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Denio, Amy: The Big Embrace (Spoot)

Her 10th solo album is a welcome addition to composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Amy Denio's catalog, introducing 16 new songs, instrumental works, and general quirky superlative music that looks at life with a sharply optimistic eye and a joyful melody in her heart, taking delight in the banal and focusing criticism on the inane; wonderful!

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product information:

UPC: 888295664974

Label: Spoot
Catalog ID: TBE
Squidco Product Code: 25381

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: USA
Recorded at Spoot Studios, in West Seattle, Washington, by the artist.


Amy Denio-Croatian 4 string guitar, guitars, bass, alto saxophone, clarinet, accordion, field recordings, glockenspiel, shaker, frame drum, cardboard box, voices

Ahmad Yousefbeigi-percussion

Elizabeth 'DB' Lawrence-voice and percussion

Peter Comley-samples

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Artist Biographies:
"Denio (rhymes with 'Ohio' or 'gennaio') is an internationally recognized record producer, composer, improviser, singer and multi-instrumentalist.
Her main instruments are voice, alto saxophone, clarinet, accordion, acoustic and electric guitars, electric bass, and theremin.

Denio created and produced the soundtrack for choreographer Pat Graney's piece 'Girl Gods', which was awarded two NYC Bessie Awards at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in October 2016, including one for Best Overall Production.
In 2015 she was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame by Earshot Jazz.
In 1997 Denio received her first NYC Bessie Award for her soundtrack to choreographer David Dorfman's piece 'Sky Down'.
She received the Mayor's Award for Artistic Achievement from the City of Seattle in 1990.

Denio co-founded The Tiptons Sax Quartet and Drums (1988-present).
She has recorded many CDs and videos with Bosnian metal/punk/folk group Kultur Shock since 1999. They've toured internationally since 2002.
From 2006-2009 she composed for, recorded and toured with Austrian trio Die Resonanz Stanonczi.
She co-founded Ama Trio with Correo Aereo in 2004.
You can hear Denio's limpid voice as featured vocalist on A Beautiful Western Saddle (1993) and with The Science Group in 1999.

Denio has toured solo and has collaborated and recorded with various groups and musicians such as Matt Cameron, Bill Frisell, Chris Cutler, Guy Klucevsek, Pauline Oliveros, Tarik Abouzied, Francisco Lopez, Danny Barnes, the Relache Ensemble, Faust, Fred Frith, Hoppy Kamiyama, KMFDM, Il Parto delle Nuvole Pesanti, and Ronin. She played alto sax in the horn section of Chuck D's Fine Arts Militia at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

Fellowships and Residencies
Denio has been awarded Fellowships from Artist Trust (Seattle, Westport Ireland) Seattle Arts Commission (Seattle) and Civitella Ranieri (Umbertide Italy). She was Rosencranz Artist In Residence at Mills College in Oakland, CA. In 2006-2007 the Dream Community in Taipei Taiwan commissioned Denio to arrange and produce a recording of Taiwanese indigenous and pop music with Samba rhythms, performed by 25 teenagers from the Amis Tribe who played samba drums particularly well. She entitled it Naruwan: Brazil meets Taiwan.

Film Composer
Kino Lorber commissioned Denio to compose a soundtrack for 'Daughter of the Law' written, produced and starring Grace Cunard in 1921 for their Women Film Makers / Women Composers series.
Denio scored 2 animated films by Thomas Edward ~ 'Pangaea's Brood' which won 'Best Animated Film' at the 1999 NY Underground Film Festival, and 'Synchrony in Estrus' which won 'Strangest Film' at the 2003 Motion Arts Festival in California.
She scored Jamie Hook's feature film 'The Naked Proof,' which received honourable mention at its premiere in the 2003 Seattle International Film Festival, and was voted 'Best Undistributed Film' by the Village Voice (NYC).

Film Maker
Denio loves making documentary films about her voyages.
Check out the Deniaural Youtube Channel

Founding Member
She's a founding member of The Tiptons Sax Quartet and Drums
(formerly Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet)
Ama Trio
Tone Dogs
Pale Nudes
Lao Tse and The Entropics
and her Italian chamber/kitchen quintet Quintetto alla Busara.

President of The Tiptons Sax Quartet and Drums, LLC
Vice President of Seattle Composers Alliance
Board member Kultur Shock, LLC

Selected Denio Commissions and Projects:
2017 Truth Is Up For Grabs
Denio composed music for 20 piece chamber orchestra for a multi-media event inspired by current events, poetry by Pablo Neruda and the political economy of war, which included projected images created by James Drage. Funded in part by 4Culture
2016 Pat Graney Dance Company: GIRL GODS
~ Denio composed and produced the soundtrack. Girl Gods received 2 NYC Bessie Awards in October, 2016, one for overall production.
2013-2015 Tiptons Sax Quartet: Mythunderstandings
~ Produced by Denio, a collaboration between her Tiptons Sax Quartet, Salish master musician Paul 'Che oke ten' Wagner, film maker Adam Sekuler, and directed by Lisa Halpern.
2010 Dan Hurlin and Dan Froot: Who's Hungry? Santa Monica
(funded by Meet the Composer)
2009 Sonic Bench
~ Denio's interactive public art on permanent exhibit at the Vashon Island Parks Department (Funded by Seattle Arts Commission and 4Culture)
2006 The Tiptons Sax Quartet and Drums: House of Wild Dreams
~ a collaboration between artist Danijel Zezelj, film maker Aric Mayer and the Tiptons (Funded by Seattle Arts Commission)
1999 The Danubians
~ a collaboration with Csaba Hajnoczy, Gabi Kenderesi, Pavel Fajt and AD, produced in Budapest, Hungary (funded by Arts Link/CEC International Partners)
1997 False Prophets or Dang Good Guessers
~ A collaboration with the Shaking Ray Levi Society, Jessica Lurie and AD (funded by King County Arts Commission)
1996 Pollo d'Oro
~ A collaboration with Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet and Ne Zhdali. Produced in Tallinn, Estonia (funded by Arts Link/CEC International Partners)
1992 Pat Graney Dance Company: Saxhouse
~ Performed by her all-women group The Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet (funded by National Endowment For the Arts)
Denio has received additional support from Washington State Arts Commission, Pew Charitable Trust, Arts International, as well as composition commissions from various philanthropists.

Other commissions include creating and producing compositions and recordings for Italian National Radio, the Berkeley Symphony, The New York Festival of Song, Relache Ensemble, the Austrian chamber octet Die Knodel, choreographers Victoria Marks, Aiko Kinoshita, Li Chiao-Ping, Cheronne Wong and Carla Barragan; multi-media performance group Run/Remain Ensemble, UMO Ensemble, The Cabiri, and choreographer/actor/clown Lorenzo Pickle.

Spoot Music
Home-taper since the Dark Ages of Analog, she started her label and publishing company Spoot Music in 1986, with the release of her first cassette, No Bones. Since then, she has recorded & released over 50 cassettes, LPs, CDs and short videos, created solo and with an array of international musicians.
Listen to her newest release, The Big Embrace, released in the Fall of 2017.

Denio teaches at the Kultur Shock was the featured group at the Nilüfer Festival in Bursa Turkey, performing for more than 25,000 people."-Amy Denio Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Ahmad Yousefbeigi is an inspired and sought-after Kurdish Iranian percussionist. Born in Sanandaj, Iran, his passion for rhythm was fostered by the musical nature of Kurdish community life and his brother's guidance. At the age of twelve he began formal study of Tonbak and Daf .

Since moving to Seattle in 1998, Ahmad has captivated audiences in the Pacific Northwest with the energetic, nomadic folk songs of his native Kurdistan and the delicate, lyrical rhythms of Persian classical music and poetry.

In 2003 Ahmad formed Kamand , a traditional Persian classical and Kurdish folk ensemble. In Kamand, he was the lead singer and percussionist. For 3 years-2006, 2008 and 2009-he produced, organized and performed with Kamand and other guest artists to create a 2 hour music and dance concert called Norooz -a celebration commemorating the Iranian New Year and the first day of Spring-at Town Hall Seattle.

Ahmad's versatility, love of cultural exchange and collaboration has led him to perform with many musicians and bands outside of traditional Iranian and Kurdish music. His most recent acoustic, ambient, improvisational collaboration, YESOD , began in September 2010 with composer Bill Wolford. He is a current member of Middle-Eastern band, Shoruk. Ahmad is a former founding member of pan-Middle Eastern music ensemble, Mashriq. He has performed multiple times as a guest percussionist playing Daf with the Seattle Peace Choir -in an interpretation of Seattle Peace Choir Mozart's Requiem. Ahmad is a former member of Sin Fronteras , a South American folk band in which he played Argentine Bombo, Arabic Darabuka and Charchas. He has also collaborated with many artists and dancers.

Performance highlights include appearances on Seattle Public Radio Stations KUOW and KBCS; on Big Night Out on the Seattle Channel; at Benaroya Hall; Seattle City Hall; Kirkland Performance Center; Bellevue Community College; South Seattle Community College; UW Meany Hall, and Classical Tuesdays in Old Town Tacoma. Ahmad has also performed with Kamand for Rick Steve's Iran: Yesterday and Today presentation.

He has performed and taught regularly at the Northwest Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center as well as Folklife in the School's K-12 music program. He has taught Kurdish folk songs and Daf at Mendocino Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp. Ahmad teaches Daf, Tonbak, and Kurdish line dancing.

Ahmad has studied the Persian classical singing repertoire called Pish-Radif with Dr. Houssein Omoumi , master ney player. At Simon Shaheen's Arabic Music Retreat he was invited to join Simon Shaheen 's ensemble in a performance."

-Ahmad Yousefbeigi Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Peter Comley: How I got here

I'm not sure where my obsession with sound began, but it is clear is that by the time I was 8 or 9, I was repeatedly begging my family for a cassette recorder. The ability to record something and play it back again was fascinating to me and I knew I had to have it at my fingertips. My grandparents finally relented and bought me one of those shoebox-sized Panasonic models with a built-in microphone. It wasn't exactly what you'd call hi-fi, but it was sturdy and it got the job done. I immediately got the novelty factor out of my system by proceeding to make a lot of very silly home recordings... but I was learning, and the path led forward. A few years later I successfully made another child's plea (to Mom & Dad this time) for an Atari 2600 video game console, a more educational gift than it got credit for (incidentally, my favorite game for that platform was Adventure, a heroic quest fantasy in which the player character was represented by a featureless square, and the sound design was very minimal). Around this time I also become interested in computers. That path also led forward, until it finally converged with the first.

My first game audio job was Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 followed by Combat Flight Simulator 2. Since then, I've worked on many truly exciting projects for Microsoft, including some visits to the vast Halo universe, the nightmare world of Alan Wake, the darkly funny Gears of War series, the beautiful natural landscapes of Fable, the alien creatures of Iron Brigade, and many others.

Exploring a universe of sound

I'm both a field recordist and a sound designer. I document the world at large using microphones... that's the "field recording" part. I also create sounds in the studio for fictional characters and environments... that's the "sound design" part (though the two often overlap). I've been spending an increasing amount of time in recent years traveling to new places (and listening to them!), field recording, performing live with The Seattle Phonographer's Union, and cultivating a lot of new sounds. I'm planning to make some of the sounds I've collected available as sound effects libraries for eventual hire. There will be more information about these libraries on this page as I move forward."

-Peter Comley Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

1. L'abbraccione 4:45

2. Romadame 3:36

3. Thanksgiving 2:44

4. Zap Sistah 3:16

5. Rx For Afterlife 3:25

6. Prostrate Before A Periwinkle 3:53

7. Rx For The Wife 4:44

8. Rx For Scrambled Egg Peanut Butter Sandwich 2:01

9. Rx For Recife 1:55

10. Boat People 4:00

11. Mayflower 3:23

12. Donald The Lump 2:42

13. Rx For Feral Fleas 2:12

14. 7500 Kisses 5:13

15. Biopsy Of Statecraft 5:12

16. I Love This Cunterie 2:14
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Enjoy 16 funky and fanciful FCC-friendly new songs composed and produced by iconic multi-instrumental musician and member of Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame, composer Amy Denio. Denio has toured the world as a musician since 1987. She runs Spoot Music, has produced 50+ recordings solo and in collaboration with others, and has founded a dozen creative bands. She also produces multimedia performances and installations, and has received dozens of international commissions, awards and fellowships. Her 10th solo recording The Big Embrace features her sensuous voice, along with guitar, bass, accordion, sax, clarinet, glockenspiel, percussion, and field recordings."-Spoot

This album has been review on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!
Related Categories of Interest:

Rock and Related
Song Based Music
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
Solo Artist Recordings
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New in Rock Forms

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