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Wabi Sabi TODAY!

Wabi Sabi is the newest album from Seattle-New York-Eau Clair based world-hopping jazz band THE TIPTONS SAXOPHONE QUARTET & DRUMS and is available starting today, May 1, 2020, from their bandcamp website:

The sound of the Tiptons is all about saxophones, not just the energized type of sound you expect from all that brass, you will hear a massive grooving and pumping jump band music machine with lots of moving parts that takes influences from all around the world: Funk, Jazz, Scat, World, Soul, Groove, Eastern European Klezmer, and of course the way way way beyond. This amply provides the band members with a glorious platform to celebrate their individual talents, with lots of vocal improvisational experimentation on top. The first rehearsal was 30 years ago in November. The members are AMY DENIO: alto sax, clarinet, voice; JESSICA LURIE: soprano, alto, tenor sax, voice; SUE ORFIELD: tenor sax, voice; TINA RICHERSON: baritone sax, voice; and ROBERT KAINAR: drums, percussion.

The Tipton Saxophone Quartet was formed as an homage to Billy Tipton (December 29, 1914 – January 21, 1989) who was an amazing musician and noteworthy industry pioneer. Tipton’s musical career began in the mid-1930s when he led Louvenie’s Western Swingbillies for radio broadcasts. He played in various dance bands in the 1940s and in the mid-1950s recorded two trio albums of jazz standards for Tops Records. After that he also worked as a talent broker. Tipton stopped performing in the late 1970s because of arthritis. Tipton’s female birth sex was not publicly revealed until after death, and the revelation came as a surprise to family and friends. For decades, Tipton assumed a male gender identity because the music industry was not about to give a woman all of the breaks and opportunities that a man would automatically get, so she secretly took it all on her own personal terms.


Denio (rhymes with Ohio) says that “Usually when we finish an album we don’t want to hear it any more. This one, on the other hand, is really FUN! The material is well written, well played, and well produced. A trifecta!”

Support this amazing group of musicians by purchasing their album TODAY!

Joy and Mystery Flowing Together

An Interview with Spotted Peccary Artist John Gregorius









Reflections on the plague

Exploring the Path Less Traveled

Photography by Chris Russell, downloaded from his Instagram page

An interview with Ambient Electronic Musician Chris Russell


Artist website:

Iannis Xenakis:

Spotted Peccary Album page:
Spotted Peccary Artist Page:

Software Synthesizer Sounds

Shimmering and floating, dynamic patterns of sequencer-spun urgency eventually give way to lush atmospheres and glowing textures before taking one more giant leap into the next compelling sound immersion, hypnotic rhythms and extensive use of the sound-design capabilities of his instruments–with repeated pitch, filter and effects changes– to render genuine spacescapes. Holmes is creating or discovering music using different tone qualities that breaks free from existing ideas.

Interview with Hollan Holmes, sound designer

Gerald Allen James 1945-2020

Gerald (Jerry) James was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to Coy Hilton James and Aurelia (DeBuchananne) James on February 28, 1945, and he died on February 15, 2020 at his home in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife, Frances (Dunn) James, sons Matthew and Nicholas James and his wife, Alicia (Kinter) James, much-loved granddaughters Alexis and Taylor, his brothers, Coy Hilton (Jim) James Jr. and Robin Brintnall James, nieces and nephews and extended family and friends.

He was a vocal proponent of respect for women and abhorred bullying and domestic violence. Although slight in build his entire life, as a middle-aged man, he once placed himself in harm’s way for a neighbor in a domestic violence situation. He was also a staunch, life-long Democrat and would gladly tell you his reasoning behind this stance.

He moved to Albion, Michigan as a child, graduated from Albion High School in 1963 and received his Bachelor’s Degree in History and Economics from Albion College in 1967. He was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity.

He married Frances Dunn in 1967 in Bethesda, Maryland, the same year he began working for the Aluminum Company of America.

His first son, Nicholas S. James, was born on February 28, 1968 in Pittsburgh, PA. Twins, Matthew B. and Evan M. James were born December 12, 1972 in Seattle, Washington. The family spent many years in the Pacific Northwest, including suburban Portland, Oregon before moving to Pottsville, Pennsylvania in 1984. Gerry left Pottsville in 1989, but returned to Pennsylvania to reconnect with his three sons in 1999.

He was preceded in death by his son, Evan, and his parents Coy and Aurelia James.

The twins, Mattnevan

the complex and moving musical poetics of everyday life

Instrumental electronica, with layers loopy and delicate, with components of cycling patterns, with surprising line breaks, with quick, associative leaps, and peppy repetition on this moment of insight or revelation. The music overall has a beat, especially the brighter melodies, it is consistently energetic. With all of its richness and vitality, this day is, in the end just “like any other,”  subject to an exotic location and a masterpiece of varied tones and sample sources, such as you might hear from synthesizers, strings and chimes. Electronics zoom in like a telephoto lens to see the dust inside yesterday and then tomorrow, and pulls back to consider the entire, ordinary day in which all these things occur. It also registers the mixture of repetition and variety in everyday life, with its insistence underscored by repetition, to make a declaration about what is valuable, what is worth noticing, because that will so fascinate the listener. It is a day like any other,  deliberately leaving open what “it” is meant to refer to, is “it” the meaning of this specific everyday moment? It’s a day like any other, calling us as it explores the complex and moving musical poetics of everyday life at the center of this work. 

Darshan Ambient discovers a new, more vital mode of music, one highly attuned to what is happening right in front of our noses, all the time.  In a way, he realizes a song could be born simply from paying close attention to the present and immediate, to what was happening outside the window, he turns away from the remote and the antique, and toward the common and familiar.  Through his gift we are suddenly aware that this kind of “marvelous” event happens every day, and that only our inattention obscures it from view.

The first track is titled “City of the Seven Hymns” (5:20) and features percussion and synthesizer beats with celestial organ and steel guitar, using precise and fresh images to notate how the listener’s ear perceives the minute and shifting details of an ordinary dusk in an ordinary evening at sunset.

“Ah! Sunflower” (4:01) brings strings and uplifting feelings, the resulting sensation itself serves as both the fruit of that recognition and a recognition about subject matter, about attentiveness to daily life, and about form, with intelligent light.

Flowing out of fragments he chose but might have otherwise never used, “The Echoing Green” (2:56) is a slower darker deeper track to listen and think about, in an associative fashion that is possibly meant to mirror the way consciousness actually moves in daily life, as if concealed in each drop of water is the sea.

Up the pace again with piano sounds including the hammer strikes and reverb pedal wide open, embracing organic form, quotidian experience, and colloquial instrumental language, “Wishful Thinking” (4:33).

“A Little Wool Gathering” (4:38) whimsical with strings bright pace, the listener’s jaw drops open at the wonderful, accidental congruence of this contingent everyday moment. Or so it seems now.

Next the sound is slower and darker, reflective and somber, “He Lamented His Thoughtless Acts” (4:34) echoing the colors of the setting sun in the sky and building facades, vividly etches the gritty details of the urban scene, with dizzy whirls between self and world where the differences blur.

Heavy sustainment systems that allow long term survival, the bare necessities to live another day, behold “LightFighter” (5:11). Here and now I cannot adequately tell you why I like it (I do) and why it works (it does), it features many new textures including passages of backwards sounds, perhaps from a piano. An efficient design, demonstrating the benefits of the element of surprise, lyrical superiority in the air, to simultaneously have superior maneuverability, and to possess suitable melodic effectiveness.

This next track for me allows the present to mingle with memories of the past, in particular. Enjoy glimpses of the “Shadow Lines” (5:23) featuring guitar electronique, expanding loops which seem to effortlessly arrive at this commitment and devotion to the literal and unsymbolic day. 

While the reference remains loose and indeterminate, “The Rain Has Flown” (4:49) favors a classical guitar sound, with electric guitar trills and decorations, a bit of steel guitar (country-western style slide guitar sounds) at a moderate pace that is not so up and also not so dark, to conjure up memories of other rhythm and rhyme.

The title song, “A Day Like Any Other” (4:02), has a nice energetic pace, strummed guitars with electric spices, a pronounced beat, a walk on a sunny day’s conclusion which turns the everyday – and everydayness – into its central theme and subject, as well as an object of representation, ‘a day like any other.’ 

The album’s listening adventure concludes with “The Republic Of Dreams” (4:44) perhaps a bit  energetic for a sleep piece but illustrative of positive dreaming, an upbeat tune. It comes in with a quiet feeling and then rises in tempo and pace, to help us find out more, including how to control something marvelous happening, transforming everything.  It then occurred to me that this happened more often than not, which catches the composer at the very moment of a conversion to an everyday-life aesthetic.

Michael Allison hales from San Francisco, California. In 1992 after several years as bassist, guitarist, and vocalist, for groups like Nona Hendryx & Zero Cool, Richard Hell And The Voidoids, China Shop and Empty House, he began a solo project using the name Darshan Ambient. The name Darshan is derived from the Sanskrit word darshana meaning something like “sight,” “vision,” or “appearance.” In 2008 his CD From Pale Hands To Weary Skies won Best Ambient Album for the New Age Reporter (NAR) Lifestyle Music Awards. His music has been used in films, documentaries and television commercials.

In an interview on the radio program Echoes (October 2013), Allison reveals that “Growing up with the Beatles and progressive rock, I’m always trying to be progressive with the music that I’m doing and that’s really what I, what I consider myself doing is more progressive music than anything else.  And that could be anything. Progressive music could have jazz elements, classical rock, you know, that sort of thing.”

Overall, A Day Like Any Other is an upbeat, melodic and energetic album, positive and well lit, no brooding darkness or strange zones. Most of the songs are a walk on a bright sunny day, moving right along and with a happy feeling, as reflected in the cover art created by Spotted Peccary graphic design master Daniel Pipitone. 

1 City of the Seven Hymns
2 Ah! Sunflower
3 The Echoing Green
4 Wishful Thinking
5 A Little Wool Gathering
6 He Lamented His Thoughtless Acts
7 LightFighter
8 Shadow Lines
9 The Rain Has Flown
10 A Day Like Any Other
11 The Republic Of Dreams

Spotted Peccary Music

Presale will be live at: 

Meditation on Gratitude

Last year was so much better than 2018, and I am most grateful for that. I believe that attitude has everything to do with having a good life. Expectations facilitate feelings of reward or disappointment, satisfaction, or whatever. Existing is often difficult and I hope we can all find our way and never try to force our opinions on others. Of course, good conversation allows for anything!

Thank you Maggie LaNoue for this website and for the various home town websites including and Thanks to Frank Passic for his many interests and for his local history articles. I am grateful for having lived most of 2019 in Olympia renting a room in an apartment with my good friend Jeffrey Bartone, in the place where I experienced my most formative years 1977-1995. I am grateful for my friends there and in other places. I am grateful for the medical care and good health I have. I am grateful for my employment at The B Company and the opportunity to create income based on my interest in music, as well as helping Jason Renaud with the Portland Mental Health projects by serving on the Project Council. I am grateful for the opportunity to have served as an opener at the Olympia Food Coop. I am grateful that I had a car!

2019 was a very good year. What could possibly go wrong?

I am now in Pittsburgh, renting a room from my sister-in-law, and I am in a much better position to contribute to the care for my brother as he experiences his transition to the afterlife. I am very grateful that his distress is not acute at this time. I am grateful that my nephews are providing excellent care for him.

The future has always been elusive to my calculations. I know that I must strive to stay alert for opportunities both anticipated and mystical or mysterious. I hope I can become a better writer and to develop more ways to experience happiness and to create income to weather my own future transition to the afterlife. The afterlife is less important to me than the period leading up to that transition. Who will push my wheelchair around?

For now, both the wheelchair and the afterlife seem remote and I am focused on making more of my time and expectations. I love making plans, I do it every day, new plans. Plans are usually abandoned when new circumstances and opportunities arise. I am thinking always that I might have sex today. I might enjoy an excellent meal. I might have a fantastic dream. I might meet someone new. I might have an unplanned adventure. I will discover something new. I have confidence in that. Confidence is self-delusion but it is effective. Life long learning is a good way of life.

A Wildering Haven

The Wildering Haven Publishing House

Troubled Sleep
by Robin James
Short Story: Horror

The Agitated Skull
by Robin James
Short Story: Horror

Dixon Tower
by Robin James
Short Story: Extreme Experimental Fiction

Right now the long distances of interspace travel to escape from a poisoned earth to a new planet that might be suitable to support human life would take several hundred years to arrive at the destination. What might actually arrive after such a journey?

Change is constant

I have arranged the cassette collection so that if you tap one it will send a ripple through the whole line, you can watch the ripple move along and be transferred to the whole series. Right now David Bowie is visiting and I show him this phenomenon, he is amused. I wonder what it is like to be David Bowie, he seems like a mysterious hero. I do not know how to ask him and I know it would be awkward, so I just joke with him, he relaxes and we laugh.

Its dawn now and my new friend has purchased a cassette for me, she is taking me to a bus stop, there is a greyhound bus parked in the city. We are in New York City and it is early morning. One of the men she is talking to has a new morning face, he looks like he has been up all night with his rheumy eyes. I think he is also a policeman, but he is one of the men at the informal bus stop where my new friend is speaking to the group of friendly men in Spanish, I do not speak Spanish and it is not her native language. I think she begins by apologizing to them for her language skills, they laugh and assure her that they understand what she is saying. She is telling them something and they understand, they sadly look away from me, and seem to assure her that her plan will work just fine. I ask what is going on and she says “You are going to Seattle” and I take the cassette she purchased for me out of the wrapper, once removed you can see its all broken up and useless, the little booklet is fine, the jewel box is somewhat cracked but the cassette itself has been badly damaged and would never play. That is okay, as I do not have a way to play it anyway, I can read the booklet and see the ribbon of audio tape sparkle rainbows.

Nobody seems to care, that is not the purpose of the cassette, they look sadly away. The morning is beautiful, even in New York City. The park where the bus is resting is bathed in new morning light. The new friend of mine has thanked them and now she is on her way, looking away from me sadly while she wishes me a good voyage.

The men are friendly but we speak different languages. The trip to Seattle will begin soon. The light in the park is beautiful and the June leaves all give a pleasant shadow. The cassette is not going to play but the point is not to play the cassette, it is to have something to handle while the time goes by. The bus will be loading soon and I wait. I probably should be concerned about going somewhere by myself, but I feel strangely relaxed and surrendered to the only option I have, which is to go along with my friend’s plan.

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