Core Memory Cards


For many years along with my recording and playing of music, I’ve led workshops involving songwriting at places like Fleisher Arts, Kelly Writer’s House, and Studio 34 in Philadelphia for many people of different backgrounds and ages. Over time through experiences both in and out of the workshops I started to think about how necessary it is for people to be courageous enough to approach their memories. Not just traumatic ones but joyful, obsessive, fearful, etc. I love memories, which is one of the reasons I guess I so naturally have always been drawn to writing. 

I started making flashcards that could help bust open some windows and doors. The flash cards had three groupings. People. Places. Emotions. I involved numbers on the cards. I brought dice into the picture. Soon we were mashing together word combinations that I would then have them brainstorm on the page in time increments, asking them to just go where their brain headed when they rolled FRIEND/CAR/SAD. I didn’t want them to judge the memories and details that came, and maybe it would send them somewhere else from there. 

I loved the activity, but felt the cards were lacking a certain visual Joie de vivre, so about a year and a half ago I began the process of making original art for the 36 cards, similar to the visual traditions of artist playing cards and tarot. Inspired by turn of the century scrapbooking and surrealist collage I slowly labored over each category, looking through old books and magazines to find things that would work for the different cards.

This deck is the culmination of that work. I also realized that this wasn't just about songwriting and it could extend to finding inspiration for many forms of expression. They could be used for everything from songs and visual art to conversation and even solo meditation. 

I don't want them to have rigid rules (you can even create your own ways to utilize them). Do what you wish with them and let them act as a channel for stillness and movement within your life. 

You can purchase a deck at this link: