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My very favorite annual concert is tomorrow, June 21st, the solstice gig known as Garden of Memory. I’ll be performing with didgeridoo master Stephen Kent, we’ll be playing our chestnuts, our new works, and some improvisations. Stop by for a bit and then wonder on through the cavernous halls with 50+ musicians gracing every square inch of the Julia Morgan designed treasure of a building, the Chapel of Chimes. Not to be missed I reckon!

Early August will bring Trance Mission to the Indijinus Festival in Oregon. They don’t have the lineup online yet but check back soon, we’ll be performing either August 10 or 11th in case you’re in the Oregon ‘hood!

Club Foot Orchestra will be performing a marathon of some of our silent film scores as part of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival on September 15th at the glorious Castro Theatre. Bring your kids, grannies, and grandkids!

It is with profound gratitude that I have received the venerable San Francisco Arts Commission award to compose a work on climate change in collaboration with Cellista and her Juxtapositions Chamber Ensemble in 2019. More on that as it develops!

Hope to see you out there!

Hello there,

Thanks for stopping by. A few things to announce including a very exciting commission wherein I’ll be composing for 30 bass clarinets! The piece will be composed by five composers in dedication to legendary clarinetists Harry Sparnaay and Guido Six. It will be premiered at ClarFest 2018 in Ostend, Belgium this July. I hope to then arrange to have it performed in the Bay Area with the bevy of excellent clarinetistry we have around here. If you’ve got any spare change in your pocket you can become a part of commissioning this new work by donating here. Thanks in advance.

Trance Mission is toiling away at a new release in hopes of returning to Europe and the US in the fall. Meanwhile….Stephen Kent and I will be performing our duo version at the ever shiny Red Poppy ArtHouse on Saturday, May 12th, 7:30pm. Tickets are only available at the door that opens at 7pm.

Way in advance….Club Foot Orchestra will be doing a retrospective of our live music to silent film scores at the Castro Theatre on Saturday, September 15 at SF Silent Film Festival.

And closer to now…on June 9th, the as-yet-un-renamed Beth Custer/David James Ensemble (send me your ideas for a band name please!) will be making it’s premiere performance at the legendary Bird & Beckett music series. This is sponsored by the wonderful Jazz in the Neighborhood

…the organization that strives to help musicians garner living wages. Imagine that?I have seen some incredible musicians on this little stage in the back of a great, and I mean great, bookstore in Glen Park. More details as we get closer.

Peace love and harmony, please



I have been collaborating with Cathy Lee Crane for many years. From her doc Pasolini’s Last Words to the Unoccupied Zone: The Impossible Life of Simone Weil, to the experimental On the Line, to the Eighty Mile Beach Red Helicopters video, we’re a team, she calls me ‘her Nino Rota’ ;).

Her latest film, The Manhattan Front, is premiering at the Roxie, February 10th at SFIndie Film Festival. There’s two screenings, February 10 & 14, and I’ll be performing with members of the Dave Len Scott Quartet on the February 10th screening. DLSQ played on much of the soundtrack. Big shout out to my Ithaca musician pals who were filmed playing as the DLSQ, especially Danny Spear and Mark Sammo, who also recorded the singers. It’s a treasure of a film, don’t miss it!



It’s been a minute since I’ve posted….I’m not much of a blaaahger as you can see. Thanks to all of you who’ve attended my concerts this year, without my fans I would not have a career in music, thank you for your continued fandom!

Trance Mission Duo

My last show of the year is in one of Bernard Maybecks gorgeous homes, a sweet Berkeley micro-venue: Saturday December 16th, 3pm, with Clarinet Thing. If you missed our recent sold-out concert at the Hillside Club, this is your chance to hear what we’re up to.

In the new year on January 6th, 7:30, we’ll be presenting playwright/performer Joy Cutler at Red House Speak Easy in her solo show Anatomy Lesson. Joy lives in Philadelphia, this will be her first performance on the west coast of this poignant work.

In January~February I’ll be touring parts of Europe with the ever fabulous musician Stephen Kent. As most of you know, we founded Trance Mission together in ’91. Check my homepage for tour details as they develop.

Happy holidays,



Hey Everyone,
Where would I be without you? I’m in deep gratitude to you all. To mom Jean Huffman who bought me my first clarinet, mail order, the same one I play today! To Lucija Kordic and Alexander Bailey who’ve designed cool media for me for decades, and Anne Hamersky who’s taken gorgeous press photos of all my ensembles. To media peeps Derk Richardson, Joel Davis, Sandy MirandaSedge Thomson, Ton Maas, and countless others running vital media around the globe.To the directors who’ve hired me Cathy Lee Crane, Bill Farley, Joe Goode, Brad Coley, Octavio Solis, Jo Kreiter.…and so many others. To SF Arts Commission who are funding Water Worship and Blue Mountain Center, where I began composing it.

And…..I’m Emmy Nominated. Thank you KQED.

And to all my musician collaborators, and to my great husband Federico Cusigch, love you.
Very special thanks to all my fans. I’m truly nothing without you.

I’m am so very grateful to be in the splendid Adirondacks on a composer residency at Blue Mountain Center.

Being an independent musician with no label support, no hit records nor trust fund, I apply for a lot of grants and residencies to support my work and pay my musicians. I’ve never tracked it but I would say for every fifty things I apply for, I get one and Blue Mountain Center is one of those. Dedicated to social justice and supporting independent artists, we need places like BMC now more than ever.

If you’ve any inclination, consider making a donation of any size to Blue Mountain Center. They remain on the cutting edge of supporting artists and activists in one of the most glorious settings I’ve ever experienced. AND they are presenting a screening of MY GRANDMOTHER at the local Indian Lake Theater, 2pm July 9th.

Again, I couldn’t be more grateful.



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