©2014 Heidi Siegell
Meet our crew:
When the founder of Tiny World, Heidi Siegell, was three years old, she signed herself up to sing "Rise and Shine" in a talent show at a family camp. The act before hers was a clown who was yanked off stage by one of those big, scary vaudevillian hooks. Luckily that hook didn’t snag her, and she has been singing ever since. Over time she took up the violin, trombone, piano and composition, as well. Throughout her life, music has always been an emotional outlet and place of refuge and joy.
Heidi’s professional career spans opera, jazz, and blues and includes extensive work in contemporary musical theatre, film, video and numerous recordings. She has performed on stages and in clubs throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a songwriter and composer, her original compositions have been featured in narrative and documentary films and in musical theater pieces. She has also taught adults and children songwriting, singing and mindfulness.
In addition to her musical endeavors, Heidi earned her degree in political science from Columbia University and has gone on to study nonviolence and peacebuilding, as well as philosophies of meditation and consciousness. She has been especially influenced by Marshall Rosenberg's work in Nonviolent Communication, as well as the works of Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodrin and Thich Nhat Hanh. Heidi has an underlying philosophy that there is always a way to connect peacefully, and that music and the arts are deeply effective mediums for nurturing emotional growth and empathic connection.
Heidi lives in New York City with her husband, composer and producer Rolando Gori, and her daughter Océane, who has been the inspiration and muse for Tiny World.
"Music producer" means different things to different people. The roles of a producer can vary, but, generally, the producer is the ‘project manager’ for the recording, mixing and mastering process, bringing their unique perspective to inspire the artist and achieve the desired vision for the music. In our recordings, Rolando has served as musician, arranger, engineer and trusted advisor.
Rolando Gori is an Italian-born, Canadian-raised composer, songwriter and producer. He studied classical piano at the Conservatory of Music in Toronto and has a degree in composition and theory from Concordia University in Montreal. His music has been performed in Toronto, Montreal, London (UK), New York, and Riga (that's right, Latvia!). In recent years, he has been busy writing music for film and producing several albums, including Heidi's first album Us Lonely People. (Rolando is Heidi's husband, as well - for which she is also pleased!)
You can hear some of Rolando's music on his Soundcloud page.
To see a reel of his music for film, check out his Vimeo page.
Randall Thomas has a career spanning three decades of audio engineering. After spending his teens as a sound designer for equity summer stock theater, Randall went on to get an education in audio production, design and engineering. He then worked as a professional recording engineer with a major east coast remote facility with such clients as NPR, BBC, DIR Broadcasting, NBC Television, CBS Television and HBO. Randall has worked in an engineering capacity for feature films, television and album production with such luminaries as The Paul Winter Consort, Gerry Mulligan, Billy Taylor, Miles Davis, Pat Metheny, Eddie Gomez, Steve Gadd, Paul Simon, Burton Cummings, The Grateful Dead, Gerry Garcia Band, The Pretenders, Styx, Hall & Oates, Cherry Hill Gang, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, as well as Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
From recording engineering, Randall pursued acoustical design and sound reinforcement system design and spent several years developing a full industrial loudspeaker product line. Randall now runs fader8 productions which provides mixing and mastering services and produces audio content and sound design for entertainment, advertising, telephony, industrial applications, OEM products, and software/web content. Randall is pursuing his masters degree and has studied at the Eastman School of Music, the Berklee College of Music and Elizabethtown College.
She attended The Friends World College International Program in New York, Kenya and England where she studied dance therapy and worked with physically and emotionally handicapped children. At that time, she began to develop medical problems that resulted in a long battle with a non cancerous head tumor and thyroid disease. After enduring years of surgeries, treatments and compacted health issues, she decided to start painting, something she hadn't since she was young. Only this time the painting had a deeper meaning . . . a purpose . . . a reason. Her painting soon became part of daily life, to transport her emotion of the world onto paper or canvas. It wasn't about the final product but the process she went through. The therapy of life which breathed into Hippiejam Art is why she believes she must give back through her art work to help others, as it helped her.
We are so grateful for the time and beautiful work she has donated for our project. Gail says, "for your album, you are doing more than trying to sell a song, you are raising awareness . . . a consciousnesses." Yes! That is the dream. Thank you, Gail!
And here is a bit more about Gail and her process, in her own words:
"I paint on location out of a day pack wherever I go, and find inspiration from the forms and shapes of the natural world around me. I work loosely in acrylic with spontaneity and immediacy.
I am so over taken by water and sky scenes that I surrender myself to the experience and barely remember painting. The colors of sunsets and waterways create a fulfilling piece of work. Painting has become my form of communication beyond verbal and written expression ... painting is my story.
My art is a spiritual and emotional journey that holds a world of endless hope. That is the reason I donate a large portion of my work to worthy and needy causes, to raise funds. In this balance, I feel I am home.
Art, like music, is a safe platform for people to feel without getting involved. There is a ripple effect that happens once one person is moved with emotion or awareness, it is bound to affect all those around that person, and around all those and on and on."
Océane Monique Siegell-Gori is a writer, artist, musician and
7-year-old girl. She attends 2nd grade and has many friends.
Her favorite activities are playing, frolicking, having fun, romping around and enjoying herself.
Bassist/composer, Motoki Mihara was born in Osaka, Japan , and raised in neighboring Kyoto, Japan. He started playing piano at 6. He started listening to MTV music around 10 and switched to the electric bass when he was 12. He played in several local groups through his college years in Kobe, Japan. After graduating Kobe University, he moved to New York City and attended the City College of NY. With advice from Professor Ron Carter at an audition, he started playing upright bass. He has studied with Leon Malson, John Patitucci and Rufus Reid. Soon after bought his 1st upright bass, he started gigging. He has had the pleasure of playing with a wide variety of artists and bands, including Charles Carrington's Nucleus, Jeff King Band, Marco Gazic trio, Eric Wyatt Group, Lou Volpe guitar trio, Makane Kouyate's Denbaya, Anthony Wonsey, Benito Gonzalez, Gerald Hayes, Roy Hargrove, B4 quotet, Ancient future, Julian Meyer's Koncept, Eric Frager, The Shrine Big Band, Marco Digenarro, Bill Saxton, Jason Brown, Sean Higgins, Frank Lacy, Mike Moreno, Greg Murphy, Allen Farhnam, Tomoko Ono and Rodney Kendricks.
Erik is a songwriter and guitarist living in New York City. He studied western classical music at The Mannes College of Music. After graduation he spent years performing around the Northeast in ensembles informed by American roots music traditions. Erik went on to write, record and tour extensively with artists such as Joan Baez, Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne, David Yazbek and Hazmat Modine.
Erik has written music for A&E television, The New York Historical Society, as well as dozens of documentary films. His guitar and drum duo, Kill Henry Sugar, is currently in the process of recording their seventh collection of original songs.
In addition, Erik is working on two musicals now in development, one in Chicago and one in New York City.
Violinist, composer, teacher, and farmer, Adam DeGraff spent the first part of his career as a professional orchestral musician. Since then, Adam has been experimenting with rock violin, songwriting, alternative music education, and traditional organic farming practices. He regularly hangs with chickens, pigs, and cows, but interestingly enough, has only been bitten once: by a human violin student.
Adam went to Northwestern University as an undergraduate where he studied with famed Portuguese violinist, Gerardo Ribeiro. He then continued with graduate work at Rice University where he studied with the world's most beloved concertmaster, Raphael Fliegel.
Currently Adam performs anywhere and everywhere with his groups, The Weight, Pianafiddle, and The Dueling Fiddlers. He teaches internationally via skype and he lives, farms, and teaches in what is officially "America's Coolest Small Town," Lewisburg, WV.
Claudia Wigent, harpist and pianist, has been a mainstay in the world of music for events in the New York City tri state area for many years and has coordinated customized ensembles of all styles of music for countless high profile occasions both large and small. She takes great pleasure in getting to know her clients and suggesting ways to customize music to bring their vision of a perfect event to fruition. As a performer, she is proficient in all styles of music and performs in and directs ensembles of all types.
Composer Robert Paterson continues to gain attention here and abroad for writing “vibrantly scored and well-crafted” music that “often seems to shimmer” (NewMusicBox). His works are praised for their elegance, wit, structural integrity, and a wonderful sense of color. Paterson was awarded The Composer of The Year at Carnegie Hall from the Classical Recording Foundation in 2011. The Book of Goddesses was nominated for the Grammys® this past year for Best Contemporary Classical Composition and was named one of the Top 10 favorite pieces of the year by NPR’s Best Music of 2012.
Recent performances include Dark Mountains with Jamie Laredo and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the European premiere of Dancing Games by the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire (France), and Eternal Reflections, commissioned for the San Francisco-based Volti choir. His works have been played by the Louisville Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, New York New Music Ensemble, Barge Music, California EAR Unit, and Ensemble Aleph in Paris. Upcoming engagements include a commission with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Dark Mountains with the Austin Symphony, and an album of Paterson’s choral works to be recorded with Musica Sacra and conductor, Kent Tritle.
Born in 1970, Paterson was raised in Buffalo, New York, the son of a sculptor and a painter. Although his first love was percussion, he soon discovered a passion for composition, writing his first piece at age thirteen.
Paterson pioneered the development of a six-mallet marimba technique. He presented the world’s first all six-mallet marimba recital at the Eastman School of Music in 1993, and released the first-ever album of six mallet music, Six Mallet Marimba in 2012 (AMR) to a sold out crowd at the Rubin Museum in Chelsea, NY.
Paterson has given master classes at numerous colleges and universities, most recently at the Curtis Institute of Music, New York University, Ithaca College, the University of Vermont and the Eastman School of Music. Paterson is the founder and Artistic Director of the American Modern Ensemble and resides in New York City with his wife Victoria, a violinist, and their son Dylan.
Michael Finckel enjoys a wide-ranging career as cellist, conductor, teacher, and composer. A founding member of the Trio of the Americas, the Cabrini Quartet and the renowned Finckel Cello Quartet, he performs as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States. His interest in contemporary music has lead to performances with many of New York's leading new-music ensembles including Speculum Musicae, Ensemble Sospeso, Group for Contemporary Music, Steve Reich and Musicians and the SEM Ensemble, as well as performances with members of the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein and Pierre Boulez. Since 1982, Mr. Finckel has been Music Director of the Sage City Symphony in Bennington, Vermont and has fostered its extensive commissioning program. A faculty member at the Mannes College of Music, he also teaches and performs at the Chamber Music Conference in Bennington, Vermont, the Composers Conference at Wellesley College and the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Horn player Nancy Billmann leads an active freelance career that is reflective of her broad interest in music and includes chamber music, orchestral, and teaching. A member of the Dorian Wind Quintet for 13 years, she is active with chamber music ensembles in the New York area. As an orchestral musician, she frequently performs with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York City Opera, Stamford Symphony, and on Broadway. Nancy is also a faculty member at Montclair State University. Ms. Billmann grew up in Wisconsin, received degrees from the University of Wisconsin and The Juilliard School and has made her home in New York City since 1989.
Brent Stanton, originally from New Zealand, now calls New York City his home. He has performed and recorded extensively, both as a flute and saxophone player in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Since 1998, he has focused on jazz flute.
After spending many years in the commercial music world, Brent’s musical influences are wide-ranging. Although he continually pursues a ‘classical’ approach to developing sound and technique on the flute, he has sought to bring many of the improvisation and playing techniques gained from the jazz and R&B saxophone world to the flute. He also freely admits to enjoying and including the sounds and styles from many other instruments, especially guitar, keyboards, trumpet, trombone and from vocalists too.
Brent also maintains an active teaching practice and enjoys sharing his knowledge of flute and saxophone technique, along with improvisation skills gained over many years of performance and study. “I’ve always wanted a noisy home – I got my wish – I have very musical twins, Jack and Olivia, who will always inspire me to teach, learn and grow with them.”
Special thanks to all who have contributed their brilliance, encouragement, financial support, time, friendship: Sheila Klein, Seymour Klein, Gail Porr, Randall Thomas, Rolando Gori, Océane Siegell‑Gori, Monica Hoyt, Regina Kelland, all of our wonderful musicians, everyone who so generously contributed to our Kickstarter campaign and our dear family and friends.