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I Love It When This Happens 

This is a list of the songs I started this year. There are 105 of them. Only three of them were started late last year. This list does not include the 400 or 500 more songs that's on the other computer some of which will see completion. But most won't get past being a musical sketch - ideas that started with intention but lost steam. Some of those may end up as parts for other songs. This is the life of a composer - for every one song that sees completion there's about a dozen or so that don't. But those that do hopefully makes their way to ears that love to hear them. 

Like the songs in this list, I am a work in progress. Continuously working on refining parts of my life while taking a look at places where I'm stuck. What tools would I need to be better than I was before? What can be re-arranged to live a more harmonious life? A good composer asks questions, explores and experiments to see what works and uses good judgement to make a beautiful piece of music. These can also be used in creating a beautiful life and in this way, parallels are a beautiful thing.

Thanks for reading this. 

Stay happy, stay healthy and stay amazing!

Pam

If you really liked what you just read or just love what I do, I could really use your help in keeping things going by leaving a little something in my virtual tip jar. This would help for many things from putting gas in my car to helping to save up to buy my own studio space. You can find my virtual tip jar here.

Thank you so much for your consideration and generosity. It really means a lot!

 

There Are Reason Why I Do This 

There are reasons why I sit and do this for hours. The first is to put a good quality instrument into the hands of players. When I get a message from a customer on how much they love their instrument, it's worth it to put the time in.

But it's more than that. When I work with the raw material, I get to know every little groove and bump I carve into it. In this way, it becomes a part of me and I become a part of it. Is it hard letting go when I ship them to new homes? You bet. But it's what I can do to help make this world a better place. 

Happy Saturday All!

Much Love, Pam

Summer Travels, New Music and Explorations 

Hello Everyone!

It's been awhile since I've written anything! Before I even start, I thought it would be a fun idea to share this piano and strings piece first. As you listen to it, you can look at the rest of the post. 

You can find it here. :-)

It’s the end of July and Summer is still riding high. It's been an intense time with traveling, creating, and exploring so many possibilities in life. I just returned from a whirlwind two-week trip to Oregon where I did some of my first dispersed camping on the Central Oregon Coast. It was a beautiful time spent listening to one of my favorite birds – Swainson’s thrush – and watching the ocean waves from my van while having breakfast. (Yes, this was the view from my van from my parking spot!) 😲

It was also a time to reconnect with so many friends and with Oregon itself. I went to many of the places I've been before to revisit them and to new places to explore. It felt so good to reconnect with the land and its energies. It felt healing in so many ways. I want to share with you a few photos of some of the places old and new I visited while I was there.

Otter Crest

With my beautiful sister and musician Tati

With my other beautiful sister and mom to be Harmony

With my beautiful sister and life artist Maggie

Fire dancing celebrating the grand opening of my friend Tyler's new venue

Alsea Bay BridgeSpencer Butte (Eugene)

At the top (2000 foot elevation gain)

From the top looking northeast across the Willamette Valley.From the top looking south

Laying down roots and obligitory forest shots

Performing at Flutestock Lite. 

At Mulkey Ridge (Corvallis) - One of my places of healing.

Some of you know that several years ago, I sought to make Oregon my home and spent time living in different places, trying them out and seeing where I would like to lay down roots. But sometimes where you intend to live is different than where your soul really wants to be. I felt this very strongly when I saw the Olympic Mountains (in Washington State) rise above the clouds on the way back from my trip. It was as if they were welcoming me home. 

I’ve been living on the Olympic Peninsula now for almost two years and it’s beginning to feel like my roots are being laid here. I know my soul is really longing to settle somewhere and the North Coast is feeling more like home than anywhere right now. Perhaps because I've been here for awhile. Still, I feel I would like to be with my tribe in Oregon so I haven’t quite given up the idea of living there yet. In the meantime, I will keep traveling, making music, writing blogs, creating videos and making an occasional didgeridoo.

Now about the song I posted above.

I’ve been back from Oregon now for a few days and for the last two days, I’ve been working on finishing up some songs while starting others. Yesterday, I finished this piece for piano and strings that I'm calling "Drift" for now. It came to me during breakfast and it perfectly sums up how I’m feeling with all of the intense change and explorations of where to head next in life. There’s a bit of longing for me in this song but there is also the feeling of moving forward in light even though a final destination is yet to be determined. It reflects the possibilities and the importance of being still in order to recenter and find a way. I hope you enjoy listening to this song as much as I did making it. I’m working on a video of my travels and of life in general and I’m sure this song will find its way into mix somewhere. I will let you know when I’ve uploaded it. For now, it’s back to editing so I can finish it and share it with all of you. 

Be well and happy and stay amazing! 

Much love

Pam

 

Fueling Dreams and Setting Intentions 

Whew! I’m back online after a whirlwind couple of weeks. June has been exceptionally busy with wrapping up projects and starting new projects but the biggest thing is beginning a new chapter in my life that will have me lving and working from my van at least for the summer, perhaps longer. This is partly to see sights and fulfil bucket list items but it’s also with the intention of finding space. In my experience, finding what you need is a matter of putting your shoes on and just going outside to see what’s available. It can also be simply drawing what you need to you but in this case, I think I need to go outside, so I’ve been converting my van into a living and work space. Much of the work is done and I’m sure there will be adjustments along the way but the idea is to have a decent work space where I can have a small mobile studio in addition to a living space. It’s a tall order for being in a mini van but I think for now, I’ve got it. 

It’s helped a lot to have had practice time throughout this pandemic. For the past year, I’ve been sleeping, eating and working in the van (I’ve named Ruby) to work out the details in space issues. What I’ve come up with is a modular approach where many things are foldable and can serve dual (or even triple) functions. Taking this approach has also kept things simple which is something that my singular mind really appreciates. It also helps to have a massive storage cargo box on top for didgeridoos, camp gear etc. 

So, just what are the plans for the summer? My number one goal is to find space to start building on my dream of having my own music studio. I’ve harboured this dream for about 40 years now and it’s time so I suspect I will mostly be driving between Oregon and Washington (in addition to looking on Craigslist etc.) to see what I can find. This will also allow me to see the places I haven’t been to and share the adventures I’m sure I will have along the way. Just to let you know, this is not some sudden fantasy trip that I dreamed up over the last couple of months. Let me tell this story. 

When I was eight or nine, my grandmother and her two cousins went on an eight month odyssey across the U.S. in a small Winnebego RV. They went partly to see family they hadn’t seen in years and partly to see sights. I remember getting postcards from my grandmother from places like Maine, Vermont, Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon and it totally fired my imagination about being a traveler. What makes this story so cool is that these ladies did this at a time when women their age simply didn’t do things like that (this was back around 1971). I’ve never forgotten that and so I’m letting this story guide me into this next chapter of my own life. It’s exciting, exhilarating and a bit daunting (I’m not gonna lie) but I’m doing it anyway. I suspect I will be stretched, shaped, challenged, bumfuzzled, given lessons and ultimately thrown into gratitude on this journey. I’ve waited and I’m ready as I can be. I won’t lie, there is a pert of me that is trepid. It wouldn’t be normal if I didn’t feel this but the excitement far outweighs the trepidation. 

I will be posting here as this journey unfolds and I hope you will join me. It’s always more fun to have you along! Of course, I plan on continuing to make music, videos and tutorials along the way. The only thing I won’t be doing is making didgeridoos. I am putting that on hiatus for the summer in order to make space and time for new projects. With that said, here are some photos of the last didge for awhile. I will have it up for sale in a couple of days and will post it here when it’s ready for a new home. 

Thank you so much for reading this if you made it this far. I want to extend a special thanks to all of you who have contributed through my virtual tip jar and to my Patreon supporters. I know I sound like a broken record but I really couldn’t have done any of this without your support. Thank you!! 

Take care All. Stay happy, stay healthy and stay amazing! 

Much Love, Pam

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

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.

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

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