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Roia Rafieyan: Journal

Upcoming music therapy workshop in New Jersey - September 22, 2010

In case you're wondering if I'm still alive (I am)...I've been preparing to present a five-hour Continuing Music Therapy Education (CMTE) workshop on countertransference with my friend, Mark Bottos, a dance/movement therapist at Kardon Institute for Arts Therapies in Philadelphia, PA. If you're a music or dance/movement therapist, and you're interested in attending, here are the particulars:

Date: Sunday, October 3rd, 2010 9 AM to 5 PM

Location: Kingsway Learning Center; Haddonfield, NJ

Cost: Free for NJAMT Members

Title: "It's Complicated: Exploring the Many Aspects of Countertransference"

Presenters: Mark Bottos, MCAT, DTR and Roia Rafieyan, MA, MT-BC

Therapy can be a complicated process, requiring us to attend to many different elements simultaneously. Learning about the role of countertransference (CT) in the therapy relationship as well as developing an awareness of when we are having a reaction in sessions will not only make us more effect clinicians, but it will also help us find ways to cope with difficult feelings that emerge in the course of our work. Participants are invited to share clinical challenges. Through movement and music experiences and dialogue we will explore ways in which CT manifests in our music, movement and clinical choices. 

6 CMTE credits are available. 

Contact vicepresident@njmusictherapy.org for more information. 

You can hear me on Women's Radio! - March 8, 2010

I just heard from Brian Ball, the music director at Women's Radio, that my song "Watch Me Leave" will be on the playlist until May 1st. So, go and listen to a whole lot of excellent women singer-songwriters. Here's the link for your listening pleasure:
http://www.live365.com/stations/womens_radio?site=pro

Wow! Me on the Tom and Doug Show! Yay! - December 12, 2009

In case you haven't figured it out by now, Tom and Doug are two of my favorite people and musicians in the world, and they have a podcast that they do regularly. It's posted, as it happens, on their webpage.

Now. In between writing "Roia's On Tour", they managed to find time to interview me for their lovely podcast, and you (yes, you) can now go and give it a listen at your leisure here.  

I'd be delighted to hear your comments. I can tell you right now that I sounded pretty darned tired, and you can tell that I was sitting in a very comfy couch, because I sound as if I'm sitting in a somewhat reclined position- which in fact I was.

I hope you enjoy it! 

Opening for Lava Trading Band - December 8, 2009

Hello, good people!

I had the pleasure of opening for my brother, Kamran's, band (the Lava Trading Band) this past Thursday at Don Hill's in New York City. And my dear friend, Tzu-Ching shared these photos of the event:

While we were there, Tzu-Ching and I got to chatting with the coat check clerk. He was a very pleasant man, and he told us he'd started a fashion blog called (are you ready?) "Coats from the Underground"! Isn't that great? You can see his blog here

He and Tzu-Ching were the only two people bold enough to try the excellent Raw Double Fudge Brownies I made. They both gave them a thumbs up.

"Look Inside" CD Release Party! - October 25, 2009

What a great party! At long last, we were able to celebrate the actual physical existence of my new CD, "Look Inside":

I'm happy to say my nieces were in attendance, and here's the best part of the evening: I played "Therapy 'Til I'm Dead", and my five-year old niece promptly asked my brother, "Daddy, what's therapy?"

Oh boy.

Also in attendance at this glorious event: Tom and Doug (Doug via satellite), Greg Rossi, Andrew Dunn, and Frank Glaz! All in all, an excellent evening, which included rocking brownies from Amy Nemirow, my fabulous co-writer for (yes, you guessed it), "Therapy 'Til I'm Dead"!

I will post photos as soon as I get some developed (being of the "old school", as it were, I only have film cameras). Stop that! I see you rolling your eyes. Some of us are, shall we say gently, just plain technologically inept.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to buy your very own brand spanking new copy of "Look Inside" (the CD), just click here:

Roia Rafieyan: Look Inside

Indiegrrl Showcase in New Salem, MA - July 13, 2009

Those of you who have come to hear me play know that I regularly extol the virtues of getting out to listen to live music. The two wonderful Indiegrrl Showcases, put together by Linq in conjunction with the 1794 Meetinghouse folks (thanks to Mack and Niles!), this past weekend were certainly an example of the joy of being in a beautiful space and listening to excellent music. 

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Let me introduce you to this lovely crew of Indiegrrls. From left to right they are: Patty Keough, Kat Wyand, me, Anna Gutmanis, Vange Durst, Linq, and Vicki Blankenship (the Indiegrrl "mom").
I am looking forward to heading down to Nashville, TN for the second annual Indiegrrl conference and listening to these talented women again!
Many thanks for the opportunity to be a part of the showcase again this year!

Oh my gosh! Christine Lavin! - June 15, 2009

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Here it is. Courtesy of my kind friend, Amy (the fabulous jeweler who made the gorgeous necklace I'm wearing)! Photographic evidence that I have now had the pleasure of meeting and opening for Christine Lavin (who, by the way, is a simply lovely woman who was knitting when I arrived). My deepest thanks to Frank Glaz for organizing this shindig, to Christine (and her road manager, Terry) for their generalized talent and kindheartedness, Alex and Mitch, the sound guys, the folks who volunteered to sell CDs and take tickets and stuff, and to my phenomenal group of friends who came to support the cause! What an amazing gift.

My but it's been a while - March 6, 2009

Okay, you're right. It's been ages, and I've been neglectful. But at least I've got a bunch of gigs (well, for me it's a bunch).

So here's the deal with the CD (yes, the elusive-it's-almost-done-really-I-swear-we're-just-putting-on-the-final-touches-really CD): the music part is done. The mastering needs to be re-done. The art work is in process.

So there you have it. It's out of my control, and I share in your pain (you know I do, because, as far as I'm concerned it's all about the pain), but I can't make the second CD get here any faster. This really has been an insanely long gestational period. Heavy sigh.

On the other hand, as noted above, I seem to be getting all sorts of wonderful opportunities to play of late.

I very much enjoyed my gig at MCCLV this past Saturday. Thanks to my friend, Maureen, as well as to Brain, Hector, John, Sue and Wendy, DJ and Sandy, and Stephen for organizing, dealing with sound, ushering, food, selling CDs, and general niceness. And a thank you, of course, to the kind souls who came from various corners of the earth to listen to my silliness.

Next week, the day after I celebrate my 43-ness (yay!), I will be playing at the very wonderful and welcoming Barrington Coffeehouse (in Barrington (gasp), NJ- which is not too far from Philadelphia). Trif (Scott) is a generous and decent guy with a deep love of music and musicians. I will be joined by my friend, Matt Hebert (whose birthday was yesterday) and someone new to me: Bob Kelley.

I have been trying to figure out how to make pumpkin seed encrusted tempeh (which I ate at the Candle Cafe last week), and it came out...well, it didn't taste exactly like when they made it, but it's definitely edible.

If you suddenly decide you need some live music, drop me an email at booking@roiamusic.com. You never know when you realize your living room would be a great place for a concert.

Be well and at peace!

Home from The Tour! - August 4, 2008

Well! That was fun! As some of you may know from my silly emails, I had the opportunity to embark on the first ever mini-semi-tour. In other words, I had a gig in Connecticut and one in Massachusetts. The first night (in Mansfield, CT, I played at the Stonewall Tavern allong with three other talented Indiegrrls: Desiree Bassett, Lisa Jane Lipkin, and Debra Alt. We played to raise money for Indie Music for Life.

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Then on the 25th of July, I had the pleasure of playing at the 1794 Meetinghouse in beautiful New Salem, MA. On this evening I shared the stage with Linq (our fearless organizer), Lisa Martin (and her fearless improvisational drummer!), and Laurieanne Fiorentino (and her fearless voice). Aside from managing to forget my guitar (I mean...really!) on my way to the Stonewall Tavern, I think both gigs went quite well.

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I spent another whole week in Cape Cod (nice!)- in Eastham, specifically, attending a class on Mindful Therapy with Thomas Bien. It was very interesting and quite blogworthy (which I'll deal with when I'm more awake). Of course, being me and being the major homebody that I am, it's good to be back in my own familiar space. And many many thanks to both of my wonderful and doting aunts, Karla and Debbie (along with my Uncle Peter and cousin, Mindy) for putting me up in their homes while I zipped about. I mean, how lucky am I? Meanwhile, next weekend is the wonderful wedding of my friends, Amy and Joe, and (somehow) I managed to write a song in celebration of this joyous occasion. Not being one to write cheery love songs, I must admit this was a bit of a stretch, and, according to my friend, Amanda, it sounds a bit like a theme song for a sit-com. Hm. Well, hopefully Amy and Joe will like it. The next (and last) big travel event happens when I head down to Virginia in a couple of weeks to showcase at the Indiegrrl Conference. My good friend, Christine, will be trundling down there with me (thank goodness, because it's a looong drive!). I do hope you're enjoying the summer, and I for one can't wait for fall and some cooler weather! Woo hoo!

The Perils of Cleanliness - July 16, 2008

This past Sunday I decided to stop sitting on my behind and get some cleaning done in my one bedroom hovel. I devised what I thought would be a brilliant schedule, figuring I'd do one room ever day. Well, apparently that only works when you clean on a regular basis. I did manage to get the bathroom finished on Monday evening (after a lot of resistance), but kitchen day (which was supposed to be Tuesday) rudely spilled over into Wednesday (which is supposed to be bedroom day).

Kitchen day started out innocently enough, but I realized it wasn't going to be so smooth when it took me half the morning to clean just the TOP of the stove (for crying out loud).

Meanwhile, I would like to tell you, here, now, in front of God and woman, that oven cleaning should, in fact, be classified as a form of torture. Not just any torture, mind you, but a particularly heinous variety of torture!

I spent an age (and should have, I must admit, spent an age longer) with my head inside the oven (with frightening images of Hansel and Gretel running through my mind) boldly attempting to clean it. Aside from the obvious horrific experience of feeling as if I have to practically be roasted alive (why, yes, yes, I do have some claustrophobia issues, why do you ask?), the insane angles a woman has to contort her body into in order to reach anything in the oven's depths...I'm telling you. It's the Lord's truth: Housekeeping, when done correctly, can indeed kill you.

Frankly, I don't care that my oven will never ever sparkle. I just can't handle being inside it to clean it. It's too terrifying. I realize this is as ridiculous an excuse as any (of the many thousands) I've come up with over the years to avoid cleaning, but, honestly. I just can't do it. I can't. I am not meant to clean. I am, most specifically, never (and I repeat NEVER) meant to clean ovens.

I just hope I live long enough to get to office day (which will be its own private Idaho!).

Groan!

New CD is in sight! - July 2, 2008

I know I've been saying this forever, and none of you have much hope of this CD ever getting released, but the end really does seem to be in sight. We've got the final 12 songs, and I am, in fact, listening to the trial line-up right now. Oh, and it's got a name: "Look Inside" (which is also the title song).

I think you'll like it. I really do. I don't tend to be all "ooh! ooh! Listen to me!", but I'm thinking we did a pretty good job. And the (sort of) good news for some of you is that "Therapy 'Til I'm Dead" seems to have made the cut.

Speaking of "Therapy 'Til I'm Dead", I got to play it on a gorgeous brand new Steinway grand at the newly re-opened Arts Council of Princeton. To quote the family/pets in the Verizon Fios commercial..."Wow." What a glorious instrument. I mean, it was glorious enough that I (yes, I, Roia) actually decided to leave my beloved guitar sitting quietly in the corner while I did my entire set on the piano. Sigh.

All is not lost with my guitar, though. I've been on a classical guitar kick lately, because I'll be playing for my friends, Amy and Joe's, wedding in August (along with Amanda on flute). I don't want to sound like someone who hasn't studied classical guitar since college- er, back in the late, um, 80s, as it were.

I just borrowed a book of 100 graded classical guitar pieces from Michael. I did tolerably until about the low 90s, and then I started to peter out a bit. Happily, I have kinesthetic memory, and a few of the pieces were ones I actually played pretty well when I was in college (lo those many years ago). As I played them I started to remember the hand positions and such in my fingers.

Oops. It's late, and I have 200 more pages in my book to finish. I'm reading the fourth (or fifth) Jean Auel book (that whole Earth's Children series), and I'm really liking it. I don't often read novels that aren't murder mysteries (sicko that I apparently am), but I've stuck with this series. Blah, blah, blah. I must stop.

Be well, and stop by and say "hey" at a gig soon. I've got some coming up in Connecticut (my old home state) and Massachusetts (my aunt and uncle's home state).

Peace to you all.
~Roia

House Concerts- It's the Way to Go! - May 18, 2008

Hello, good people of the earth! My talented and thought-provoking friend and co-musician, Cassendre Xavier, and I have now played two candle-lit house concerts. I mean, what a lovely way to perform- surrounded by a respectful audience in ambient lighting. Glorious! Several people have asked me "what's a house concert?" Here's the thing: it's an intimate concert for you and 20 to 30 of your closest friends (or general music fans) in your very own living room. How can you beat that? It's like a night out- only it's IN! Neat, huh? The audience is organized in advance (via ticket sales), and the host (you) set up a lot of chairs in the tidiest room in your house (that would be tough for me), and you have a few noshable items and your musicians (that would be people like me and/or Cassendre) play for you for a couple of hours. It's that simple. In other news, I'm looking forward to the taping of Horses Sing None of It!" this Wednesday evening with Ralph Litwin. Check your local cable access channel to see if they broadcast this nifty show.

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At long last... - December 17, 2007

The latest excellent CD from the talented and creative (and sick) minds of Tom and Doug. Here's a video of one of the songs from Tom and Doug Volume 2: Love Songs (Guaranteed Fresh).


And if that isn't enough to convince you...

"No End in Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq" - November 13, 2007

Now, I don't usually get all political and nuts here in the middle of my music website, but I went to see the film "No End In Sight" this evening (sponsored by the Hunterdon Peace Coalition), and it truly saddened me. I've embedded a preview of it here, because I think it's that important.

So now I've figured out how to get on You Tube - October 16, 2007

I had the day off today (which is rare in and of itself), so I decided THIS is the day I'm going to figure out how to use iMovie. So I did, and I made a video of myself (I know, I know, but it was the only thing I could think of after too many weeks of going at top speed), and I uploaded it to You Tube. Here's what it looks like:


What makes it all the more exciting is that you can see my refrigerator (one of my favorite spots in my home) in the background. All those sudden looks toward the camera are actually me watching the screen to make sure that this time I was recording (as opposed to last time, when I wasn't).

Let me know what you think. You can email me at roia@roiamusic.com to share your opinions.

Suddenly I'm all kinds of busy - September 24, 2007

Well, first of all, happy birthday to my good friend Jill (aka Fluffy). She and I have known each other since fourth grade, believe it or not.

Second...my GOSH this month has been busy. You can certainly see from my calendar that I usually have a gig here and there, but suddenly this month i've been running around all over the place.

I must say I met some other wonderful musicians in my travels who you may like to check out. Thanks to my friend, Frank Glaz, for organizing the Citigroup Summer Series By the Lake AND for getting together a bunch of us to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis at Espresso Joe's in Keyport, NJ.

While I was there I ran into the lovely and talented Jo Wymer, along with her very delightful family. I was also very happy to meet YoliAlto, Michael Zuko, and Don Lee.

At Cafe Improv this past weekend I also had the pleasure of meeting SiriOm Singh and his lovely wife Ayala. I have been enjoying his CD (thank goodness for peaceful people).

And here's the coolest part: they are all game to come and play at the Common Grounds Coffeehouse. Hooray! So stay tuned until I have a free weekend, so I can plan another coffeehouse. We're kind of low on help these days since everyone who has always helped has pretty much moved too far away. We'll get there though, and we will rise again (damn it)!

Learning New Stuff - September 4, 2007

Well I guess this is the month for learning, because I not only have to figure out how to make my way around my iMac (after 10 years with a PC), but I just learned how to put a You Tube video on my website.

But the best (best) learning was my guitar lesson (yes, there is always tons more to learn in this life) today with the brilliant and very gracious Vicki Genfan. What a joy to have such a tremendous guitarist share some of her musical ideas with me. I must go practice. Be well, all!

Yay, rah! High speed internet! - August 16, 2007

Yes, yes, I know...enough with the exclamation points already, but, honestly, for the past 9 years I've been using dial-up, and I had no idea. I mean...I've used speedy computers before, but I can not believe all the stuff I've been missing on the internet, because my connection was so blasted slow.

So, of course, this now means that I'm a bit more obsessed with net surfing than before, and I'll likely need glasses more seriously.

On top of that I just bought a new iMac. What a nifty machine. I still remember being in college (at Temple University) way back in the mid-80s and being told I had to learn how to use the Apple computer for our music therapy research class. I hated it back then, and I avoided computers until at least 1995. Thank goodness I got over that, because, frankly, I don't think I would have survived doing a thesis in grad school without my computer.

So, one of the very cool things I can now do (with my souped up computer and high-speed internet) is watch things on You Tube. I added one to the Links page, so you can also be impressed by the amazing and talented Vicki Genfan. Just fabulous.

In the meantime, I'm learning how to use this Garage Band program on my computer. I must say it's awfully cool. If I never get this second CD done (oy), at least I'll have a way to make a cheesy one of myself sometime.

Onward!

Playing for peace - August 5, 2007

I just had a very pleasant experience playing for the Union County Peace Festival sponsored by the Union County Peace Council. We really don't think a lot about peace these days, what with wars going on and the constant threat of terrorism and such. It was helpful to have a reminder that there are still a lot of people who care about peace and who are working toward ending the insanity that could lead to nuclear war.

Some eloquent people spoke about the state of our planet and the state of our country. It is worth going to their websites and learning as much as you can about these very serious issues. Okay, I am now stepping off the Rafieyan soapbox (my mom and I share space on said soapbox on a regular basis).

Icy day - February 14, 2007

Sheesh! I guess it has been a while since I added some news to the journal here. Well, let's see...my dear friend David has a new blogspot which you should check out. And I've been looking at an interesting website called Breaking the Barriers which is an organization dedicated to ensuring that all people's right to communicate using the method of their choice is honored.

In other news, my friend and colleague, Rose Ries, and I completed an article which was published in a psychiatry journal in January 2007. The article is about the use of music therapy in the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry service in general hospitals.

Michael and I are back to working on the CD, and we're hoping (yet again) to get it done this year. A gal can hope, can't she? Anyway, it's sounding pretty darn decent (if I do say so myself). Many thanks to Kjell Benner and the many drummers who have contributed to this musical adventure so far!

Much to do... - July 14, 2006

Well, my most exciting moment of late was getting an email from the Beta Hi Fi Music Festival folks telling me I'd been chosen to play at the World Cafe Live Upstairs! I didn't win, but there were some great musicians, and it turns out that I do have a few fans in Philadelphia. Thanks, guys!

Meanwhile, July marks the 11th anniversary of the Common Grounds Coffeehouse at Hunterdon Developmental Center. We are extremely excited that Dave Kleiner and Liz Pagan will be coming to play for us, along with their trusty bass player, Bill Meyer. Eleven years of "Building inclusive communities through music, art and poetry by and for all people." Yay!

The hopeful news is that Michael (the CD producer) is almost finished with his longest project ever, and we may see an end to the recording of my second CD yet.

In between all these gigs and music things, I'm getting notes together for a presentation on the many experiences of feeling powerless as a music therapist for the November conference of the American Music Therapy Association. I'm also trying to find time to work on a couple of music therapy articles.

I should be about ready for a serious vacation soon.

Lounge-a-Palooza! - February 21, 2006

Well, we did it again! We had an entire night of singing schmaltz and lounge songs at the Common Grounds Coffeehouse, and nobody got hurt (or arrested). Hurrah!

The latest news on the CD to be is that Michael and I are planning a marathon session at the end of March or the beginning of April in the hopes that it'll be done then. In the meantime, I've managed to eek out one or two new songs.

In other news, here's some more great stuff to listen to: Paper Sun! I met Sally and Joel (the two founders of this excellent band) in Atlanta last year at the Eddie's Attic Open Mic, and they were phenomenal. Their CD is also excellent! Go check 'em out!

As soon as I come up for air I'm hoping to make an effort to get some actual gigs. I've been working on a lot of music therapy stuff of late, so it's been a bit hectic. In the meantime, go hear some live music somewhere. Better still, go find an excuse to play some live music somewhere. We really need more of it!

2006! - January 11, 2006

I guess I'm a bit behind on pretty much everything- including adding more to my blah-blah collection here. Well, in spite of my tardiness, I have at least managed to get a couple of pictures up in the Photo Gallery, so you can see my little adorable nieces.

The CD recording process drags on (and on). It will be done eventually, I swear. While you're waiting, there are always new and exciting women singer-songwriters to be hearing, so avail yourselves. I just bought Dana Parish's CD which is quite lovely. I heard her song "Not My Problem" while I was driving to work one morning, and I decided I needed to hear it repeatedly for a while. Right this second I'm listening to a CD called "La Guitara" which features 14 phenomenal women guitarists (a gift from my thoughtful friend, Amy).

Happy Thanksgiving - November 23, 2005

It's not as if I'm not busy every week, but this past week seemed particularly so. I was invited to participate in a women songwriter showcase in Asbury Park, NJ (yes, yes, the home of Bruce Springsteen, and, no, it wasn't at the Stone Pony- sheesh!). Cook (of Cook 'n' Steve) kindly invited me to play at the Berkley Carteret Hotel on Friday, November 18th after he heard me play at the Cornerstone the week before. Thanks, Cook! Not only is there a really welcoming music community out there by the Jersey shore, but I had the pleasure of meeting and playing with Allie Moss, Gina Lee, and Sheli Aarden. Allie and Sheli have kindly agreed to play at the Common Grounds Coffeehouse in January of 2006, so keep an eye on the calendar.

On the 19th of November I headed out to Rahway, NJ to play at Cafe Z, hosted by Tom Picard. It was a wonderful open stage, and the audience was full of terrific musicians. The hilarious featured performance was offered by Dave Kleiner and Liz Pagan, along with their bassist, Bill (I think it was Bill). Cafe Z happens every third Saturday of the month. Go check them out and support local musicians.

Meanwhile, I do hope the lot of you have an excellent Thanksgiving. Safe travels.

She's Here! - November 10, 2005

Bronwyn Rose Rafieyan finally arrived in the world last night (on the 9th of November)! Welcome, little one! Now I have two darling little nieces. Hurrah!

Well, on my week off from work, I've decided to do the open mic tour. I started at John and Peter's on Monday night (with the lovely Karen Anne), where I met and heard a few other very talented musicians from Monmouth County, NJ. Last night I had the pleasure of playing at Arlon Bennett's showcase at the Cornerstone Caffe. I really enjoyed listening to the young musicians who played there (and I'm not kidding- they really were young!)- they are well on their way to becoming fine singer-songwriters. Meanwhile, the Peanutbutter Fancy they served me (this amazing dessert with piles of chocolate and peanutbutter and whipped cream- woohoo!) rocked! I didn't get an official slot for the Minstrel Coffeehouse Open Mic tomorrow night, but I plan to go on up and give a listen and maybe get a shot at playing. Come on up if you can- there's always some great music going on up there!
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