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Katie Henry: News & Blog

Leaving the country soon - August 1, 2010

Just three weeks from leaving the country for a year. I find myself looking hopefully forward to playing music in Jimmy Bozeman in Prague. I hope the new flight cases get here in time for my instruments. Its about time. I have played the same instruments for 18 years, I realized yesterday. In all those years and many, many flights, I got only one crack in my guitar. It happened when I tried to carry it on and was made to gate check the case - the baggage handlers threw the case down on the tarmack as I watched from the plane's window. It was horrible. Keith Cary is finally fixing the crack as I speak, and it will be a relief to no longer worry about flying with my dear instruments.

ETM in Austin - July 17, 2010

Looking out over beautiful scrub and live oak north of Austin, taking a break at the Education Through Music colloquium. Thinking about what it means that I was born here, and wondering what effect this landscape has had on me and my family even though I grew up in Alaska. It is hot. And very, very beautiful.

Reading by candle light - July 9, 2010

My children got really excited about reading by candle light in the back yard tonight. Fiala said on her way out, "I like sad books. Books that break your heart." Oliver plowed through a spy novel. I did not bring them in for bed until almost midnight. NIght birds are serenading now... It was almost as good as the Oregon Country Faire.

ETM Family Arts Day Camp - June 23, 2010

George started ETM Family Arts Day Camp today with this brilliance: "Day 3, Wednesday, is traditionally the 'tired day.' Take your hand, put it on your shoulder, and as you fling it out in front of you, tell yourself: 'Away, tiredness! Off with you, weariness!'" I love the group I'm working with in Sacramento. A lot. I hope I work with them for decades to come.

Autoharps - May 24, 2010

Every music festival and camp is like an archeological dig, turning up strings of connection between past, present and future. Opening doors and collapsed arches, stories of old loves and new friends. Some are people and some are songs, some are instruments and some are ideas. On the drive home, we sift gently through new memories before they become dust. We drink the last of the tea from the thermos we filled to bring on stage. We listen to recordings of tunes we're bringing home. Think of the set list for next year, what songs we still need to hear again before we get it right. Hearts and souls make their way back to the every day, fuller for the singing.

VAE pre-dress rehearal - May 1, 2010

Watch your vowels. Don't lose your mouth form. Look up from your music. Don't look like you're about to lose it.

Sublime time at the the Palms - April 25, 2010

Ok. Our MudLark/Tree-o show at the Palms Playhouse in Winters tonight was sublime. How lucky I am to play with such exquisite musicians for such a full, warm, welcoming opera house full of friends. I will bathe in the glow of this one for a long, long time... aahhhh.

kids moving mics - April 6, 2010

My children are on the AFF stage crew setting mics at the festival tonight. I am not helping them. I am not even there in the audience yet. But my brother is on the crew with them. Trial by fire.

Walking to false outer point - April 5, 2010

Blueberry bells ringing silently in the Tongass while my children gallop through mossy tunnels and I walk with my mother, talking about snails and wasabi rice crackers. I love being at home in this forest.

Peepers - March 27, 2010

Attended a concert of spring peepers in chorus at West Pond this evening when the lights went out. The poppies in the butterfly garden were furled up tight for the night, but there was quite a lot of moonlight present to pink up the redbud blossoms. A stunning goose solo in the northern half of the pond punctuated the dynamic gatherings of frog voicings.

my daddy sounds like Mose Allison - March 16, 2010

Listening to recordings of my dad's new songs for the upcoming folk festival. Oliver came down from bed and commented on the sound quality, suggested that I plug my computer into the stereo so "we all can listen" as he goes to sleep. I used to say he was a blues player, but tonight I think he's really sounding like Mose Allison. And the songs just keep coming.

Touring Ireland! - March 13, 2010

The Vocal Art Ensemble tour to Ireland is becoming more real by the week. The dates are set for September 2-11, 2010. We'll start in Shannon and end in Dublin. I will already be living in Prague, but will join the choir in Shannon to hop on the bus. It's all very exciting, though it will be hard to leave my kids right then, just after they have started in Czech public school. We throw ourselves into life and swim as hard and gracefully as we can. All of us.

Heading overseas - February 10, 2010

Life is swept right now with plans and preparations for our family's upcoming sabbatical year in the Czech Republic. This summer we'll leave our cat and belongings behind and head off to Prague for a year. Petr has received a Fullbright research fellowship there for the year to expand his brain function computer modeling skills, so and we're all tripping off across the ocean to improve our Czech language skills and live an expat life for a while. I'm thankful that Jimmie Bozeman is there... a touchstone of my musical past to hook up with. We visited with him and his family and played some music in Nizbor and Prague this past summer, and it was a great comfort to slip right back into an old musical friendship. MudLark is plotting things before we leave and angling for what we'll be doing when I return. I think Laura will record a new solo cd while I'm gone... and so our musical lives unfold together and apart.

Edge of the Wasatch - January 1, 2010

If you race the sun to the lip of your specific hill
The warm kitchen far behind
You climb inside the glow zone
Where morning rays pull illumination from under the snow.
The oranges of Red Butte kindle over your shoulder
The grey ice of blue moon night is drawn up in the gathering purse strings of shadow,
Now lit to soft ivory and straw on south-facing slopes.

If you stop just below the rim,
Teasing the salmon-tinted path
that pushes eagerly around the corner to greet your feet,
Stop for a breath to see the shadow retreating up the valley on your coattails.
The cusp of a peachy new year is sweeping up behind you

If you watch too long, high cirrus wisps of the next storm mute the path
If you step around into the sun and greet it, the glow zone is not so seeable,
and you must focus up and down to hold yourself there
Two-toed tracks of Mule deer punch into the pinked crust
Munched, seedless grass stems bent over into the way
Newer than sign from yesterday

As you crest the rise
There might be another ridge above the canyon
Drawing you on
This, too, becomes
Your favorite place in the world

Code id mah node. - December 29, 2009

Oops. picked up a fever. must have picked my nose too much after that potty stop at the Texaco in Green River. Driving back to Salt Lake tomorrow in the storm stocked with cough drops and kleenex. Still, I love southern Utah more now than after the disaster float trip with Melissa down the Green River in '94. Did I ever tell you that story?

Christmas in Utah again - December 24, 2009

Morning walk up the hill to the Bonneville-Shoreline trail, drinking in the snow, ignoring the brown air in the valley. When I get beyond the massive, opulent house-compounds to the edge of the Wasatch, that's when things are magical here. At night there are sometimes coyotes, but today, just footprints and quiet. Can't be grumpy there. Merry Christmas! And thanks for the birthday love yesterday. It was a sweet day.

Fleece daughter - December 9, 2009

Crunchy frost on the field! Crackles as I cross, soles crush the icy crust on leaf edges. My son stays behind to skate on a frozen bike path puddle with his pack of pubescent cronies. I have a plastic mug of steamy tea and a fleece daughter in my hand.

Classroom Teaching - November 16, 2009

A cute little kindergardener threw up on me today. She preceded this charming behavior by panting like a small, wild animal and rolling around on the classroom couch. I was trying to get her to the bathroom before she blew... I wonder what the incubation period is for whatever she has, and how long it will be until I start to throw up too.

Mothering - August 10, 2009

I keep telling myself that there is artistry in mothering... and the stream of songs that flows just above my head is always there to dip into. After the garage is clean. and the classroom is set up. and the coworker politics are soothed and the camping reservations are made. and the sandwiches are packed. and the soup...

Walk - May 20, 2009

Walk walk walk walk walk in the morning.

Alaska Folk Festival - April 17, 2009

I am listening to avalanches and psyching up for the opening night of the folk festival tonight... Avalanche chutes out my bedroom window. small yellow warblers. dogs without leashes. dynamite blasts for the new parking garage downtown. Hiram says they're overbuilding the foundation just in case they ever decide to build a new state Capitol building on the site some day.
Massive ravens. Smoked salmon. Still waters out on the channel, fishing boat with orange dinghy headed out for the day. Sarah Palin lambasted in folk song, Green house on the hill crammed with an entire gene pool. And 4 laptops. And dozens of boiled easter eggs. Laughing hysterically with Hiram and Petr now that all the easter bunnying is done. The best part was hucking the plastic eggs into the snow holes in the front yard, trying to avoid the poo being uncovered by spring rain, hoping that the eggs would make it through till morning despite the ravens. Juneau rain begins, also clouds break up. Coffee is excellent. Daddy turned 70 last night and we jammed him into his next decade until the wee hours. Petr, Hiram, Riley and Lori, Oliver, Fiala Mom, Kim and Phil, Charlie and Craig, Will, Nellie, Martha and Jim.

The morning after - April 5, 2009

Watching the cricket over the back fence, thinking about the perfect acoustics in the room at Paul and Candy's where MudLark played last night. Didn't go skiing again, will finish my taxes and go for a gentle walk instead. It's spring in the Valley... I cherish the bees.

April Fool - April 1, 2009

I am a high plain, stretched between jagged peaks. There is new dry snow on the passes, enough to outline footprints and hold them present for a while. There is a wind that drifts ice crystals in after a bit, the western slopes are warming.

MudLark at N-Street - February 28, 2009

I'm still getting ready for the MudLark show at N-street co-housing tonight. The CDs are counted and packed. The new tuner batteries are in.. it's gonna be good!

N Street - February 28, 2009

MudLark is playing at N-Street Cohousing tonight for the second February in a row, and it will be a great show. We have some exciting new songs worked up, and I biked off to get batteries for my banjo tuner this morning, so the song transitions are bound to be seamless. :-) Come out to this lovely house concert series - they have great refreshments, kind folks, and an amazing garden to walk through.
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