Cello Madness in SF

Ova Nova performed at ViraCocha in San Francisco on Friday night. This “Cello Madness” performance was presented by Cello Joe and featured five cellocentric acts. Interspersed were improv cello jams from the performers. As always, it was a magical night. Hannah Addario-Berry performed Zoltan Kodaly’s sonota on her specially tuned cello. Her skill and musicality are astounding and inspiring. She spoke about her amazing “Scordatura Project” incorporating this sonata along with new pieces by contemporary composers written specifically for her to perform using this special tuning. Cello Joe blew us away with his usual beatboxing cello one man-bandness. He ROCKS! Josh McClain brings virtuosity to completely new lands. You have to see him do his stuff, AWESOME! Gaea Soul infused the evening with tasty cello grooves mixed with luscious beats and positive lyrics of oneness and energy. Kirana and I were stoked and honored to be part of this magical scene. Thanks to all of you that shared in the experience!

Ova Nova performing at Musical Sanctuary 10.25.2014

Upbeat Times Article

MUSICAL SANCTUARY Artists’ Showcase Concert presented by
A Miracle Production – AMP % Shekeyna Black.

MUSICAL SANCTUARY Artists’ Showcase Concert presented by A Miracle Production [AMP] which produces and promotes concerts, festivals and events focusing on economic and environmental sustainability.

The concept for MUSICAL SANCTUARY is to showcase some of the unique talent based in Sonoma County. Mixing musical genres in the artist line-up offers a smorgasbord of songs for the audience.

Featured Artists:
* Guthrie Galileo
* Ova Nova
*The Linda Ferro Trio
*The Howlin’ Tramps
* DJ Loisaida 369

Kirana and Artemis’ Debut Show

On May 24th @ Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa, Artemis will be playing a set of new arrangements and new songs with Kirana Peyton. Kirana on violin and voice, Artemis on cello and voice. In addition, the sounds will include original electronic accompaniment composed by Kirana. This performance is part of the Essence of Energy stage presentation. For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/509484269141840/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Conception Vessel One plays at Amanda Fucking Palmer house concert

My good friends Mike and Katie were wonderfully crazy enough to purchase a house concert by Amanda Fucking Palmer for 50 people. The party was last night at their home in the heart of Eastbania. The show was amazing. Katie made vegan gluten-free soul food that was to die for. Karry Walker and Joe Rut performed some of their truly awe inspiring songs. For my set, I was joined by Kirana Peyton, who added a whole world of richness with her vocal harmonies, guitar, harmonium and bodhran. Amanda totally rocked the house during her set. Definitely a night to remember.

Alpha Bitch Soup video from Arlene Francis Center show 8/14/13

What a great night of music. Heather Marie Van Cleve was even more amazing than last time I saw her, which is hard to believe. Rags is rolling-in-the-mud fun. Andrew Maurer found a sweet pocket of rocking musicality and songwriting. Nikos Eliot Flaherty-Laub brings playful contemplation to life surrounded by delicious sounds.

Here is a video of us put together by Eye-Clash Ragazine

And one from our July show

Artemis’ band “Wonder Wench” won 24-Hour band contest!

Wow! Gabe Meline of the Bohemian picked names out of a hat to form 5 bands on Friday afternoon to perform two originals and one cover on Saturday evening at the Norbay awards ceremony. Five local groovy cats (Bill Bowker, Leilani Clark, Heather Irwin, Steve Jaxon, and Jacquelynne Ocaña) would judge which band gave the best performance. Each band had a drummer, guitarist, bass player, singer, and “accessory”. My cello and I were in the “accessory” category. I wondered if I should have entered as a singer. I wanted to be able to sing AND play cello. I was hoping our official singer wouldn’t mind some backing vocals.

Our band ended up with 6 musicians as there were a few musicians left over after bands of 5 were formed. Initially, a second drummer was considered, but that would have led our amazing drummer, Devon, to play guitar instead – a move graciously offered but one nobody seemed to want – and now I know why. So, we were given an extra guitarist – Keith. This was fine as our initial “guitarist”, Matthew, also played ukelele and wanted a chance to try that out. Our first not so good news came almost immediately, when we found out that our singer, Jeremy had to work until 11pm Friday night. We made plans for the rest of us to work on the music and have something ready for him when he showed up.

We had some initial difficulties deciding on what two originals to perform. We all had obviously very different styles we were used to playing. I loved our bass player, Alex’s, style and found it was easy to fall into a groove with him. Devon seemed able to play anything, but I saw him open up a bit more with Alex’s more quirky stuff. Keith and Matthew had an immediate rapport, easily following anything the other did – leaving me a bit lost. We ultimately decided to perform an original from a jam that Alex started, and a blues jam initiated by Keith. For our cover I suggested “I want to be your dog” by Iggy Pop or “Uncontrollable Urge” by Devo. We decided on the former, which ended up being perfect.

We practiced and practiced and practiced. At one point we took a break – I was EXHAUSTED and asked Devon what time it was. 10pm… I was nervously hoping I could make it until our singer showed up. Jeremy finally showed up around 11:30pm. We had thought the practice room (provided to us by Musicians Co-op) was available until 4am, but it turned out we had to leave by 12:30am. YIKES! not much time to teach Jeremy the songs. We showed him what we had and he made recordings. We decided to reconvene at 10am the next morning. We would have the rehearsal space until 5pm and the show was at 7pm. Insanely dedicated, Jeremy stayed up until 5am writing lyrics. It took me until 3am to fall asleep, due to my excitement – I was like a kid the night before their birthday party.

Back at the rehearsal space Saturday – practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice. With 3 hours left, we had only gotten one of our songs tight albeit the most difficult of the three. Our second original song was more straight forward than the first and became even more so as we felt the crunch. Being a blues tune, it didn’t suffer too much from the simplicity. I suggested that we add a tap break with Keith and I trading “solos”. There was some hesitation at first by my band mates as there was no way to practice this on the carpeted studio floor and time was ticking. I assured them, I could tap and we set the form. Then onto “I want to be your dog”. Pure simple rock fun! We nailed it. Jeremy thanked us for choosing a song without many lyrics. He thought there was no way he was going to have time to learn a cover until he looked at the sheet and saw “there are only nine words” – a slight exaggeration.

Matthew suggested the name “Wonder Wench”, which was fine with everyone. We decided to wait and see if anything else came up, but it was soon apparent we had no time for name brainstorming. I had already decided to wear my red hotpants rocksuit. Once I knew the band name, I decided my Wonder Woman boots with taps would be my shoes for the night. Backstage I was exhausted, really truly exhausted. Katherine Copenhaver was thankfully there to keep me awake with some highly enjoyable goofing off. Wonder Wench played second and gave it all we had – full rock onslaught. The judges were pleased. The rest is history.

Read the Bohemian’s article about the show and see more photos at:

24-Hour Mania!.

24-hour Band Contest

Put my name in a hat on Friday night and by Saturday eve had met a bunch of awesome musicians.  Our makeshift band “Wonder Wench!” with all its ups and downs squeezed into 24 hours made our way onto the stage.  Squeezing our six piece ensemble onto the Arlene Francis Center stage and three songs squeezed into however many minutes…  We managed to grab the crown.  Thanks to everyone that made it happen.


Join us on June 8 @ the Starry Plough

Alpha Bitch Soup has a VERY special show coming up on Saturday, June 8 @ the Starry Plough in Berkeley.  We will be playing with the Mockingbirds, my good friend Paul McNees’ band.  You can hear Paul’s guitar playing, marxophonemanship, and singing on my Conception Vessel One CD.  Headlining the show is Misner & Smith a magical pairing offering up refreshingly beautiful contemporary folk music.  WE PLAY FIRST @ 9pm Come check out the show!