I've been home from Wyoming for two weeks now, and the rhythms of life are returning somewhat to normal, which has its upside and its downside. On the one hand I'm happy to be back with the great friends, clients and family who populate my world and give me opportunities to work and play in the style to which I'm accustomed ... but I don't want to let go of the expansive view my focused creative time in Wyoming allowed me, nor let it slip away and with it the buoyancy of my spirit.
The weather was perfect for fall gardening - until yesterday - and so I've revisited the gardens of my gardening clients with long, happy days of work and fresh air.
The studio has been extremely busy, thanks to a stellar weekend of arranging and recording for Robert Resnik's upcoming solo release on Thunder Ridge Records; special thanks to co-producer Mary McGinniss for her calm and steady hand as far as that goes, and pitch-perfect cream-filled harmony vocals that still fill my dreams. We tracked three new songs ( I still can't believe it) and I was able to continue working on instrumental parts and my own harmony vocals later in the week. Hurry up, Robert, and come up with a title for this unique recording because I can't wait to call it something, and I promise I will try to finish mixing the project by the end of the week!
In addition to working with my guitars, I've been developing parts and recording my Weber mandola, a newly purchased addition to my stable of instruments, has brought untold treasures and pleasures. Just once removed from a mandolin, the voice of this stringed angel has entranced my imagination.
Last night it was great to get back out and play with my band, THE HOLY PLOW. The venue was the bar at Ariel's Restaurant in Brookfield VT and the occasion was a wedding reception, and the timing of it coincided with a terrific snow storm - the first one of the season - in Vermont a very pretty, very slippery storm, but nothing overwhelming - this far north. Evidently Northampton MA south of us a few hours is still experiencing power outages from it! We rocked the small room packed with friendly revelers, mostly from Baltimore and the honored guests of newlyweds Robert and Michael; congratulations to a very lovely couple who treated us like family!!
It’s been over a month since I wrote any news but that’s not indicative of a lack of news. I got wrapped up in Wyoming, drove out there to the Ucross Foundation to work on music. This journey begun with a road dropped me deep into the mesmerizing country of my own true world and a gift of time and seclusion… like the back road out of Gillette led me into hills of sun-hollowed grass, to towns, like Recluse and Spotted Horse, herds of antelope, thunderstorms, hand painted signs and ranch tracks, leaning cottonwoods, and snakes of shining river …
So I worked in my studio, showed up for dinner each night at the foundation kitchen and when I got tired of myself, looked around at the hills and went out. Being near a couple towns, Buffalo and Sheridan, it wasn’t long before the music happening around these parts made itself known to me. I found the Thursday night open mic at the Occidental Hotel and the Tuesday night jam at the Senior Center. I found Q-Man Music and Pawn Shop with its museum in the back, and Jalan Crossland over in Tensleep. In the middle of it all, a vintage style mandola arrived in a box, made by Bruce Weber in Montana. Seems Wyoming had ideas for me. So I took my music down those roads, laid out in dusty formation on old native paths, and played what was in my heart. I’ve got recordings of what I did, that you can find on https://soundcloud.com/kristina-stykos/sets/kristina-stykos-new-music-in/