New album! The Wicked Wonder: A Symphonic Fairy Tale: The King and Queen’s daughter has gone missing and her disappearance has spun the entire realm into disarray and decline. A young shepherdess must become the heroine of the land in its darkest hour (live link in bio).
Featuring Vatchapuj Collective, 13 performers from the US, France, and Thailand. Recorded in all 3 countries, the album is a testament to my many journeys, both geographic and spiritual, and a tribute to the amazing souls I’ve had the honor to play and commune with along the way.
Howard Ashman, the great lyricist and creative force behind Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin, said that a good retelling of a timeless tale conveys to your listeners what your own unique experience of awe was when you heard that story for the very first time:
The Wicked Wonder is a retelling of The Brothers Grimm fairy tale, The Princess and the Tree, as retold and interpreted by Carl Jung in Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious.
The Wicked Wonder is a retelling of Dark Side of Oz, the cult classic in which Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is cued up to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz movie.
The Wicked Wonder is a retelling of Beethoven’s 3rd symphony—the Eroica (“heroic”).
This album is dedicated to my daughter, Luce Sophia DiRuzza, the freshly rooted light of wisdom in my life. Completing this project, I ritually let go of the place of prominence of my solar ego, embracing the lunar web that connects me to every other—my wife, my daughter, my family, my community, my planet, my world. The Wicked Wonder is about how the individualist myth must finally give way to a metaphysics of relationship: “Our lovers and children make us frightened of dying—autonomy eclipsed by communion.” It’s about how the lone hero must finally become a responsible leader and a member of a team.
Give it a deep listen from start to finish (48’) on a nice sound system or pair of headphones, at my website, Spotify, or Bandcamp.
I am excited to release Take Cover, an album of cover songs I performed, recorded, and produced myself on guitar and voice. Please have a listen on my website here and have a look around the site while you’re there—I’ve added many of the albums I’ve recorded on (more still being added!)
Jessica and I are expecting our daughter at the beginning of November, and with all the Covid curtailments, this incubation period has been especially creative and productive for us. After completing my PhD in philosophy and religion this year, I’ve had more time to return to music. Take Cover started out as a demo project to get some gigs in bars and restaurants on our little beach island. I’ve always been a bass player and honestly, have always been self-conscious about my singing voice, so this guitar and vocals project has been a humbling growth experience for me, plus all I’ve learned about recording and production along the way. I gathered my favorite songs over the years, ones that I love to play, that touch my heart, and are suited to my voice. The title of the album (besides referring to musical “takes” and the cover tunes) reflects the turbulent times we’re living in, especially the first and last tracks. But it also refers to the warm shelter we can offer one another during such times. Ever notice how almost every song ever is a love song, whether jubilant or broken?
Stay tuned for two more albums I am releasing in the coming months, The Wicked Wonder for jazz sextet and narration, and Perichoresis which brings together music, dance, visual art, and poetry. Hit the “follow” button on the bottom of my websiteto stay abreast of all my creations.
Lastly, I want to mention trustpsyche school, Jessica and my educational initiative for astrology, psychology, and philosophy. We’ve been busy teaching online classes, webinars, and events, and recently celebrated over 100 students worldwide. We’re offering three new courses in 2021 and look forward to hosting in-person retreats in the future.
I am proud to share this music-dance-poetry-art video that Travis created, featuring Soleil Chappelle, Brendan Smith, and Tara Swasti. Travis put together 45 of these videos as part of our online course: Deepen Your Astrological Practice (begin now at trustpsyche.com/#deepen). There is one video for each pair of planets: this one is Mercury-Saturn. We’d love to hear your reactions!
Today VENUS-URANUS conjunction + MERCURY-SATURN trine: an original dance-music-poetry-art video from the astrology course, Deepen Your Astrological Practice, which illustrates Mercury-Saturn in the context of meditations on death. I don’t believe astrology can predict the moment of death (hear from Jessica on this topic in Stream 1). Though Saturn is its symbol, death has less to do with the cosmic archetypes, and more to do with a person’s unique and particular historical existence, here in the realm where mortality has the last word. Death is our inescapable fate, and though our soul lives on, this incarnation only happens once. Our time here is finite, which demands that we honor time as a sacred resource, both for ourselves and for others. For even more poignant than our own death (after which we will have passed into the expansiveness of the life between lives), is the death of others (for which we remain painfully present). Their preciousness in light of their impermanence encourages our right action toward them, illuminating the Saturnian connections between manifestation, time, death, and ethics.