New Recording

With the help of my beloved sister/webmaster, Jaine, we have uploaded my new album to the website. It is called “Heart Whale: the Wail of the Heart.”

The concept “Heart Whale: the Wail of the Heart” came first. It was born of a deep place of despair for the rudderless state of amerika and humanity in general, at a time when the sand in the hourglass is running out to reverse the impending environmental train wreck. It is a lyrical album, though almost all the musical ideas came before any lyrics. For me, what is most compelling about the album is its atmosphere. There is an emotional tenor that colors the whole, while the music itself explores a wide range of textures. It was as if the music was reaching for the heart whale wail before any words gave voice to those textures. As with my previous album, “The Unobstructed Light”, this new album seeks to find a new and deeper ground of being. It follows a road that passes through the experience of sorrow, to discover that place of transcendent benevolence and joy that is the infinite container of the pendulum-swinging world story. It is my personal journey of new awakening and discovery. I hope it is a story that has resonance for you.
                                                                                          Love and Light!
                                                                                          Doug
                                                                                          11/11/17

  (Album Cover art by Jaine Rice) 

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Check out Starpeople Band’s new promo video on YouTube, filmed at the Nevada County Fair, August 2017:

Star People at Hot Summer Nights in Nevada City, 2017

Doug with Star People at Hot Summer Nights in Nevada City, July 12, 2017

On July 12th, Star People had what was arguably our most enjoyable show ever, playing for a Hot Summer Nights event in Nevada City, CA. Every year on three consecutive Wednesday evenings, the town of Nevada City closes the streets to cars, and brings in a variety of foods and crafts vendors, along with live music. We have had the blessing of playing at Hot Summer Nights events for many years now, and this year was the best one yet. The temperature was cooler than it has typically been in past years, and this was a welcome change. We played up at the top of Broad Street, looking down street at the throngs of humanity out having fun. Fortunately for us, many of the folks attending came up to party with us, and a grand time it was for all! Much dancing, singing, laughing and celebrating. A beautiful man named Jerry Kennedy approached after the show, and said he had taken some pictures. We loved them, and he was kind enough to make them available to us. Two of those photos are included here. If you are interested in Jerry’s photography, you can contact him at jkauburn30@gmail.com. Have a great rest of your summer!
Love, Doug

Doug and Morningstar with Star People at Hot Summer Nights in Nevada City, July 12, 2017

Sweltering Summer, 2017

Hello Friends!

June 23rd marks the 7th anniversary of my website, rainbowlandmusic.com.

It is also a serendipitous opportunity to let you know that I have posted a new album to the site.  More accurately, my sister Jaine, webmaster extraordinaire, posted it to the website.  Jaine created the album cover, with help from her dear friend, Hedy Carra, and designed a beautiful lyric booklet that comes with the cd.

The album is called “The Unobstructed Light,” and it explores my quest for a new ground of being, in the wake of the recent election.  The album comprises a wide range of emotional perspectives, and ultimately becomes my personal blueprint for navigating these crazy days.

Everyone is having their own journey, for sure. But you might find this musical expression of my process interesting; it did bring me to musical places I might not have gone otherwise.

You can hear the album on the website, or if you would like a cd, just let me know. There is never money involved. Just my privilege to share it with you.

It’s shaping up to be a hot summer here at Rainbowland.

May there be smooth sailing wherever you are.

With love,

Doug

Fortunate Happenstance–Spirit Winking

When I was living in New York in the early 80’s, I played in a band called Elixir. There is a cd of Elixir music in the recordings section of this website.

What follows is a blog posting from a man named Michael Salmon who saw Elixir three times. He found me by googling Elixir, bringing him to Rainbowland Music.

His blog entry is a fun glimpse into the Elixir experience, a wonderful time in my musical journey. Enjoy:

January 29, 2017

ELIXIR-A NEW YORK 80’S BAND

Picture this. A place where once the clock struck 8 in the evening you would likely see hookers, junkies, drunks, run down living conditions, where if you parked your car you’d have a 50-50 chance of still having your car cassette player still intact 30 minutes later. For those who now see ridiculously high rents, boutique hotels, wealthy well dressed patrons enjoying themselves in wine bars, this was Manhattan on the East side below 14th Street in the early 80’s. You’d be afraid to go out alone, you wouldn’t even be that much confident being with a friend. Things have changed for the better, but a lot of soul is gone. The give and take of things like this is a scale that still tips in either direction for me, even all of these decades later.

In the summer of 1981, a friend and I went to Irving Plaza, then a fairly new music venue on Irving Place and 15th Street. The headliner was The Grandmothers, featuring former members of Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention. The middle act was a band called the Swollen Monkeys, an almost jazzy new wave hybrid. My friend and I never heard of them or the opening act, Elix

Elixir 1980: Frankie deFranco, Walkiria, George Conrad, Doug Rice, Al Cooke

ir. We had to stand in line before we got in. Someone came walking towards all of us. He handed me and my friend a button, a caricature of what looked like a mad scientist testing a potion. I shrugged and pinned it to my shirt. We went inside and waited for the music.

The Grandmothers and Swollen Monkeys were fine, we stayed entertained. Elixir was something else entirely. Visually, the contrasts of the members appearance was interesting enough. The drummer, with barely any clothes on, was Frankie DeFranco. The keyboard player was a pretty brunette named Walkiria. Al Cooke was the bass player and Doug Rice was the guitarist. Save for a bit of welcome new wave attitude, they didn’t look much different from me.

It turns out, it was Doug who handed out the Elixir buttons. The singer was George Conrad, who wore a skin head wig. My friend and I were from almost suburbia (Mill Basin in Brooklyn), so George was unlike anyone we’ve ever seen. And then the band played.

Their songs were punky new wave, very catchy. George was a showman and the band was pretty tight. Before one song that I think was called “Something Stupid”, it looked like George was eating glass. One song did stand out for me, though. It was called “Northern Industrial”, a song about the rigors and almost hopelessness of working in a dead end factory job.. Near the end of the set, George took off his wig and he looked just as interesting, as he was somewhat bald on top. I had no idea how old he was. He must have been sweating under that wig. They left the stage. Without taking away anything from the Swollen Monkeys or The Grandmothers, Elixir was the best thing I heard that Saturday night in July 1981.

The second time  I saw them, with the same friend and another one, was a place called The Cavern. It was in SOHO, probably near the better known Mudd Club. The area was very industrial at the time, very dark and very inaccessible to mass transit. Doug gave my friend that didn’t go to Irving Plaza an Elixir button, and actually seemed pleased when he saw me and my other friend proudly wear our Elixir buttons. They went on late, it was another Saturday night and they ran through their set. It was even better than at Irving Plaza, though the stage was far smaller. They seemed very polished musically and George seemed to enjoy being the singer. I probably said to my friend who didn’t go to the Irving Plaza show “See, I told you they were good”. It took a few hours to get home, in the wee hours of the morning, to what was then called a double fare zone, when only tokens got you on the subway. The subway may have been only 50 cents at the time, but the train was full of forbidding people, drunks, homeless and people who seemed to know exactly how much (or little) money you had in your wallet. It was all worth it, of course.

St. Mark’s Place in Manhattan and the immediate surrounding area was a great area to buy music then. It was full of used record stores, when vinyl was king. It was a great thing to browse and find something you wanted and, best of all, didn’t know existed. I do not remember which store it was but I was looking through the singles rack and came across a picture sleeve 45 of Elixir. The A side was “Northern Industrial”, the B side was “Hold The Line”. I was so happy, I think I hid it between other prospective purchases lest someone else saw it and would try to wrestle it from me (that never happened, I think there is an unwritten, unspoken law among music lovers about such things). The front of the sleeve was their logo, the mad scientist, the back a picture of the group. I waffled that single, eventually buying 5 more direct from George Conrad by mail order (sending cash!). I do not have it anymore, but I remember cranking it up, committing the two songs to memory.

The third time I saw them was at Great Gildersleeves, I believe in September, probably in 1982. I remember the set being short, still great, but maybe about 6 songs. Gildersleeves was by the much more fondly remembered CBGB’S, and that neighborhood was pretty dire at the time.  After that, I remember a second picture sleeve single I saw in an advert of Elixir, in which, if memory serves, has a picture of George carrying a parasol.

Elixir, 1982: Frankie de Franco, Walkiria, Geroge Conrad, Tony de Genero, Doug Rice

Elixir, 1982: Frankie de Franco, Walkiria, Geroge Conrad, Tony de Genero, Doug Rice

I sensed there was trouble in Elixir. I never saw  them advertised again, even though I looked to obtain the Village Voice every week. I figured they broke up. I never heard about any of the individual  members doing anything (this was years before personal computers) and time passed. I’d still play “Northern Industrial”, but eventually purchased CD’s only. I guess I forgot about them.

These days, the major record companies are reissuing music on CD from the 60’s to the 80’s with liner notes, interviews with surviving members and bonus tracks, in an attempt to capture the market who never took to what is being played today. One day while buying one of the reissues, I thought of Elixir. Of course, there would be no re-issue campaign, but they were part of my younger years, so I wondered about them. So, I did what I could now do: Look them up on the internet. There was no hit for three pages, but then there was a site called Rainbowland Music. It mentioned Doug Rice (I have to admit, I forgot his last name until I looked at the site). I went on it. It turns out, Doug has been very busy when it came to music. He lives in California and is a composer of music which shows me that he was the creative  spark of Elixir. The music encompasses soundtrack work, as well as songs. It showed me Doug was very accomplished and seemed to be very happy with his life. I looked closer, and then I found, under “The Elixir Collection”, were MP3’s of 15 of the Elixir songs! I listened to all of them and found that I still knew all of the words to “Northern Industrial” and “Hold The Line”. If you could turn a computer up to 11, my neighborhood would be treated to an Elixirfest! I wrote Doug and he responded, telling me about the band members (he is closest to Al Cooke, but doesn’t keep up with George Conrad) and just generally about himself. Via e mail, Doug was the same friendly guy that handed me the Elixir button in 1981 (Doug, I lost it, I need another one!). I would encourage anyone reading this to go onto Rainbowland and check out Elixir and Doug’s many recordings. He brought back great memories of seeing the band and  exploring new music at the time. Thank you, Doug!

 

 

Winter Solstice, 2016

Doug with his father at Christmas, 1976

It is 12/21/16, the winter solstice. I have been completely off all media since 11/2/16. Instead, I have been uploading my life history of music onto my iPod. Over the years, I have been creating what I call my “Radio Rainbow” cd series. Over fifty 80 minute albums of wide ranging assortments… right now my Ipod is playing the Mills Brothers singing Moon River…. Stuff from my dad’s album collections that I listened to as a boy (Kingston Trio, Brothers Four, New Christy Minstrels…), or stuff that I was growing up with (Moby Grape, Electric Prunes, Dave Clark 5…. To name some less obvious ones), or favorite classics such as Dvorak’s New World Symphony, or selections from Stravinsky… Bach’s Brandenberg Concertos….on and on). Lots of favorite progressive rockers… A bunch of jazz like John Coltrane with the Thelonius Monk Quartet… Miles Davis… Weather Report… the great Fred Randolph… I’ve got a lot of my stuff on there too, so that’s fun for me to hear. Around 1500 pieces so far. I have this little Bose player my brother gave me, and I carry it around to wherever I’m working… desk, kitchen, studio, garden…. Listening to the music of my life, and adding to it as I go. What a difference… I had been listening to NPR News for 30 years, often all day long. Now – nothing. My head has been slowly clearing from the endless stories I was taking in and trying to integrate. Now – Rainbowland Musical Myopia. When I removed all that clutter, I have been discovering the life right under my nose, with much greater presence. The world will do what it will do. I’m no longer playing. Instead, I’m playing the music of my life…. And with the greater space in my awareness, I am doing things, rather than getting things done. It’s been a huge change in my life-flow, and a fun thing to note here on the website.

To reference the chorus from the 2nd of my recent Solstice songs:

Merry merry happy happy yeah whatever make it real.

 

Whatever it is for you, I hope it is a real blast!

Doug

60th Birthday Concert Slideshow

Here’s a music slideshow from the 60th birthday concert event. Photos and assembly by the great Bruce Malnor.

Concert Story

June 23rd 2016 marks the sixth anniversary of the Rainbowland website, now with nearly 120,000 listens! I recently celebrated my 60th birthday with a special concert at Rainbowland. Here’s the story of that big splash in the little pond of my musical life.

I’ll start with the punch line: in a life of many great days, it was the greatest day of my life.

Carr Lake 024

So many different strands woven together in perfect consummation.
A friend dropped by a few days later, and said, “With that show, you fulfilled your incarnation.”
That’s how it felt to me.

I was in the zone from the moment I woke up. I was calm and completely relaxed until the show was over. After all the effort of living the prep for the better part of 6 months, the show was effortless.
More than two hours, it was the longest performance of “Doug Music” I had ever given. I never sat down once. It was also my most ambitious show in terms of range of material.

Essentially, for my 60th birthday, I put together a representative legacy set, invited my favorite people to come hear me play my songs at my house… and a lot of them came! And after telling people that it was going to be a “once-in-a-blue-moon” show, it ended up actually being a blue moon! Full Moon at 3:14 pm–just about when the show started. Blue Moon. Buddha’s birthday. You’re getting the picture.

We pulled out all the stops on this one. Built a stage in the lower meadow, nestled in the Oak trees, with a rock outcropping directly behind. Truly picturesque. Bought a new sound system that was perfect in the setting.                                                                   doug&cath with tent

My actual birthday is April 4th, but in our line of work here at Rainbowland (bookkeeping and tax), we don’t do much partying beyond our desks in early April. The date for the concert became May 21st. Usually, that would be a pretty good bet for late Spring sun. But the weather became quite a player in the story. In the changeable 10 days prior to the show, it became clear that we would need to be ready for anything. We rented a 1000 square foot hexagon tent for the audience that was magical.tent

We rented a tent for the stage too. We even had a tent, thanks to Cath’s brother Ray, for people to enjoy the amazing catered food that was served after the concert.

The day before the show, I was returning to Rainbowland with a truck full of chairs, when I was greeted with a tumultuous and thunderous downpour. I drove right to the stage and frantically began moving all the equipment to the center. It was the kind of rain that was blowing in diagonally and all the equipment was set out for rehearsal. We brought every towel we could find down to the stage, and eventually got it all dry and cleaned up. On the day of the show, at my last internet weather check at 11:00 am, there was a 70% chance of rain during the scheduled hours of the show.

As I fretted about the forecast, Brother Charlie bet me $20 that there would be no rain on the concert. I was happy to pay up after the show. There was not a drop of rain the entire day. On the last note of the last song, there was a thunderclap.

When I reflect on the performance, I was in an altered state, and everything was just there for the playing. It was easy… and almost felt like slow motion. In an animated moment, I somehow hit myself hard in the lower lip. I was startled, but not in any way interrupted. I wondered for a moment or two if I was bleeding, but everything was just fine…. Amazing to think on it, actually. And it was the only unexpected moment of the show. It was like being in a perfect dream, while still knowing it was the real deal.

I’m flashing on the closing words of a song from the set called Alive:
“At the eye of the hurricane, transcendent sublime. The center is everywhere, this moment is mine.”

That’s how it was. And seemingly countless pairs of eyes, belonging to people I know and love, focused steadily on the entirety of my presentation. For two hours. And with the thunder clap punctuating the final note of the concert, everyone came to their feet as if in one movement, in standing and sustaining ovation. Unbelievable. Except that I was there, and it’s a knowing for me now.

What a journey. I first started considering a 60th birthday concert back in November of 2015. I had completed the album processing my friend’s suicide called “Requiem for a Lost Friend”, and was beginning to look forward to life in the aftermath of such tragedy. I wanted to do a concert that would represent a full range of my music, both in terms of the song arrangements, and across the years. When I create a new album, I usually make a performance mix. I roll out the lead vocal and main guitar, so that in a performance setting, I can then add the voice and guitar back in as live performance.

I started by reviewing all the performance mix cds I could find, and selecting from them songs for the Legacy Set. I knew that I would also want include the Acoustic Ensemble for part of the presentation. I love getting together with Richard (percussion) and his wife Kathy (flute, keyboard, vocal), and having at least part of the show with a stage full of live performers is good for the audience too. My girl Catherine also plays with the Ensemble (percussion and vocal), and in 2014, we had my buddy Al Cooke out here to play bass with us (bass player from Elixir in my NY days). I checked with Al, and he wasn’t going to be able to make it in 2016. So the wild hair idea – maybe sister Jaine could play bass!

She had never played a bass before, but it turned out that one of her best friends had a ¾ sized bass in her closet she wasn’t using… and the rest is history, as the expression goes. I sent her practice recordings and charts. We had one practice prior to the week of the concert. Renaissance Woman aced the show like a total rock star. More than that, having Jaine here for 5 days before the show, along with her dog Wilson, was treasured time together. I pause and don’t find the words to express how special.DRAE 2, Doug, Ricard, Jaine ^

It was that way with all the family. On Friday, the day before the show, Brother Charlie and his wife MK arrived, bringing with them my Mom, Catherine’s son Josh, and Josh’s lovely special friend Cari.

As they always do, Charlie and MK had a car full of fun food, wine and fun things to share. Josh and Cari came equipped to make a documentary film of the whole adventure. Mom came ready to laugh and wash every dish she could get her hands on. That evening, Charlie and MK presented to me an amazing guest book with photos and lyrics from my life. We sat for over two hours together… each new page triggering story after story of what has been a wondrous musical life. That time of sharing with my family will always be one of my most treasured memories. There were MANY empty wine bottles too.

Cath’s brother Ray arrived the morning of the show, bringing with him Cath’s Mom and a big tent for the catered food party after the concert. Ray’s presence and support was a huge part of the success of the day. He even helped Julia with setting up the mind blowing birthday cake. And what a cake it was! full cake 3 ^Julia is creative in all directions, but especially with food. She took it upon herself to create a cake marvel beyond imagining, with a life-sized facsimile of my concert electric guitar as its centerpiece! After the show, my first viewing of Julia’s masterpiece was quite literally breathtaking.

But back to the pre-show prep. MK went out on Saturday morning and must have bought out a florist. She came back with the most abundant array of flowers one could imagine. She then sat down and created a multitude of stunning floral displays, for all the dining tables, for the snack and beverage tables at the concert tent, and a magnificent bouquet for the stage. Fabulous flowers everywhere. Everyone was kicked into high gear with the final prep…. Chairs in place, tables ready to receive the amazing catered banquet that arrived just as I was finishing the concert… Numerous guests commented later how wonderful it was to see our families buzzing together in well organized and energetic preparation. It really was awesome. I felt almost weightless amidst all the support. Plus, I had lost 25 pounds in 3 months after being called “pre-diabetic” by my doctor’s assistant (pissed me off, by got my attention) back in January. The morning of the concert, I put on a brand new pair of black jeans with a size 34 waist, and performed in them. First time I had been in pants with a waist smaller than 36 in decades.

The music began with a recording of the Schubertians; a men’s chamber chorus out of UCSB, recorded in a Cathedral in Sandwich, England in 1979. Being part of the Schubs was one of the great musical joys of my life, and a fun launching point for the arc of the concert flow… especially with my best buddy from the Schub tour in the audience. I hadn’t seen Dan in decades… what a joy.

As to the flow of the show, there were two “Electric” sets – so called because I played my electric guitar along with recorded accompaniment – and two Acoustic Ensemble sets. I also played two solo acoustic songs, and one on the piano. The piano piece was especially poignant, in remembrance of a recently passed friend to many in the audience. The first Electric set focused on 20th Century repertoire, and everything after that was music created at Rainbowland since 2001. Songs representing 4 decades, shared with friends and family who in many cases were connected in some way to the stories. And the experience of connection with the audience was steady and unbroken for the entire two hours.DRAE 1_ Cath, Kathy, Doug, Ricard ^
Truly, my best day ever… at least so far.

Please watch the video and photo section of the website for clips and pics of the event. We hope to have a full length movie, created by Josh and Cari, available for viewing sometime in the not-too-distant future as well.

If you’ve read this far, thanks so much for your interest. The music thanks you especially.
Love, Doug

 

 

 

 

********************************************************************************************************************************

party letter watercolor background

Doug electric, Cath intro ^

party letter watercolor background

COMMENTS FROM CONCERT ATTENDEES

OK, you two, I am still in awe at what you created.  I don’t believe I have EVER attended anything so filled with love and power and awe.

Doug, you channel so much prana when you are doing your thing: singing, playing guitar, raving, or just showing up …..I am amazed.

What a lovely family you have, and let’s now discuss, Mrs. Rice, her shining Self.  Cath, you were over the moon wonderful.  I smile when I remember you doing the drum and tambourine and singing in the ensemble.  How truly lovely and the angels kept the rain at bay. GL

 

Dear Doug and Catherine,

What a delightful celebration! Thank you so much for creating such a beautiful space and sharing your love of life and music! The energy was so filled with love and light!

Doug, thank you for sharing your talent, your legacy, your inspiration. Thank you both for including us in your circle of friends and family.

Blessings to you!

Love, V & B

 

Doug, it was such a gift to be present for your concert.  You are so alive and in your element.  It was like watching your young rock star energy.  Even more powerful is the poetry you put to music.  I really enjoyed hearing your music from 20 years ago and up through the present.  What came through was that you have always been a man of great insight, compassion, and deep love and gratitude for your family and friends.  What a gift to be there last night!!!  Wow!! I feel so much gratitude to know you and Cath and our meditation group.  Do you all realize how much you realize?  and manifest?  The setting was so picturesque; Rainbowland amphitheater.  I hope there are so many more concerts and gathering there!!!    TT

 

You did it! Yea! Amazing music, fantastic party! Congratulations to you and Cath and your family on a memorable evening! You touched on so much with your songs. Beautiful variety and very inspiring! Lovely people. Wonderful evening!

I also wanted to tell you that on the way home, when we hit Peterson’s corner, the roads were wet. By the time we got to NSJ, it was raining hard! The storm just completely passed rainbowland! What a blessed day in many ways! It is so much fun playing your music. Let us know when you’re ready to do it again!                  KR

 

Catherine & Doug

Thank you from the heart for a wonderful afternoon at Rainbow Land

The music was awesome and thank you to Doug for sincere sharing of life. DB

 

I am so sorry I missed such an incredible event but I look forward to listening to the CD and reading the lyrics. I am especially interested in the song you wrote for Ivor. Bhakti told me everyone was in tears. Thanks for helping me enjoy your special event from a distance and after the fact. Many blessings. LW

 

(from Julia, the amazing cake maker) Ha!

Sounds wonderful…

Your concert was fantastic, and the acoustics up at the house gorgeous. I left to go put on a sweater and realized the music sounded even better up there! It was perfect for me to assemble the team of cakes quietly in open space – only Cath’s brother there who assisted- with the music swirling. In most creative solo space. We are not so different. Then Bruce could wander up and photo the table without folks around as well. perfect.

i really felt like i understood every inch of your purple beauty

It was both an honor and pleasure to “blow you out of the water” —we all rode the wave and settled back into the blissful ocean of love.

Our community needed a big healing. It worked. A lot of water has gone under the bridge yet the bridge remains. Song celebration stories love… and they ate it.

someone asked, “is it gluten free?” my response… ” it is not free anything, it has it all!” So countless had seconds. So dang funny. We nailed it.         Julia

 

 

Doug, the event was magnificent!

You all put so much work into that celebration and concert and meal.

You were prepared, playing from your heart, holding nothing back.

The setting was lovely there in Rainbow Land, and your “ampitheater”  was splendid!

I did leave right after the concert as I had some deadlines to meet at home.

I did see the cakes however, especially the guitar cake – what a creation!

You dotted every “I” and crossed every “t” for this event – it was perfect!

Congratulations and Happy Birthday.  Keep on growing!        MJ RC

 

Dear Doug,

 

it was such a joy to sit in the front and watch you thoroughly embrace each and every song, energetically, musically, and whole-heartedly. What a fabulous performance. And so well orchestrated…each and every transition was smooth, giving the concert a feeling of effortless flow…yet I know behind every comment (which felt so natural) was your conscious attention to the and word choice…beautifully done! Your meticulous attention to detail set the stage (pun intended) for the audience to just set back and enjoy the ride. I’m still in awe.

I texted Julia a couple of photos of your reaction to her cake…I’ll email them to you, too. And Bruce got some great shots! A memorable event for a remarkable man.          Carol

 

Doug, Thank YOU so much for throwing such a fun and delightful party. We loved every second of it. Every detail was perfect!!! You and Cath put so much thought into everything. Rainbow Ranch is beyond beautiful! The music was phenomenal! Each song so profound and touching, so many new songs we hadn’t heard before. You are so incredibly gifted.  So much appreciation for you sharing your gifts with your friends. LOVE TO YOU!!!!   Y&D

 

Dave and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with all your guests, the music and food were great – LOVED the guitar cake!, and it was altogether a great event. JY

 

Hey! I just wanted to let you know we really enjoyed ourselves at your party. It was a lovely gathering and a real pleasure to see you in your element. I’m grateful you included us!

S&V

 

Thank you so much for including me in that special and wonderful day.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself! WB

 

Loved being there to celebrate with you. Sadly, I did not get a CD so if you have one extra, hang on to it until my next trip up. You are so loved, what a gift you are! May the year be as stellar as you are.

Aloha, Bhakti

 

The party was just an outstanding adventure into your amazing musical talent and history. I loved the book! I loved being there along with so many who deeply love and appreciate you. I have some amazing photos of the moment you saw the cake. I sent them to Julia. If she hasn’t shared them with you yet, let me know and I’ll send to you. They capture, as best a still shot can, of those first few moments.

JL

 

Dear Doug,

 

It was such a joy being at the concert. Thank you SO much for sharing those 60 years with us and the music that has shaped you and allowed you sacred expression.

I connected with people I never thought I would. Met and chatted with your sweet sister. And had an inspiring talk with Cath’s mom.

I’m back in Oregon and have brought these fond memories with me.

Love you,

Priya

 

Hi Doug,
I just want to tell you what a thrill it was to see & hear your performance on Saturday. It was a great journey through your life through music, and your performance was so great! Thank you for including Kathy & me. We loved being a part of it.  It was really nice visiting with Jaine and your wonderful family. We both give Josh’s girlfriend two big thumbs up!
It was such a huge production, I’m sure you and Cath are in recovery mode! While you’re relaxing, you might want to check out the new Radiohead album, “A Moon Shaped Pool.” It has some really beautiful music with lush orchestration. I think you’ll like it!
Blessings to you both.            RR

 

YOUR MUSIC EVENT WAS BY FAR MORE ENJOYABLE THAN THE GRADUATION BUT WE WANTED TO SUPPORT EVAN. EVERYBODY LOVED WHAT YOU DID. THEY POINTED OUT YOU ARE A STELLAR MUSICIAN. I AM DIFFERENT YOU HAVE TO DROP THE (ELL) TO TELL, OH HELL IT WAS SWELL. CARRIE, CINDY, AND WENDY WERE SINGING YOUR PRAISES.      STAR
Hi Doug,

 

I’ve been meaning to email you to mention again how much Scott and I enjoyed your performance last Saturday.  It was so nice listening to you, enjoying the messages in your music, and watching the busy bluebirds in the field.  The thunder wrapping up your last piece was perfect.

 

All the best to you both,

Carrie

 

Dearest Doug,

Wow! We want to thank you for an extraordinary evening with you, Kat, and family and friends! Your concert was enchanting  and touched us deeply. The lyrics and music were transcendent and we were honored to be included as friends to experience the culmination of your life work given so generously. Most of all, we appreciated you sharing your home and heart in such a deep and meaningful way not imagined previously.

 

We are so happy to listen your terrific CD and have the booklet of lyrics as well. It will be played and listened to with open hearts, as you have given us yours.
We look forward to seeing you and Kat  in NC at your summer nights gig 😉

?
C&R

 

Let me just say, your concert was the most courageous, truth filled expression of love made manifest I have ever participated in.  The spontaneous standing ovation was not just because we love you but also because we all recognized something in the consciousness of your being that expressed the nature and evolution of consciousness being given.  There was no ego in the concert, it was a total offering of all you had, and I truly enjoyed you enjoying yourself.  Better for me than Neil Diamond whose concert I loved, and James Taylor who I also experienced live.  This was to me your greatest work and demonstrated your own evolution as a first class thinker and musician.  Love, Larry

 

It was so splendid being in your heavenly abode for the party.  Is that going to be an ultra rare event? Your place is so lovely and I sure grock how much you-all have put into that!  It is amazing! All my love, L

 

Dear Doug & Catherine:

I can’t even describe how much I enjoyed your party.   You have invited me countless times to previous events.   I’ve been such a recluse . . .

It was wonderful laying eyes on so many “old friends” from Ananda.   Great food, drink & company while blessed with your gift of music, Doug.   I was in heaven.

Thank you so much for your sweet friendship all these years, and for sharing your beautiful home, friends and music with me.     Please invite me again.   You throw quite the party!!!   Love,   JF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

60 Minutes for 60 Years: Selections from the DKR 21st Century Repertoire in 5 volumes

60 minutes for 60 years

 

In celebration of my 60 birthday, which is today, April 4th, we are posting a 5-volume collection from the DKR 21st century repertoire.  You can find each album in the Recordings section of Rainbowlandmusic..  The collection is divided into these musical genres: Ballads, Rockers, Metal, Epic, and Contemplative. Each album is “60 Minutes for 60 Years” (OK… they may go a little past 60 minutes…). Give them a listen!

On May 21st, I’ll be performing a two hour concert from my musical legacy, some of which will be accompanied by the Doug Rice Acoustic Ensemble.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I thought it would be fun to start the year with a philosophical offering. I recently had an exchange with a good friend of mine. He’s a guy with whom I went to college, and who is now a master jazz performer, composer and instructor in the bay area. I sent him my album called “Present Moment”, and he wrote back asking me a provocative question:

 

Clearly there is a cosmology in your work, which I don’t pretend to understand.  Of course all good music comes from or at least is informed by a spiritual source, that we share.  In your case is your world view coming from one line of teaching or is it your own amalgam of different spiritual streams?  Its so present in your music that it begs the question. Having read a lot of religious texts, then having spent time as a “born again christian”, I’ve thought about this quite a bit. While not regretting any of the experiences, I’ve come to my own conclusion that mankind has invented religions as a way of ordering the chaos of creation. That viewpoint might change (I’m always up for a personal experience with God) but we humans indeed are quite capable of creating mythologies that help us along the pathway. In any case, the spiritual intent in your work is very deep and highly evolved.  While as I say not pretending to understand, I do feel that this is key component to understanding/appreciating your work, something that started perhaps around the time we met and has continued to grow through today.

 

Here is my response to him:

 

“Present Moment : Wonderful Moment” is a breath mantra, Present Moment on the inhalation, Wonderful Moment on the exhalation. It originates with a Vietnamese Buddhist monk named Thích Nhat Hanh.

The woman who hosts the meditation group I attend most Wednesdays turned me on to it. It points to the one place where free will is at work, our ability to choose how we feel in any given moment. This little breath mantra sparked the whole album, and I had a vision of the album’s arc from the very beginning. While I like to have a unifying flow to albums as a whole, this “seeing” of the album’s arc at the start of it has never happened in this way. The faith that life, at its heart, is both benevolent and eternal is the basis of my spiritual understanding. Clearly, life experience can be challenging and full of endings, but who we really are is vibrational awareness, eternally evolving across incarnations. There is no death as we think of it, only change. Science has come to that conclusion, with the idea that energy cannot be destroyed, only changed. Life is energy. Life never ends, but it constantly changes. There is a Hindu expression: Sat Chit Ananda, which means “Ever Existing, Ever Conscious, Ever NEW Joy.” This, I believe, is our true nature. And ultimately, everything contributes to that expansion of awareness, which could be called the eternal life of god. So in this way, despite appearances, everything is OK. Or to say it another way, “all is well and getting weller.” I go through the spectrum of emotional experience, and as Cath could tell you, I can be very cynical…. I’ve been known to say, “Humanity is a failed experiment.” But I come back to my fundamental mantra, “Life always knows what it’s doing,” even if we don’t. Whatever thoughts or feelings might flow through me in the course of my daily life, music is my sacred ground. I keep my musical realm focused on the transcendent positive, because that’s the best feeling place to be, and I believe it reflects the truth of what the life experience really is. Life is a journey, not a destination. Our awareness expands with the full range of our life experience, and the awareness we call god expands with us. We, through our focused perspective, asking questions and making choices, are where the rubber meets the road in terms of this expansion, so you might say that god bows in gratitude to us for being the vehicle of this eternal awakening. We are the spark that fuels the expansion that is the eternal life of god. Yeah baby.

So where does religion fit in to all this for me? Not at all. Religion is often the antithesis of authentic spiritual experience. Think of Jesus, teaching his followers how to pray. He calls god “Abba”, which means daddy…. Very intimate, close, connected…. And he tells his followers that they can access god directly. They don’t have to go through the Pharisees. So the Pharisees killed him… or actually, convinced the Romans to do it for them, because in telling people they could have their own relationship with spirit, Jesus was threatening their job security, and their power base.  Another example of religion missing the point of authentic spiritual experience is when St. Francis was on his deathbed, and suddenly sat up, telling his followers that he felt a song of joy, and wanted to sing it to them. They told him to lie back down, he was dying, and this was a somber occasion… certainly not a time for a joyful song. And then they went out and formed the Franciscan Order, having already completely missed the point of his message. So it goes with religion, over and over again.

The big thing for me around religion is to not get seduced by my disdain. There is no freedom in defiance, and true freedom is everything to me.

I believe that the incarnation we experience is only a facet of the infinite diamond that we really are. Connecting with our broader reality is not only possible, it is constantly happening. Like a fish, asking where the water is. But the knowing is intuitive, not intellectual. The mind is a funny thing… it likes to act as if it is leading the dance, but it always follows the emotions. It looks for data to support whatever the feelings are expressing. And we do have a choice as to how we feel. As we find better and better feeling places, life itself begins to line up with that expectation. The better it gets, the better it gets…

So there you go!

Thanks for your wonderful question. I have enjoyed reaching for the high frequency answer.

 

 

Requiem for a Lost Friend–album # 90

Requiem for a Lost Friend
Late in the short life of Franz Schubert, he composed one of his best known works, a song cycle for voice and piano entitled “Winterreise.” Schubert was in a deeply melancholic frame of mind. As a friend described it, “life had lost its rosiness and winter was upon him.” When asked the reason for this gloom, Schubert replied, “I will play you a cycle of terrifying songs; they have affected me more than has ever been the case with any other songs.” He then, with a voice full of feeling, sang the entire Winterreise. His attending friends were dumfounded by the somber mood, and one friend remarked that only one song had pleased him. Schubert leaped up and replied, “these songs please me more than all the rest, and in time they will please you as well.”

One of the most important friends I will have in this life killed himself a few months ago. This collection is my Winterreise. I won’t say that the songs please me, but they do move me deeply, and more, they free me. If you have known great loss, it is my hope that they will move you too.

 

DKR 11/22/15