Chantmagick - 2017

Flower image associated with Chantmagik on YouTube

Chantmagick is my YouTube-based folk pop project that I work on daily and post to throughout each week. I work with guitar, piano or homemade instruments and then create layers of vocal harmony over this. In an earlier stage of the project, I created an atmospheric sound bed and then I chanted over this layer multiple times.

Chantmagick is also a platform to explore soundmaking, melody and harmony while being freed from any specific song form. My chants are little sound experiments that free me from the need to know everything before I begin. The goal is to start on an impulse and keep shaping

It has also become a way to relax and connect with my physical and energy bodies, a tool for developing my singing, and a way to improve my recording and mixing techniques.

In providing resonant soundmaps that are paired with moving image slideshows I hope to create a short peaceful time out for viewers and their friends.

Detroit Residency - 2015

I decided to come to Detroit for four weeks to explore the city and it’s history firsthand while spending time working on some new music. I had applied to several arts residencies, but in the end, decided to create my own self-directed residency in the location of my choosing.

Detroit proved to be an excellent choice. Fortunately, my music studio is portable: laptop, soundcard, headphones, sequencer / controller so I can work on producing new soundscapes and song wherever I go. I made a Tumblr blog to capture all of the things I saw and learned about.

I use Ableton Live for most things but enjoy exploring iOS music making with my ancient iPad 2. Apps I am using are: Auxy, Loopy, Garageband, Arturia iSEM, Boom 808, Bebot, Sector, Fiddlewax and Mogees. I have BeatWave and am excited to play with it. My friend Jeff just turned me on to Yamaha’s TNR-i app. Looking forward to exploring that too. photo credit: Garrett MacLean

Music Workshops in Russia - 2014

In 2014, I went to Russia for four weeks to teach workshops about the diddley bow, a one-stringed musical instrument played in the American rural south during the 19th and early 20th centuries. I launched an Indiegogo campaign to help defray expenses related to this project. The campaign has finished but you can still visit the page and read an overview. A link to the workshop outline is here.

I taught in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Izhevsk and Yekaterinburg at a school, two artist collectives, a music hall and a summer camp. Workshop participants ranged in age from 5 to 65, city dwellers to country folk. Click here to see video from a workshop in Udmurtia. It was a tremendous pleasure and privilege to learn, share and explore with my hosts, friends and students. Thank you everyone who helped make this trip happen.

Festival of American Fiddletunes - July 2013

The Festival of American FiddleTunes is a week-long, total-immersion fiddle-centric experience that provides music students with the opportunity to live, learn, and jam with masters and advanced players of regional fiddling traditions. Started in 1977, FiddleTunes offers workshops, classes, band labs, tutorials, dances, concerts, singing, and open jams.

I attended FiddleTunes on a full scholarship and had a chance to learn from players from all over the United States. The experience substantially broadened my concepts and awareness of regional folk music and provided me an amazing repertoire of songs to learn. Many musicians at the camp are local Bay Area players with whom I continue to study and play.

SF Museum of Modern Art - May 2013

On May 30, 2013, the Kitchen Sisters gathered over one hundred Bay Area makers to present their work, process and expertise over the course of three days of drop-in demo and conversation tables at SFMOMA. Makers were set up in various locations throughout the museum and on Third Street filling the museum with inventions, contraptions, art, food, stories, music, imagination and community.

I was given an hour to demonstrate making a folk instrument and then I was able to play my instrument  and get visitors to play with the instrument as well. I was also interviewed as part of Sonic Trace’s La Burbuja portable sound booth project.

The Making of on KQED - January 2013

The Making Of… is a multimedia series about what people make in the Bay Area and why, capturing the art, creativity, and innovation happening in backyards, workplaces, cultural institutions, and public spaces throughout one of the most diverse and innovative regions in the country. My story as an instrument maker was edited and broadcast on the program several times in January 2013.

Thingamajigs - October 2012

The Music For People & Thingamajigs Festival is an annual event featuring experimental and traditional musicians and performing artists who incorporate made/found instruments and alternate tuning systems in their work.

Each year, MFP&T invites such artists to join in a festival of workshops, music making, and performances with the goal of reaching a large, diverse audience of all ages. People can participate in instrument building and tuning and educational workshops, as well as hear unique sounds and compositions from up and coming artists.

On October 12, 2012, I opened an evening of performance featuring Tracey Cockrell and Walter Kitundu.

Signal Fire Artist Residency - July 2012

Signal Fire provides residencies on public land to artists of any creative discipline. Each summer, Signal Fire brings selected artists out to the forest and provides them with food, maps, battery power and a magnificent 12x12 canvas wall tent for work and sleep space.

The tents are equipped with a desk, cot and rug for a comfortable living space, as well as kitchen utensils and food for self-served breakfast and lunch. Each tent is set apart from the others, but within a short walk to a base camp.

I was one of four artists selected to participate in the July 2012 Outpost Residency which took place in Eastern Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains. The Wallowas, often called “Oregon’s Alps,” are one of the wildest places in the continental U.S. I made several new instruments and recorded eight new songs.

Buffet Flats - April 2012

Buffet Flats: Feast of the Pink Moon was an evening of wild cabaret acts, Queer art, food and celebration that took place on Saturday, April 28th, 2012 at Million Fishes Art Collective.

Billed as "a feast of fresh Spring bounty and frolicking performances," Buffet Flats' goal was to "cross-pollinate local food and farming activists with performance artists into an edible event with wild cabaret acts, engaging visual art and mini expert talks all with the aim of queering the conversation about growing sustainable communities." The organizer was Bay Area artist Seth Eisen.

Y2K Livelooping Festival - October 2011

Y2K+1 Loopfest is an annual international live looping festival with 50 artists from 10 countries performing over a five day period. It is organized by Rick Walker and takes place in Santa Cruz, CA. I performed a 15 minute set looping instruments I made using a BOSS RC 30 looping pedal and a BOSS VE 20 vocal effects pedal.







Million Fishes Art Collective - 2005 - 2012

Million Fishes was an incubation program in San Francisco, CA where emerging artist of visual art, filmmaking, choreography / dance, music, conceptual art, new media, interactive art, interarts, and writing can build the tools necessary to establish themselves as contributors of art. It was located at 2501 Bryant Street (at 23rd Street), San Francisco, CA and began its operations in November 2003.


Some projects during my residency:


  • January 2013 - KQED "The Making Of" radio program (see above)



  • December 2011 - Trouble Deep
  • October 2011 - Y2K International Loopfest (see above)
  • September 2011 - Harvest Moon
  • August 2011 - SOMA Salon
  • April 2011 - Current Resident Art Show


  • October 2010 - Beast Resident Art Show
  • July 2010 - Berlin Art Piano
  • April 2010 - Taksu and the Dusk of Time


  • April 2008 - Medecine Resident Art Show


  • October 2007 - Fluther Resident Art Show
  • April 2007 - "Be Honest" Resident Art Show
  • January 2007 - MAPP Three Year Retrospective, Mission Cultural Center


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