full bio and more links


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Since October 2008 it's been exciting to tailor my "Move It! Sound It! Write It!" program for teen girls at the Youth Alive! studio in Pittsfield, MA. Funded by Mary Campbell Case's "Claiming Our Voices" organization in Great Barrington, these empowerment workshops for teens are part of a pilot program to encourage girls to speak their truth and 'claim their voices.' Read about it here: (http://www.berkshireeagle.com/ci_10895169.)
We've been using rhythm with boomwhackers to find songs from our words, movement based on breathwork and rhythm, and writing inspired from drawing. We are all learning from each other as we create new dances, write songs and draw different self-portraits: animal, super-hero and 3-D boxes.
We had a special class with Marla Robertson November 11th teaching the girls how to embody words in their movements. It was great to watch each girl choreograph her own dance with new meaning understood through the movement.
Thank you to Mary Campbell Case, the "fairy godmothers" who support "Claiming Our Voices," Shirley Edgerton and south county teacher Senta Reis.


Celebration on last day of "MoveIt! Sound It! Write It!" JoAnne, Cheyenne and Rachel

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A wonderful organization advocating change through celebrating your own and everyone else's music:

Music for People
http://musicforpeople.org/

http://www.musicforpeople.org/graduates/joanne_spies.html