Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Amy Denio (Seattle) received a 2007 GAP to cover the artist’s fee to compose, record and produce the sound track for Loud Omission, a new dance piece created by choreographer Carla Barragan. Loud Omission features four dancers, video and visual projections of the paintings of Ecuadorian artist Paula Barragan, and Denio’s original recorded music score. The piece will premiere in Seattle in the winter of 2007/08.

Amy received a 2004 GAP to supplement the artist’s own time and expenses while producing print-ready masters of three collections of music compositions. “I have been composing music for much of my life, and have been operating a publishing company, Spoot Music, since 1990. Periodically, I receive requests for scores of my music. Few of my compositions have been formally prepared as sheet music.” The resulting project will entail a minimum of 200 hours of work devoted to setting and editing scores. Included among the scores will be a 20 sax quartet composition, basic charts for 20 song compositions, and a 10-song cycle Non Lo So, Polo, as orchestrated for chamber octet and four voices.

Amy also received a 1995 Fellowship and a 2000 GAP.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

When I was 16 I lived in Dublin, Ireland for four months, and fell in love with the people and the culture—but I’ve never had a chance to return. I have been working and traveling (too much!) as an independent musician/composer since 1990, so receiving the Paul Goode Fellowship in Ireland was a dream come true. I finally spent a quiet, magical month in County Mayo, one of the most gloriously beautiful places in the world.

While looking for my mysterious new home with no address, one of the first people I met was neighbor and musician Pat Fadden, who promptly invited me to join him and his friend Mick McLaughlin to play in the local pubs of Westport twice a week. We had many nights of hilarity and inspiration, and I loved their wonderful dark sense of humor.

Italian sculptress Elisabetta Jacomini invited me to participate in a concert at the SHED, her performance space in Dublin. I played solo, accompanied poet Nell Regan, and improvised with a creative (and beer-loving) young Polish singer, Ewa Gigon. It was an inspired evening of collaboration, and Nell and I plan to work together in the future. Elisabetta and I are planning to do a collaborative sculptural/sound installation; hopefully we’ll meet in Catalunya, Spain in September to begin brainstorming.

I was invited to play in Dublin the next night with a hilarious improvising ensemble called United Bible Studies (three singers, two saxes, two guitars, bass, three drummers wearing yellow hard hats, and Gavin on noise and conducting when it got too loud or stupid). I met dozens of fascinating artists living in town, and hope to return soon!

I also spent four nights in London, where I played with some great musicians, and met with sound artist Kaffe Matthews. Kaffe has started designing and making “sonic furniture,” and with her invitation, I have since applied for three grants to create and install a “sonic bench” (a bench with sound moving through 12 speakers inside the structure, giving a nice massage) at the Seattle Center. It’ll be unveiled at the One Reel Arts Festival during Bumbershoot, Labor Day Weekend 2008. I plan to do sonic workshops with kids through Arts Corp this summer, going on field trips around King County to capture local sounds. It will be my first installation, and will be quite a challenge to realize (within budget!).

I spent several months in Taiwan in 2007, arranging and producing traditional and popular Taiwanese songs with samba beats. The nine songs are performed by about 25 12–15 year olds. While in Ireland, I had time to archive and edit all the field recordings of Taiwan, and integrate them into this CD project. I plan to release the CD on my record label in the coming months. It was amusing, listening to the sounds of temples in the jungles of Taiwan while looking at Croagh Patrick, the holiest peak in Ireland…

I recorded several pieces at the Goode House (not only gorgeous views, but great acoustics when the house wasn’t chattering in the gale force winds!), including “Ballintubber Abbey,” inspired by a very strong vision I had in the abbey’s graveyard. I noticed a beautiful new grave there, and on it was inscribed the usual “RIP” but also, “There are so many songs to sing.” Mick Cuffe was a musician! What a moving idea for a gravestone inscription! As I pondered on that phrase, I could suddenly see him in the pub, friends all around, a place full of music and hilarity, life and warm light. The next instant I saw his funeral, same friends ranged around the grave where I was standing, and I felt a truly primordial sorrow that his candle had been extinguished. A little shaken, I went back to the car, started driving, and instantly burst into tears. The thought of a musician gone silent haunted me for days, so I was driven to compose and record a song about it. The next time I played with Pat and Mick, I told them about it—and naturally they knew Mick Cuffe, so the story came full circle. “Oh, he was a real talent, a one-man band. A comedian. He died of drink.”

Thank you, Paul Goode and Artist Trust, for one of the most awe- inspiring and restorative months of my life.

Learn more about Amy’s trip at www.flickr.com/deniaural and www.youtube.com/deniaural (nine “adventure slide-show” videos Amy produced while in Ireland).

Amy Denio