"Melanie Ida Chopko has that precious and rare quality that we long for in our artists… a unique way of seeing. Happily she also has the grace of melody and words to communicate it to us." Rachel Efron, songwriter & producer
“Chopko's lyrics turn her private world and the world at large into vivid cinema. And as a performer, she’s a disarming stage presence.“ Joe Kornfield, Boston Herald American
Melanie Ida Chopko writes and performs “wit, acuity and grace," exploring themes of belonging, our human relationship to the natural world and the divine. Crafting lyric and melody into "little jewels," the music is vivid, modern folk with a big crush on everything else. If Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone and Rebecca Solnit were neighbors and made music on Sunday afternoons, it might sound like this.
In the tradition of the citizen artist, her writing is as interested in the complexity of the world around her as the one within herself, exploring both with artistry, intimacy and humor.
Her 2016 EP Yellow Blue Alizarin, was a collaboration with six musicians and over 130 donors, accompanied by a limited-edition, 7-inch watercolor print. In between songs, she teaches “Singing Otuside the Shower” at the renown Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, creates watercolors/drawings, and trains in Aikido.
people & projects I love
MUSICIANS & ARTISTS
Andrew Benincasa My dear friend and stunning papercut artist
Crystal Morey - mystical ceramics and sculptural conversations on the non-human world
Diana Gameros Diana is a true-blue songwriter and human being - her Latin pop music bridges her home country of Mexico and the US, and all the conversations in between.
Jean Rohe I've known Jean for over ten years, and I simply love and believe in everything she creates. She is the voice of true artist, with the musicianship to invite us in to listen. I also had the privilege of illustrating for her website and album.
Kate Mink and Dean Stuart, my beloved studiomates at my daily artistic home, The Compound Gallery and Studios
Moorea Dickason One of my most favorite vocalists, music educators and entrepren-artists
Shaina Taub I love Shaina's epic, soulful creations, and her skillful bridging of the blues, musical theatre and beautiful break-my-heart personal songs.
Wendy MacNaughton My watercolor hero
YES! I volunteer each month with YES!, and my life has been transformed by their internationally renown "jams" - residential events exploring the connection between personal, interpersonal and systemic change for a world that works for everyone. Go to their programs, and give them all the money
350.org - Building the global movement for Climate Justice
Charter for Compassion A cooperative effort to restore compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life.
Women's Accapella Association Empowering girls and women in music and the music industry
Brainpickings - Maria Popova's stunning digest of curiosity
Joanna Macy - Eco-philosopher and System Thinker, articulating so much of what is happening on a global scale.
Rebecca Solnit - Writer, historian, activist. Everything.