Nothing Comforts

“Breathe deep the gathering gloom…” (Graeme Edge)

Yesterday, a horror. Today, a sadness. Tomorrow, madness.

Feel free to read today’s short missive at danajae33 while listening to some songs that are not meant for comfort:



Drowning American Dream

“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”                    ~Vicki Harrison

Grief GriefHeaderPhoto_Genesis HealthImage borrowed from Genesis Health Grief Support page.

Sound Healing

That was it for me. I had read enough of the downfall where I realized that we are living in a GIF world while the fall of America circled around us like the wildfires in northern and southern California. It’s been a total wipe out of everything we hold close as American ideals:

  • helping others become something in life to strive to be better than what they were given at birth
  • educating the masses (yes, ALL people) and with minimal tuition, if any
  • feeding the hungry, underserved populations of our nation
  • providing access to healthcare for all
  • ensuring the separation of church and state
  • funding art and music to provide culturally enriching moments for all citizens
  • [enter your ideals here]

Instead, we now have lost total grip on reality by plugging in the worst Plutocrat the world has known. Foolish Americans handed our democracy to a demagogue who cares for nothing more than enriching his personal treasury and that of his family. The Gee-Oh-Pee doesn’t mind helping him if it keeps them in power to undermine all institutions of government because they wish to break free from discipline, rules, and order. The selfish RepubliCANTs want the entire trough. They swathe themselves in pages of the Bible paying ZERO heed to the scripture of the heart of Jesus Christ, their lord and savior. Never has there been such utter nonsensical disregard for what it means to embody the words of good humans who once roamed this earth: Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad.

WAIT. Isn’t the title of this post “Sound Healing?”  Where’s the healing, Dana?

Oh, yes. I was getting to that. So, all of this horror has me doing TWO things very differently than ever before.

  • I listen to the Sirius XM SPA Channel. I’m not kidding. It is relaxing and takes my mind off the world and into a cinematic score as I meander through the streets of San Francisco. I can’t believe I listen to it every day. It’s aurally healing. I remember when we used to call this “New Age Music,” but I guess that’s outdated and trite. So, SPA it is. I’ve heard William Orbit, David Sylvian, Brian Eno, Kitaro, Loreena McKennitt, Enya, and a host of others that I’m new to like David Arkenstone and his “soundtracks of the imagination.”
  • Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. I love it and find just enough time nearly every day to walk among the trees in the park right near my apartment. It’s so beautifully meditative. We have numerous small birds everywhere in that park and I like to stop to hear their sonorous birdsong.

Here are a few bits I’ve researched on Sound Healing:



On Plugs, Digital Aural Madness and V.I.

I wrote a treasure hunt for my digital audio class that I will share with you. Go on this mental hike for fun and plug in some headphones to wrap yourself in aural delights…

OK, so first up: Check out this article from Sound on Sound Magazine (my favorite audio mag published in the U.K.) and read about the recap of the Music Expo SF that occurred earlier this month. For your own fun and learning, answer the following questions:

1. Name two of the workshops they mentioned that had to do with mastering and who were the people guiding the session.

2. Take a close look at the photo of the attendees. See the happy writer/sound engineer/educator seated in the middle in the blurred shot of the photo? That’s ME!

3. List all of the brands who were there exhibiting. After the complete list, choose one and write 3 lines about what the company manufactures.

4. Let’s look at “spectral filtering” for a minute: Check out this web page from Stanford University CCRMA . Go there first and peruse the information. Yes, keep scrolling and scrolling.

WHOA. Now do you see why we call this audio “engineering?”  Yes, it’s because it’s DEEP. OK, so I don’t expect you to even click on one link there, but just in name only, which one catches your attention?  List it for your #5.

5. What does CCRMA stand for?

6. Now check out the background on one of CCRMA’s professors Poppy Crum. (Great name, isn’t it?) Read about the course, but more importantly “About the Professor.” What is Poppy’s role and for what company does Poppy work?

7. Read the overview of the Music 257 class. Does is not sound like the most amazing class? Wow! What would it teach you if you were to take the course?

8. Now that I’ve taken you down a deep rabbit hole, let’s get back to Canvas: Check out the link for the Empirical Labs Distressor EL8 Read through the information page and watch the goofy video of the Empirical Labs rep describing the unit and also demonstrating it to the video team. Do you hear the sonic difference? Now, go to this Slate Digital FG-Stress link.  First, read about the plugin and then watch the less-than-2-minute video on Plugin Development featuring Fabrice Gabriel.  How many compressors are found in this ONE compressor plugin (replicating the hardware version which is called “emulation.”)?

9. Look and listen to the links on the Bricasti M7 reverb.  LIST 3 of the features of the M7. This is a $4000 hardware reverb!

10. Go to the VerbSuite Classics at the Slate Digital link provided. Watch the video of Mr. Slate reading from his teleprompter about the plugin. MORE IMPORTANTLY, listen to the sonic demonstration in the video including vocals, acoustic guitar, and snare drum. How many pro reverbs do you get with the Slate Digital VerbSuite Classics? And with this question, what can you tell me about LiquidSonics? (do a little digging) .


I’ve been over the moon as a Waves plugin user since the 1990’s! Go there now! Great deals! Sign up to receive updates to get some of the most excellent plugs used by the world’s top audio engineers at a fraction of the usual pricing. Waves plugin deals are outstanding!

How about some favorite Virtual Instruments? (V.I.) Here’s a great blog post on someone’s favorite FREE synth VST plugs.

Here is a FABULOUS resource at Sweetwater Sound: A Guide to Buying V.I.

Spectrasonics Omnisphere2 has been capturing my cochlea. From their homepage: “Go wild with using the new Granular Synthesis, Harmonia, Innerspace and many other creative tools inside Omnisphere!”  Yeah!

Of course, everyone LOVES Native Instruments Komplete 11!  Turn up your cans to hear the sonic beauty in the homepage video.

What’s new in Reason 10?  Grain Sample Manipulator and Europa!  WOOF!

So much more to report here, but so little time. I’ve got grading to do.

Until later…

Waves Plugs.png

Back on the Music Train

This summer I’ve been in deep discovery of new and exciting ways to ingest music while PAYING FOR IT. I know many talented musicians who have no outlets anymore to sell their beautiful creations. Not only do people no longer buy CDs, but we don’t even have ways to play CDs anymore since the drives have been removed from modern computers and laptops and few car stereos in any car manufactured from 2012 on have them installed.

I know you can purchase a $29 LC USB CD drive, yes. But how many people have gone that extra step besides me? I teach audio, so I have to keep up with every mechanism that affords a musician to transport us through their minds and hearts via every medium/media available to them to use to distribute. Guess what? THEY DON’T MAKE A LIVING with you STREAMING on Pandora, Spotify, nor any of the other streaming mechanisms. PLEASE don’t tell me that you don’t care! We love music. So, LOVE the musicians creating music and art by showing them some love with a few shekels here and there. Even if you’re streaming most of it, send some $ to the tracks you love via BandCamp, Patreon, CD Baby and any other number of “selling” sites that exist today.

I found THIS band today (from New York) and love them. I listened to several tracks of their latest “album” and bought the vinyl and digital download package to share with my students whom I will cajole into buying tracks they love from artists they love.

And then my favorite sound engineer sent me this link just now to Lana del Rey’s LOVE video:

Get on out there and LOVE your music again by loving the artists!


Today, I found ZENON RECORDS by way of KLIMENT from Sofia, Bulgaria. {Hear James Earl Jones tones emitting}
“Oh, yeah…”

Listen to this: Millvolt DJ Set – recorded @ Kiste Club, Fumoir Floor (Switzerland, Okt. 2016)  2h30min – 129bpm

I’m getting SO MUCH MORE WORK DONE. Productivity mix!

and THIS:


EXTRA! EXTRA!  Read and LISTEN! Waves Scheps 73 on sale for $29 on July 20, 2017 ONLY. Listen to this 10-seconds of what a difference it makes:  the first 5-seconds of this mono audio track with the plug bypassed, then BAM! It’s in!

Groove the Pain Away

“Need a change! Need a positive change!” – Soul II Soul – “Back to Life”

It’s 3:30a.m. and I’ve been reading the news, posts from friends about life, death, tragedy, healing, yoga, food, and all. Catching up in bed, unable to sleep. Suddenly, 1994 overcomes my entire SOUL. I put on headphones to blast “Back to Life” and slip groove out of bed to shake my booty in that slow hip-sway I remember engaging in my 30’s in the 1990’s.

I am transported to the Women’s Motorcycle Weekend in the Santa Cruz Mountains with my dear DJ Laney Goodman spinning my favorites; my sound woman self having built the system that kept 300 biker chicks groovin’ all weekend with Laney’s awesomeness. {I wave good morning to you this day, sweetie, with my arms in the air high-fiving the heavens.)

I am back to DJ love from Page Hodel’s infamous funk-frenzy, The BOX dance-hall-days when thousands of us slip-grooved to the vibe of the 1990’s, 80’s, 70’s. Bodies in a slo-mo swing of hips, shoulders, arms waving slo-groove-style in the air. {Sending you big love this morning, my music goddess pal.}





I have played the same song and shook my bootay for 15-min while typing this and groove-assed this song 3-times before turning the computer on to write. FIND YOUR STRENGTH, people! (now on to “Keep on Movin'”)

Soul II Soul Back to life


Earth Day Celebrations

Earth Day SF Poster

Marches for Science

Humankind = the human race / humanity

Spring is here, but why so much fear?

Uncertainty in the face of sensing what is near.

Leadership lacking, human trafficking. Mental illness abounds.

Yes/No, Up/Down. Turn ourselves around and around.

I watch dystopian future films and see us now living in the creation of that future depicted in the story. What generates a horror-filled future of human alienation and automation in the form of drones programmed with advanced AI to do what humans should do on our own? It begins with pitting corporations–do-anything-to-advance-its- goals type of entities (whether by lying, cheating, and/or bullying)–that have been given the power of personhood to create and propagate rules and regulations over powerless, singular human entities . It continues with self-aggrandizement by the corporate entities who create lunatic leaders overseeing the existence of humankind. Many countries wish to roll up their carpets, shut their borders, and place a demagogue in power to the tune of “isolationism will help us.” No. What helps humans is to be connected to each other, through and across borders, through and across cultures, through and across religions.

Humans repeat, repeat, repeat. This story has been told and unfolded since 9000B.C. The only difference now as the self-proclaimed “most intelligent species on the planet” over this list of amazing animals is that we have proven that our intelligence is simply not so. We are the only species clever enough to build myriad ways that threatens all life on our entire planet and stupid enough to carry it out with brazen willingness.

We must avoid our fatalistic, savage tendencies. We are not the worst murderers among the animal kingdom, check this out. However, we are the only ones to plan, create, and execute plans to kill on a massive scale and we are, again, teetering dangerously close to that end.

Let us learn more about ourselves, our species, our humanity to build upon what is great and good. Let us lead ourselves away from the madness that besets a few of our fellow humans and guide everyone to positivity.



Sunday Treasures

KNOWING that I was meant to “be here now” as I sauntered down the street with the goal of obtaining quarters for my laundry; I walked past a newspaper kiosk to see the SF Weekly with Rebecca Solnit on the cover page. I opened the door to find an empty kiosk save the one copy they put in the front holder.

Take a moment to check out Rebecca Solnita prolific author and brilliant mind whose oeuvre covers history, feminism, wandering, social change, and so much more. The SF Weekly article by Zack Ruskin titled:  Quantum of Solnit – Charting the landscape behind Rebecca Solnit, one of San Francisco’s singularly literary voices, reveals the depth of her integrity in words covering some of her books, essays, and articles.

Some (weakly) pull-quotes:

“I love that, that sense that the stone was thrown into the water a while ago but the ripples are still spreading out and we don’t know for sure.”  and

“I was snatching the teddy bear of despair from the loving arms of the left.”

A couple that I find more intriguing with regard to her latest collection of essays, The Mother of All Questions: (from the introduction) “There is no good answer to how to be a woman; the art may instead lie in how we refuse the question.”


“…but, at its best, social media is what its users make of it, from the Arab Spring to this feminist insurgency, activists have created a sort of Greek chorus to the dramas and of our lives and world.”

Solnit in Infinite City: “Every map is a guide to finding the desirable and navigating the dangerous. California was imagined as the island at the end of the world, because that’s how the stories went and because they needed an island. Every map is a treasure map, every island a Treasure Island.”

I was introduced to her writing by my dear friend, colleague and composer Lenny Carlson who gave me her book: A Field Guide to Getting Lost as I was about to embark on a solo, 30-day trip to Europe in 2015. I was swept away by the traveling bliss accompanied by her thoughtful prose. I carried it from cafe to resting place opening several new pages a day to digest little bits.

As for my pal Lenny, check out the testimonials of those who find him as fabulous as I do!  You must take one of his music classes at City College of San Francisco. Everyone I know who basks in his tutelage has become a better person for it.

One last treasure that I implore you to include in your daily routine (still life with  computer):  Chrome Momentum Dash. It’s free. It’s a joy to wake up every day to see what new high-res picture of some part of our beautiful planet lay before me all day as I work. Each new tab you open in Chrome reveals this lovely productivity extension. Today’s is below:


Momentum today

It’s 12:47p and I have a day of writing before me…

Mixed Bag

Ignorance is bliss until you die from it.

Then you discover that you could have done something different. You could have learned from history. You could have made more intelligent choices as to where to source your information. You could have gathered every scrap of evidence you need to make the case that those in power have no regard for you nor your future nor the future of your children.

GREED runs amok in Washington and America will crash and burn shortly if we do not take steps to educate those who turn their noses to learning.  45 said that he loves uneducated people: “I LOVE the poorly educated!” and they love him.

While he and his family grab all of the riches that the position as the leader of the free world will give him and his brand for his remaining time before impeachment (which is becoming more clear every day), the uneducated will have toxic air to breathe and polluted water to drink and kill any growth in their fields as the one thing truly protecting them becomes gutted:  The Environmental Protection Agency.

Check out the conservative think-tank Heritage Foundation’s plan to gut both the EPA and the Energy department.  THIS is terrorism. This type of mindset will be the undoing of America and if that isn’t terrorism in the name of corporate greed, I don’t know what is.

American Collapse

Taj_Mahal_Atlantic_City_New_Jersey copy