Born to Be 

At some point, you cross a threshold and become the artist you were born to be. When this happens, there’s a certain sweetness you can relax into and just let things flow the way they were meant to. This is what’s happening for me right now. 

It’s funny and somewhat confusing to be a musician these days. You’re told that you need to brand yourself, promote yourself, have a mission and purpose and engage in all the other businessy things to get your music out there to catch the industry’s eye. There are a million different ways to get yourself and your art out there to the world and there’s always a coach to help you in any one of those ways. Sometimes, it gets to a point where you don’t know which end is up and you get so wrapped around the axle over the business of music that it’s easy to forget about the artist. About a month ago, I finally had to put my foot down and shove the business stuff aside to dig through the rubble to find the artist. I’m glad I did because this reacquaintance is giving me a foundation to build on. 

For the past several years, I’ve adopted this magical forest gnome persona just to have something interesting to present to the world. There’s nothing wrong with that and I don’t regret this adoption. But at the same time, this particular shoe didn’t quite fit right either. I felt like I was faking it until my real artist was ready to come out. So just who IS my real artist? That’s a great question. I see her as enigmatic, defying all manner of genres, keeping things simple or throwing color all over the place, showing up when her hair is messy or showing up in androgynous dress. She is soft, primal, dark, light, dramatic, quiet, funny, reflective, shamanic and always in bliss when she is creating on her playground. And yes, that playful forest gnome is also in there. If this is my brand, I’ll take it! 

As I grow into this next version of being a musician and artist, I’m letting it reflect all over in my real world and online presence. Just yesterday, I pointed my camera at the wooden floor of the living room of the house I’m housesitting at and did a photoshoot. It satisfied the question I had of “what would it look like if I shot photos from above?” The photos looked exactly as I  imagined them and now they are showing up here on my site. 

This growth also means bringing some of the other instruments I play into the mix. Most of you may not know this but prior to my life as a didgeridoo player, keyboard had been the dominant force in my life. I played organ for 35 years and piano and synthesizer for nearly as long. I see keyboard as the perfect dichotomous match for didgeridoo and it seems fitting, since my inner artist seems to be made up of opposites anyhow. Where didgeridoo, satisfies the primal, shamanic side of me, playing keyboard satisfies the Old World part of me. Perhaps someday these two worlds will meet. I will definitely look forward to that. Until then, I will continue to create music without boundaries or worry about where it can fit within a industry that requires labels and tidy compartments. 

In the end, it’s been a somewhat arduous journey to get here but I’m content to stay in this vortex for a bit and see where it goes. As always, thank you for coming with me. Just like with a child, an artist needs her village as well. 

Take care all and stay amazing! 

Pam

Celebrating 16 Years Of Didgeridoo 

Sixteen years ago this month, a walked into a used CD store in Seattle to find some music to listen to. At the time, I was really into the music of Dead Can Dance, Sheila Chandra and anything with a Middle Eastern beat. This time, I wanted to hear something different so I went to the world music section and looked in Australia. There were three CDs – one by Yothu Yindi (a legendary Aboriginal rock band), some singer songwriter and a CD by David Hudson ( a super cool Aboriginal player) called Rainbow Serpent. The latter looked the most interesting, so I took it to the listening station up in front of the store, plopped the CD into the tray and donned a pair of headphones for the next hour. I hadn’t planned on listening that long but the music from Rainbow Serpent immediately drew me into its vortex and led me on an amazing journey. I had found my CD. 

I also found the fire to learn to play didgeridoo. At the time, I had this bamboo didgeridoo that was the size of a telephone pole but it didn’t matter. I played it anyway and tried my best to emulate the sounds I was hearing on the album. Of course, the sounds didn’t come out the same because A) I was a beginner and B) the didge I was playing was way different that the amazing eucalyptus sticks David was playing. But that didn’t matter either. I kept playing. 

For the next year, Rainbow Serpent was my teacher. There wasn’t much else out there. Youtube was just born with a handful of videos and as far as I knew, I was the only person playing didgeridoo in Seattle. But I kept playing and loving it. 

Little did I know, this was just the beginning of an amazing journey full of travel to places I had never even thought of going, experiences that have been game changers, but most of all meeting extraordinary people. I’ve met men, women, kids, dogs, cats, birds, a snake or two, doctors, lawyers, teachers, admins, tons of artists, tons of hippies, tree huggers, conservatives, liberals, old people, young people, babies, rich folks, poor folks, Earth folks and city people and all of them having a hand in shaping me into the person I am now. And it’s because of didgeridoo. When I play on stage, it’s not me up there playing for people – it’s all of us creating a time together where we dance, sway, smile, laugh, cheer and celebrate the miracle of being happy humans while we’re here. Creating moments that we look back to with warmth and forward to doing again and again. So, I’m celebrating 16 years of evolution as a musician and a human and I’m looking forward to many more years of people, music and time spent together to continue to help foster a planet of happy humans. 

Take care all and stay amazing! 

Pam

Piano Solo "Refuge" on IGTV 

So, didgeridoo is not the only instrument I play. I've played keyboard for far longer than didge and I find that both compliment each other. This is a piece for solo piano called Refuge and is something I wrote about 12 years ago. I just posted a practice sesson of it on Instagram TV (IGTV). You can find it here 

Refuge is a deeply personal song about the constant search for a place where the soul can rest. The driving rhythms are akin to the constant movement to find peace but in the end finding peace is in simply being still. It seems fitting to debut this song in this month of Mental Health Awareness. It's been a time I am coming to recognize my own struggles with trying to stay healthy in the face of anxeiety and depression. Writing songs like Refuge has been cathartic to help keep me on more of an even keel. 

I so enjoy playing this song even if it's not a clean take. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I do playing it. Thank you for listening and stay amazing!

I'm On Buy Me A Coffee! 

So you’re probably asking “what the heck is Buy Me A Coffee?” 

It’s a really neat platform that gives creatives like myself a way to find support for our art, projects, writing, music anything that’s creative. As you know, it’s almost impossible for artists, musicians and other creatives to rely on just one income stream so Buy Me A Coffee definitely helps by providing one more way to find support for our art. Here’s how it works: 

Say you go to my Buy Me a Coffee page and see something I posted that you really like and want to support with a tip. Buy Me A Coffee, has a couple of different ways you can contribute. The first way is by making a one time (or more) contribution for each thing I make. You don’t have to sign up and make an account for anything if you don’t want to. You just hit the “Buy Pam A Tea” button and you’ll be walked through an easy process to make your contribution. You can also leave an optional comment and your name to let people know how much you love the music and art I make. It’s super easy and you’ll have the satisfaction of directly supporting the work I do so I can bring more of it into your world. You will also have my undying gratitude and get a big bear hug next time I see you.

The second way you can support more of my work is by going all in and becoming a monthly or yearly supporter. This does require you to make an account which is completely secure so you don’t have to worry about anything. You can chose the level of support that best fits your budget and you can opt out anytime for any reason. Once you made your selection, you will receive a set rewards for the tier you chose. I’m working on these tiers right now and will be making an announcement for them hopefully in the next few days. Oh and ditto for getting my undying gratitude and big bear hug.

I am super excited about being a part of this movement because it not only gives me one more way of finding the support for what I do but Buy Me A Coffee aligns perfectly with what I believe in when it comes to finding support in a non-pushy way. 

 So here’s what I’m doing with this now: 

For the next month, I will be posting something every day whether it’s a finished project or a work in progress. It’s the best way I can think of to pitch in to help foster a planet of happy humans. So come and check it out. See what I’ve been doing and if you like it Buy Me A Tea!! 

Thank you so much and stay amazing!! 

Pam

I Learned This From a Didgeridoo Mouthpiece 

Hey there, Been feeling the push to say this out loud and it may sound weird but I'm going say it anyway.

Lately, I’ve been feeling the push to expand beyond my current borders to grow into something bigger than what I've been. Some of you know I recently released a circular breathing video. I watched it last night (yes I watch my own videos sometimes) and I saw a very different person than normal. I felt like I was actually seeing Me for the first time in years. It was so refreshing. When I watched this video, it was about seeing more than just someone who was teaching circular breathing. I was watching myself emerge from my shell and show up in a way that I was meant to and I freakin' loved it!

So what does that have to do with the mouthpiece in the photos above? I feel these photos can demonstrate what I mean about bringing out the best in ourselves. 

These are photos of a mouthpiece I just got through sanding on yesterday afternoon. If you look at the pictures from left to right you’ll see the transformation from roughness to finished product. In order to bring out the beauty of the wood, I had to use sandpaper, lots of elbow grease and a vision of what I wanted to see. It’s an evolution I’ve fallen in love with over the years of crafting didgeridoos – watching and having a hand in something, taking it from five little rings of rough cut wood to a cohesive thing of beauty. I posted these photos on my social media accounts last night and as I did, it hit me that this is the kind of evolution that any one of us can make from where we are. I look at these multi-colored rings of wood as individual parts of ourselves that when put together, make a gorgeous whole. What it takes is a vision of where we want to be and then taking steps to get there while we maintain the enthusiasm of our vision. The trick is to not get attached to the final outcome of how we should think it should go. Just like learning circular breathing, we have to let go of how we think something should go and just jump into beginner’s mind and be present to the work in front of us. I could ramble on about this but I think you get the point. 

So I just want to ask, if there is a place you want to go or if you have a vision of what you want, what step can you take right now to get there? It doesn’t have to be a huge leap but something that can at least get you closer to where you want to go. Ok, nuff said. I hope you find this helpful in some way. Let me know in the comments below. I'd would love to hear it!

Many thanks for reading!

Take care all and stay amazing! 

Pam 

PS: If you haven’t seen the circular breathing video yet, you can find it here.

NEW TUTORIAL: Circular Breathing 101 Is Now Up 

 

Happy Wednesday All!

Sooooooo, circular breathing..... That mysterious mana of didgeridoo playing that seems to confound most of us is the topic of my latest tutorial for didgeridoo. This "Circular Breathing 101" tutorial covers and breaks down the very basic mechanics of the circular breathing process AND some of the mind games that circular breathing can play with us while we're learning. For those of you learning this technique, I hope this helps. 

One other thing I want to add, making this video is encouraging me to make a video course on circular breathing and didgeridoo playing in general. Some of the techniques I plan on covering are basic techniques (getting and clarifying the drone), vocals, rhythms and rhythmic components and putting things together to make your own songs. I'm super stoked to finally get a start on this. My question to you is what are some of the things that you would like me to cover? Are there some special techniques you've heard but can't quite figure out? Let me know. I'd love to hear from you. 

Many thanks for reading, thanks for watching, happy didging and stay amazing!

Pam

 

 

Having Trouble Staying Motivated in Your Didgeridoo Practice? Here’s What Helped Me  

One of the top comments I hear in teaching people how to play didgeridoo, is they have hard time staying motivated in their practice because they play by themselves. When I was first learning how to play didgeridoo, I had the same issue – I thought I was the only player in Seattle and so it was a little hard for me to stay motivated. As it turned out, there were a whole bunch of other players in the area who thought the same thing so a didgeridoo circle was formed and every week we would meet and hone our skills simply by playing along with each other. But what if there isn’t a didgeridoo circle in your area? How do you stay motivated in your practice? What worked for me (other than the didge circle) was going to Youtube and seeking out videos and playing along with them. By doing this, I was not only more motivated but my skills developed a lot quicker by trying to follow players that were better than me. . And because videos are visual, I learned how to do many techniques simply by watching the player and then giving it a try. I also learned to develop and hone my own unique sounds and found a sense of timing and rhythm through doing duets with these videos 

It can go without saying that we are social creatures who learn from each other best when we have access to someone with a higher skill level so we can observe how to do something. Now that Youtube has LOADS of didgeridoo videos these days, it’s really easy to find a player that you can resonate with. Some of the players (aside from my own videos) that you may find helpful to play along with are Stephen Kent, Adele Blanchin, Lies Beijerinck, David Hudson, William Barton, Tyler Spencer and Zalem (Rudy Delarbre). There are many other players out there but this can be a start for those of you who are looking for some inspiration and motivation. When you play along with videos, don’t be surprised if your skills improve much more quickly than playing alone and even though it may not come out sounding the same as what you hear, you can develop your own sounds and rhythms that are unique to you.  Also it’s a lot more fun to play along with others than it is to play by yourself to a wall. One last thing is I’ve found that when I just let go of any idea of what I think I’m supposed to sound like and just relax and play along, I end up l playing my best. That alone can be the best motivator. 

I hope you find this simple suggestion helpful in your practice. Let me know in the comments below! Also, I just want to mention that I’m putting together a video course on learning how to play didgeridoo for people who are busy and can’t always schedule a session with me. So far, I’m working on videos for basic skills as well as a circular breathing course but let me know what else you think you would like to learn in the comments below and I can start working on it. 

Many thanks for reading this! Take care all. Stay happy, stay healthy and stay Amazing! 

Pam

New Didgeridoos On the Way! 


Just started work on these two large yucca stalks. I made a mess and had a great time! They are both large bored which means they are likely to have a fill-the-room resonance. I also anticipate them to be fairly low pitched. They don't look like much now but I look forward to seeing how these two diamonds in the rough turn out. I'll be posting updates as things progress. If you have any questions let me know! My email is didgegnome6@gmail.com 

Take care All and stay Amazing!

I'm Doing WHAT???!! 

Hey there Wonderfuls! 

I'm coming up for air long enough to fill you in on life's happenings. Most of the time life's happenings are inconsequential to the music making but in this case, it will have an effect on it and if I do this right, it will be an awesome effect. 

So what am I doing? 

After a year of pandemic and waiting to move forward, I've finally decided to give myself the green light to get into van life. This was something I was going to a year ago but then the pandemic hit and put a hold on those plans. It was all good though because it gave me the time to research this subject to give me an idea of what I would be getting into. 

 So what does vanlife mean? 

 It means that I am choosing to commit to living, working and traveling in my van while I make music, videos, tutorials and blog and vlogs posts. It's different from RVing in that instead of going out on a vacation and then coming back to work (or retirement life), I take my work with me on the road. In this way, vanlife, itself, becomes part of the work that I'll be doing through blogging, vlogging and perhaps even a travel song or two. 

How did I come to this decision? 

When I left Seattle in 2014, it was with the idea that I would move to Oregon. I spent the next few years living in different places to test out where I really wanted to plant myself. The problem was I loved all the places I lived in so it made it hard for me to decide on a single place. Couple that with finally admitting to myself that I'm really a nomad at heart and it's easy to see why committing to vanlife is a great decision. I'm stoked! Can you tell by the look on my face in the photo? 😁 

Does this mean I'll quit making music? 

Nope. As I mentioned above, this is a way I can integrate the two things I'm most passionate about at the moment - making music and traveling. So, what better way to marry these two than through incorporating vanlife into the fold. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find that the two will compliment each other nicely. I'm super excited about bringing these two sides of my life together and seeing where it takes me....literally and figuratively. 

Do I know what I'm doing? 

Heck no........! Well Sort of, but I'm doing it anyway because have the propensity to jump into the unknown, untested and uncertain to learn new things, make mistakes, see amazing places, make new friends (as safety allows), have new experiences, eat new foods and share it all with you while making music. WHEW! That was a mouthful. The difference for me this time is that I feel I have a mission, plan and purpose and I can't wait to share it all with you! 

So, what am I doing right now?

At the moment, I'm prepping the van for a series of road trips probably mostly in the Pacific Northwest. This means I'm about to take the seats out of my 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan to make storage space for what I need on the road and purchasing what I need to make sure I'm dry, safe and well-fed. I'll be camping, glamping, perhaps doing a homestay or two and wondering if I bit off more than I can chew. Just kidding. 

The bottom line is, I've done enough long distance road trips to know that it totally lights me up. It's also one of the best ways I know of to push myself past my own envelope and grow through living in the moment. By sharing the life I love living, it inspires and encourages others to do the same! Frankly, I can't think of a better mission than that. 

I don't really know how all of this will look down the road but I can guarantee things will definitely evolve as I make plans and take steps to make them happen.  The best part is, I get to take you with me1 Which is so much more fun than traveling alone! 

This feels like a good stopping point for now. Thank you for reading this! As always, I would love to hear your thoughts or if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. If you would like to help support this new leg of my journey you can do so by either becoming a Patreon patron or leave a tip in my Virtual Tip Jar. This will help keep me bringing the music, the videos, the tutorials, the blogs, vlogs and whatever else I can think of directly to you as a benefit. And If you REALLY love what I do, share this post with a friend who you may think would be interested! Because sharing is caring and very sexy. 

See you soon! Take care! Stay happy, stay healthy and stay amazing! 

Pam

One of My Best Albums: "Ta-ka Ta-ka" Now on Youtube 

I released Ta-ka Ta-ka after a difficult time in my life with didgeridoo. At the time, I had been playing didgeridoo for 11 years and I had hit a plateau. I watched other players excel at technique to the point where they seemed destined for the stratosphere. I so badly wanted to be a powerful player with fantastic technique, completely ignoring where I was - a musician who was exploring the dynamics and song making potential of the didgeridoo. This got to a point where I finally let go of keeping up and just went my own way. Not too long after, Ta-ka Ta-ka was born. 

I've always been a musician who was unafraid of exploring different styles of music. Ta-ka Ta-ka certainly reflects that with six songs that are all different from each other making it one of my best albums. I like to think of it as my Leonard Cohen album since it focuses more on writing a good songs for a challenging instrument rather than being an ode to just technique. I just released the full album on Youtube for all to enjoy. Listen to it, enjoy it, dance or do yoga to it, share it, love it.  

If you don't do the Youtube thing, you can find downloads on my Bandcamp page and if you like your music in a more physical form, you can find CD's at my online shop.

As always, I thank you for listening.