Amy Denio | Prodigal Light

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World: World Fusion Pop: Folky Pop Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Prodigal Light

by Amy Denio

Gorgeous World Soul music, stories and field recordings by Seattle-based multi-instrumentalist in collaboration with 24 world-class musicians and colleagues from the US, Mexico, Spain and Italy.
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Amame
3:46 $0.99
2. Prodigal Light
3:49 $0.99
3. Ballintubber Abbey
3:34 $0.99
4. Exposure to the Infinite
1:30 $0.99
5. Pass Offer
3:01 $0.99
6. Beirut
4:06 $0.99
7. Come to Us Now
2:22 $0.99
8. Mildly Tempered Piano
1:01 $0.99
9. Root Dance
3:46 $0.99
10. Dubya & His Pa
4:49 $0.99
11. Sventola La Bandiera Rossa
6:03 $0.99
12. Lafala
3:25 $0.99
13. Lunar Nerve
5:14 $0.99
14. I'm Glad Today Is Monday
2:43 $0.99
15. Dead
4:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Seattle's 'Avant Goddess' has invited 24 creative colleagues from the US, Mexico, Italy and Spain to join her on this audio adventure, and the results are fabulous!

This array of rich original music features Denio's unique and beautifully skewed pop/world soul songs and stories in English, Italian and Spanish, woven with field recordings. This multi-instrumentalist composer and singer has created 15 gorgeous anthems, songs and stories ~ regarding love, the gloaming, visions in an Irish graveyard, commentary on the infinite by her mother, parallel universes, the apocalypse, piano tuning, gall stones, an imagined nightmare scenario, and life in a nursing home. It contains some of her field recordings as well as long-distance contributions from musicians worldwide.

Denio presents her fine multi-instrumental talents, playing 12-string and electric guitars, bass, alto saxophone, clarinet, wooden flute, accordion, piano, a variety of percussion instruments, and a jar of her mother's gallstones. Her voice soars with unearthly harmonies, her lyrics are serious, playful and thought-provoking, and the songs are unforgettable.

Collaborators include:
Scott Adams: voice, accordion / Danny Barnes: voice, banjo / Nancy Denio: voice
Anne Denio: voice / Marchette DuBois: voice, accordion
Martha Enson: lyrics to 'Come To Us Now' / Stephen Fandrich: piano tuning
Bianca 'La Jorona' Giovannini: voice / David Greenberger: oral history transcription & voice
Eli Kaufmann: voice, accordion / Detonator Beth Lawrence: mouth sounds
Mary Grace Lawrence the dog: bark / Francisco Lopez: noise of tomatoes
Jane Mabry: glockenspiel / Jim McAdams: theremin, sound sculpture / Eli McBett: voice
Frank Pahl: horn, guitar, kick drum, whistling, bamboo flute, bell
Bob Phillips: tape squish sounds, 'gajangle' / Nick Ripley: science set / J.R. Rhodes: voice
Abel Rocha: voice, guitar, cuatro / Madeleine Sosin: voice, violin, bombo
Chris Stromquist: drums / Michael Vlatkovich: trombone

Prodigal Light is Denio's finest work yet with the synergy of 24 inspiring musicians and artists participating on this musical journey. Thanks to everyone!

For further information, please contact Amy Denio at Spoot Music in Seattle.



to write a review

Review by Dawoud Kringle

Amy Denio’s solo album… her fearless exploration of music on her own terms!!
Review posted in DooBeeDooBeeDoo NY (

“Amame” opens Amy Denio’s latest CD release Prodigal Light. An electric guitar figure lays down a foundation for Denio and the others to fill the air with lush vocal harmonies. The song has a very “old world folkish” feel that lures the listener into its peaceful and contemplative world. Flutes and a rubbery bass part work their way into the hypnotic song. It ends without warning.

Denio is a Seattle based multi-instrumentalist composer, singer, music producer and a member of The Tiptones and Kultur Shock. She’s composed for dance, theater and film, has received numerous grants and fellowships, collaborated with many artists throughout the world, and performed throughout Europe, North America and Asia at countless festivals, clubs and other venues (including schools and prisons), and even ancient ruins.

Prodigal Light features Denio (12-string and electric guitars, bass, alto saxophone, clarinet, wooden flute, accordion, piano, percussion instruments, and a jar of her mother’s gallstones), Scott Adams (vocals, accordion), Danny Barnes (voice, banjo), Nancy Denio (vocals), Anne Denio (vocals), Marchette DuBois (vocals, accordion), Bianca ‘La Jorona’ Giovannini (vocals), Eli Kaufmann (voice, accordion), Jane Mabry (glockenspiel), Jim McAdams (theremin, sound sculpture), Eli McBett (vocals), Frank Pahl (horn, guitar, kick drum, whistling, bamboo flute, bell), J.R. Rhodes (voice), Abel Rocha (voice, guitar, cuatro), Madeleine Sosin (voice, violin, bombo), Chris Stromquist (drums), Michael Vlatkovich (trombone), Stephen Fandrich (piano tuning, vocals), David Greenberger (oral history transcription & vocals), Detonator Beth Lawrence (mouth sounds), Mary Grace Lawrence the dog (bark), Francisco Lopez (noise of tomatoes),
Bob Phillips (tape squish sounds, ‘gajangle’), Nick Ripley (science set). Martha Enson also contributed the lyrics to “Come to Us Now”

It is clear with this line up that the CD was not your average singer songwriter.

The CD continues with the title track “Prodigal Light.” A thick 12 string guitar provides a backdrop for a growling trombone. Denio sings about the coming of darkness. The chorus carries a suggestion of country music. But this is not country. The trombone takes a solo that, while not harmonically or melodically “out” has its own story to tell and its own way to interpret the story Denio is telling.

A mournful accordion opens “Ballintubber Abby” leads us to a sad story Denio sings about a man who died before his time. The lyrics, with their unmistakable Celtic feel, tell a compelling story.

Denio abandons the folkish in favor of the avant-garde on “Exposure to the Infinite.” A short collage of vocals (sung, chanted, and spoken) and noises creates a startling contrast to what we’d heard previously. This leads to “Pass Offer.” A watery percussion and glockenspiel dance in the background while Denio sings a strange nursery rhyme like poem. Vocal noises and an indistinct accordion lurk in the background.

“Beirut” is a lively dance whose enthusiastic feel contrasts the gloomy and horrified lyrics that, nonetheless, keep a hopeful outlook on the future.

Other highlights of the CD include “Mildly Tempered Piano” (a exercise in Cage-ian atonality), “Root Dance” (an accordion led dance with a strangely erotic feel), “Dubya and his Pa” (Russian flavored banjo and accordion backed scat singing that one’s imagination is tested to identify with Dubya), “Lunar Nerve” (an almost Zappa-esque spoken word piece), and “I’m Glad Today is Monday” (a Film Noir spoken word piece against a sparse jazzy backdrop that morphs into an abstract sound collage).

Denio’s idiosyncratic and iconoclastic approach to music is highly creative and very well executed. Her skill and talent are evident; but her greatest strength is her fearless exploration of music on her own terms. She has a unique view on the world, and communicates this in her music on her own terms. We are privileged guests and eavesdroppers in Denio’s World.