Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Wyoming is the perfect state

I have arrived in Ucross, Wyoming where I'll be spending twelve days in seclusion at the Ucross artist residency with eight other artists. I have been so overcome by the bounty of beauty and creative space on offer that I have few words left in me to describe it. So I'll let my pictures--and my new songs--do the talking.

Pictures in order of appearance:
1. The composer's studio from afar, assigned to me as my studio for my time here.
2. Close up of the composer's studio.
3. Left side of my studio
4. Right side of my studio
5. View out the window above my writing desk
6 - 9. Views from the composer's cabin, including a close encounter with a deer.

Amazing, huh. As you can tell from the pictures, there's not much to complain about here. And the pictures barely capture the reality. For the full experience, you'll need to imagine the humidity-free, 70 degree air with a gentle breeze. The warmth of the sunlight. The scent of grasses. The sound of birds.

I feel blessed and inspired here. After waking up at the residency house, I bike or walk the half mile to my studio. Then I spend most of every day sitting at my incredible studio and writing, messing around on my piano, keyboard and guitar, staring out the window, sitting on my porch staring at the mountains, or wandering with a notebook out the front of my cabin to sit by the water's edge. Occasionally I take a catnap on the couch. And sometimes I have close encounters with wild life. Today I saw a deer (pictured), a beaver in the creek outside my cabin, a great blue heron coming in for a landing, a bunny rabbit, and--best of all--a den of five baby foxes who were playfully checking us out as we checked them out. And lest you think I have nothing to show for this superabundance of riches, I have finished four songs in the last three days and have started three others. The time and space here is exactly what I needed after the adventures I had in Minnesota.

For those of you who like rough demo tracks of new songs, today I spent some time recording some new demos. If you want to listen and are willing to forgive the incredibly low fidelity recordings and informal performances (including some on piano--which I don't actually know how to play!), you are welcome to listen online. Here are the songs I recorded today, all written over the last few weeks in Minnesota and Wyoming.

Color Me In (a romantic ballad)
Oh Yes (a talking blues love song)
Quarter on the Rails (an Americana train song)
Take Me Slowly (a dark indie rock ballad)
Lucky for Me (an Americana blues song / unfinished)

I hope you enjoy them. If there are any you particularly enjoy--or if you know any music publishers, filmmakers, television people, or celebrities who might be interested in any of these songs--let me know. I'm always open to good offers. ;-)

I'm listening to your songs now. Nice to hear your voice!! The internet is amazing. See you soon!
xo jenn
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