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          /ˌdiləˈtänt, diləˈtäntē/,   noun


a person who purposefully dabbles in many different pursuits.

Songs by Nell Balaban

Dilettante is a collection of songs I’ve written and recorded over the last 10 years or so.


I'm excited to share them and will be releasing them

in this space one at a time over the next couple of months. Welcome to week 4!


We could call it a record, an album, or a playlist.


All the tunes were produced and recorded in Canada in various locations; wherever Tim Thorney (the great!) has had his studio, Villa Sound, that’s where I’d go, from Toronto to the lovely Blue Mountains of Ontario.





For the fourth week I offer "Song For A Spider".

There are many ways in which I could write about

this song. I could talk about where it was written

(Pride House! Much love and gratitude to Josh, Karl, Bruce, and James), why it was written, or when it was recorded. I could talk about making the video: the at-the-time dramatic loss of "footage", now a comical footnote, and Tim Thorney saving the day! I could go on about how much fun it was to sit with Adam Fair and weigh-in on things as he edited the video. Or I could gush about that wonderful creature, Buttercup, the Villa Sound studio mascot and possibly Tim's avatar.



But I'll just say this about the song: for me it has a feeling of renewal and refreshment. Also the sense of trying to be present and thereby let go of any past grievances or weightiness holding you down. Or maybe you gotta let go first and then you can really be in the now? It brings to mind a ritual done by some at the time of the Jewish New Year which was actually just last week; you walk to a body of water, a river, a creek, a stream, and you empty your pockets. It could be a little loose change, some bread crumbs or even just some pocket lint you throw out there but the symbolism is strong: you are releasing your psychic and emotional burdens and letting them flow away. And then you have a fresh start at the New Year and you can be more present with yourself, your friends, your family and your community.


Of course, sometimes a spider is just a spider.

But...I think I'll go empty my pockets now. 

Thanks for listening!


Tim Thorney

View from a window at Pride House; Cherry Grove, Fire Island

The one and only Buttercup

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