NOTES ON THIS CD
The Bowl Full of Sound is a band I called into being. These are long time friends and every one of them is so strong, independent and musically courageous. We all jump into the current of this mighty, musical river and off we go.
This music HAD to be recorded live with an audience. The nature of the performances is improvisational. We need the audience to help find our way and be the other half of the circle. We create most of each performance from that wonderful, wild, moment to moment realm. We come to one another by inventing interlocking parts, melodies, harmonies, lyrics, textures and soundscapes. There are also some wonderful, written songs. Our desire is that you will feel the exquisite composition and arrangement of the written songs, and the thrilling, skillful, seat of the pants composition of the improvisations. They all fit together in my ears. At the gigs, the excitement and danger of creating in this way is palpable for us and the audience.
We were blessed to record at the Dance Palace in Point Reyes Station, Ca in December, 2001 and July, 2002 and at Yoshi's in Oakland, Ca in November 2002. Both rooms had full, vibrant houses of friends and music lovers. In keeping with the "anything can change at any time and that is the real improvisation" feeling of this music, Jami Sieber was unable to be with us at Yoshi's, but then the great gift of Julie Wolf appeared. So they are both on this cd contributing their instrumental/vocal magic and gracious personal vibes.
Rhiannon is a vibrant, gifted singer, composer and master teacher who has been bringing her potent blend of world music, jazz, improvisation and storytelling to audiences for over three decades. Her journey has taken her from a South Dakota farm to New York, where she studied theater and earned her MFA from Cornell University. For the next ten years, she worked as a singer, actor and director in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Her richly expansive and experimental vocal style is greatly influenced by her early life on the South Dakota prairie and the vibrant musical cultures of these cities.
Rhiannon currently performs and records with 2 diverse and brilliant ensembles: Her stellar jazz trio features Frank Martin, Alex Acuña and Abraham Laboriel. Their forthcoming CD will be released in late 2004. Rhiannon's other project is BOWL FULL OF SOUND, a revolutionary musical concept combining the instrumental virtuosity of Frank Martin, piano, and Jami Sieber, electric cello, with fellow improvisational vocalists Joey Blake and David Worm. In May 2003 The Bowl released their first CD, "Out of the Blue" produced by Rhiannon.
In addition to her ongoing solo and ensemble performing and recording career, Rhiannon enjoys a longtime musical collaboration with vocal improvisation master Bobby McFerrin. Since 1986 Rhiannon has been a member of his vocal orchestra Voicestra. In 1997 she recorded Circle Songs with Bobby, and has been a featured soloist on his U.S. and European tours since1997.
In 1976 Rhiannon co-founded the groundbreaking all-female jazz quintet Alive! This pioneering group toured internationally and released three albums during their ten years together. She is also a founding member of the innovative a cappella ensembles Voicestra and SoVoSo'.
Rhiannon's love of music, theater and the unexpected has resulted in performance pieces and collaborations with poets, storytellers, performance artists, ritualists, visual artists and dancers around the world. These include composing and performing a solo a cappella score for San Francisco's acclaimed dance company ODC and choreographer, Brenda Wey; a commission score for Maya Angelou's historic inaugural poem "On the Pulse of the Morning", and ongoing teaching and performance with Ruth Zaporah, renowned founder of Action Theater. Rhiannon has also created a solo performance piece, TOWARD HOME, told in improvisational theater, monologue and song. Portions of this show were recorded on Rhiannon's 1992 CD of the same title. TOWARD HOME continues to be performed and refined as a theatrical production, and is currently in development as a film.
For many years Rhiannon has been on the cutting edge of vocal improvisation and performance art. She has appeared at Monterey Jazz Festival, Montreaux Jazz Festival, Vancouver International Folk Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, The Restless Gravity Festival (Wales), The Festival of Romance (New Zealand) and many others.
Teaching has also been a strong and continual theme in Rhiannon's professional life. In clinics and workshops around the world she teaches her own unique vocal improvisation process, developed over a period of thirty years. In addition to her own workshops, she has taught collaboratively with Ysaye Barnwell, Joey Blake, Keith Terry, Frank Martin, Ruth Zaporah and Marion Rosen. In October 2000 Rhiannon released "Flight: Rhiannon's Interactive Guide to Vocal Improvisation" (Sounds True). This unique 2 CD package is the realization of her vision to provide singers and musicians a learning experience that is challenging, entertaining and joyful.
Rhiannon is deeply interested in the relationship between music and healing. In 1994 through 1997 she went to the Balkan region and India where she participated in social change programs for refugees and for the Ganges River that included music and improvisation. After decades of exploration in her performances, teaching, and personal life, she has created a Sound Healing Program, which initiated through the San Francisco-based Institute for Health and Healing. She is bringing her experience and her gifts to the hospital and hospice settings, creating improvised music for individual, terminally ill patients and infants. This program was developed through the generosity of a grant from Marin Arts Council.
First and foremost, Rhiannon is a singer- a captivating entertainer and a true collaborative artist, with a vision of music as a vehicle for healing, transformation, and social change.