I is here)
paintings by Doug!
have you been doing since putting out Dark Fire?
Much of the
last decade was very tumultuous. My personal melt down started
around the time that Dark Fire came out. De
Ann and I separated. The unraveling of our life
together was a long and hellishly difficult process which ended
abruptly and tragically with her death in December 2000. Death
took other very close family members and friends. It was a
time of deep inner exploration
and questioning; an avalanche of emotions.
we never got good professional video or film of De Ann when
she was at her peak. That
was before someone was pointing a video camera at you everywhere
you went, and film was very expensive for a couple of struggling
artists. But after Dark Fire was released De Ann and I put
together a documentary type video of her dancing called De
Ann's Dream. All we had to work with was a collection
of amateur videos taken by different people at some of our
shows. De Ann's Dream is a collage of the very best moments
that we could find from that collection. We edited them together
to try to give people a glimpse of what it was like when De
Ann was dancing. It's a beautiful remembrance of De Ann but
falls far short of her impact as a performer. The movie Gamil
Gamal has a few seconds of her dancing back when we were
performing on San Francisco streets. That film has some of
the very first music that became Light Rain.
Fire I kept writing music, but I didn't feel like I
had a firm enough foundation to start on a big project like
a new CD, so my creativity went into a huge variety of other
people's projects. I did some work as a studio musician,
contributing to over 25 albums and 2 videos.
traveled to Oregon to work with Gypsy Caravan,
playing on their album Migration, for which I wrote
some music (Gypsy Rain). I went to Utah and joined forces with Allen
Bachman of Desert Wind to co-write 'Desert
Rain' for his album Sarasvati. Wonderful friendships
were forged during these excursions. I flew to Los Angeles
to make an appearance in Raven and Zephira's
video where I actually dance in a sexy, romantic duet with
Zephira to 'Moonrise' (from Dark Fire). Mesmera,
in Los Angeles, and I have done a couple of fabulous collaborations
and I always love going to Austin to perform with Lucila and
her entourage. In fact I'm going to Austin to do a performance
with Lucila and the Austin Dancers this February 22 (2003).
Along with the show Lucila and I are going to be selling some
of De Ann's costumes--the ones I can part with, including what
she was wearing on the cover of Valentine to Eden.
I don't think they should be hanging in the closet, they should
be out dancing!
yearly performances at the Rakassah Festival in Richmond,
California and at the Chamizal Theatre in El Paso,
Texas sponsored by Lorraine & Dance
Alive. Dance teachers around the country have brought
me in to play with their dancers and percussionists for a night
of Light Rain music. I went to Seattle where
I played for Delilah, and to shows in Phoenix
with Yasmina and Albuquerque with Jennette
Benadon. There's an annual belly-dance cruise to Ensenada
that Light Rain has performed on (we're going again September).
I love my job!
a couple of albums on which I sang some of my songs. One was Leaving
Yesterday by the Highway One Ensemble,
a beautiful acoustic album with a celtic feel. Another was Doug
Adams & Dan Hayes-Blues Duo in which Dan
Hayes and I play guitars and harmonicas and sing blues.
three songs that were recorded by Dr. Elmo of
'Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer' fame. Those songs are
titled 'Bernardo's Serenade', 'Uncle Johnny's Glass Eye' and
Chucky Got A Chainsaw for Christmas' (he he he).
2002, I quietly celebrated what felt like a rebirth for me;
like I am on the other side of a trial by fire and the phoenix
is surging out of the ashes. I have new projects that I have
been wanting to do for a long time that are starting to happen.
There are some new Light Rain songs that I am looking forward
to recording. One is "Secret Song", a guitar piece
that I know that dancers are going to love. I want to do a "Light
Rain"" version of one of the songs I wrote for Gypsy
Caravan; "Gypsy Rain".
conclusion I would like to say that Light Rain has been described
as pioneers of World Beat music and, indeed, we were among the
first American's to record our own, original music specifically
for belly dancing. This was really as much an accident of fate
as anything else (if you believe in accidents of fate). Many
ingredients combined to make it happen; not the least of which
were simply lust, love, a desire for magic and fun and an irresistible
pull to the exotic. There was something else at play, though;
something that I haven't written about before, but now seems
like an important time to do so.
our boldness, or foolishness, to set off into something
'new' was a fundamental feeling that we, worldwide, are
all of one family; that music knows no borders. Music
truly is a universal language. And when you speak, hear,
or dance to the language of music, borders can truly
the language of the heart, and if the heart knows anything,
it is love. As artists, as musicians, we can send messages
across borders. I choose to send a message of love and of peace.
are powerful forces at work right now that would convince
us that war is good and necessary, that peace will be
gained by violence, and that conquest will make us safe.
I hear those voices---and I don't believe them.
When I first
started playing for belly dancing the album I listened to the
most was by an oud player named Munir Bechir.
I don't know anything about him other than the deep soul that
I felt on that recording--and that his home is Baghdad.
I could say about the struggles the world faces now. There's
much to be learned that requires research; the kind of information
you will never, ever get on the evening news. It's helpful
to do a bit of study of the cultures whose dance forms we love
so, and our own country's interactions with those cultures.
For now I'll simply say that my prayer is that the light of
love will grow in the hearts of people here, in the United
that love will give us courage to say 'no' to the killing and
conquest of our sisters and brothers across the world. I've
always hoped that the music of Light Rain would, in some small,
magical way, help build the bridges of understanding and peace.
the completion of this interview, Doug Adams has composed
and recorded three songs that speak out against war. They
are titled 'War Is Not The Answer', 'Ain't Gonna Fight Your
War' and 'Contempt of Court'. The three songs are available
on a CD from Magi Productions P.O. 356 Larkspur, California
94947 (415) 892-0181 HeyDidl@aol.com.
a comment? Send
us a letter!
with Doug Adams of Light Rain, Part 1 by
I told her, "I could make music for you."
Revisited by Yasmela/ Shelley Muzzy
Our response to
the improvisational passages in Middle Eastern music illustrate the
depth of our understanding of the rich texture and nuance of the
Tale of Two Faires by many
It seemed that the ren faire we all knew in Black Point, Novato, kept changing
producers and locations. Now their were two ren faires!
I came to Turkey by Kayla Summers
There are few people more cynical than I, but I maintain
that I saw what I saw. Dada will not confirm or deny the incident;
he just laughs.
I Accidentally Became a Successful Belly Dance Teacher
(and you can too!) by Michelle Joyce
Now mine is the most popular class, which led to a snowballing of other gyms
adding belly dance aerobics classes.